October 14, 2011

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Street View Arrives in NZ

This week the Street View function went live in New Zealand.

First on the Street View bandwagon were property portal market leader trademe.co.nz and number two player realestate.co.nz, plus nz.open2view.com who all introduced the application on Tuesday, the day the application launched.

House hunters can now use the application to visualise the street and surroundings. It provides a street by street view of the whole country, available with a 360° horizontal and 290° vertical panoramic street-level view.

While many have raised privacy concerns about Street View, it is an invaluable resource for homehunters, and provides non-photoshopped and more impartial visual information than a real estate agent’s photos might do. For instance, Street View will reveal not only the house for sale or rent, but the neighbours, and the outlook. People caught on ’s cameras have had their faces blurred to prevent their identity from being revealed.

Until the change this week, trademe.co.nz had previously used SMAPs. SMAPs ran on a back-end created by Wellington company Project X, and a front-end developed by an inhouse trademe.co.nz team.

trademe.co.nz’s head of commercial, Mike O’Donnell , told The National Business Review: “We had a lot of positive feedback about SMAPs from our members, but the fact is that mapping is not our core business and ‘s better at innovating in this area.”.

O’Donnell also said that despite initial resistance to the function when SMAPs were first introduced 2 and half years ago, uptake had been improving. Useage has risen from only 18% of listings having this feature when SMAPs were first launched, to 51% of listings using Street View as of this week.

The Street View photos were taken by cameras mounted on cars, which took a year to circle New Zealand covering all areas except Hokitika and Greymouth, where bad weather prevented images from being taken.

Street View is already used by other property portals in Australia, the US, France and Japan.


Related posts:

  1. Street View Expands to UK and Europe
  2. Business Listings now in Street View
  3. Ads Coming to Street View?
  4. Spotlight on New Zealand Property Portals
  5. Is Latitude Useful for Agents?
  6. More Real Estate Upgrades from Maps
  7. Rolling Out Business Photos
  8. ’s Latest Releases Part 3: New Maps Perspective
  9. Reveals Real Estate “Vision”
  10. Maps Highlights Real Estate

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