When we were choosing a mapping program for our MLS system, there were really just two to choose from; what Microsoft (referred to as “Bing Maps”), has to offer and what Google has. After looking over them both, we chose Google. We found that Microsoft, although a good system, has been slow to update their satellite images and their street maps.
We went back in this week and looked over what Microsoft has done lately, if there have been any updates, and we were disappointed. First we lookded for La Cruz de Huanacaxtle with Google (shown below, on the left). All the streets with names are shown, along with the marina. However, with Microsoft’s mapping system (on the right), La Cruz doesn’t exist; not streets, no marina. If you had a house for sale in La Cruz, how could you show where it is located with Microsoft?
The next set show part of Fluvial. With Google all the streets are labelled (on the left). With Microsoft there are no streets – Fluvial basically doesn’t exist (on the right). We then looked at it in Satellite view. Google is much clearer (left) and it really can zoom in. Microsoft’s images are not clear, they are older, and this is as far as it could zoom in (final image).
Why is this important? You want to choose a mapping system that is accurate for any MLS system. If streets aren’t shown, or images are old, this will make it difficult to show where properties are located, and to show what the region actually looked like.
Google also allows for Google Earth 3D images (where Banderas Bay, surrounded by mountains, shows very well), and most recently it has allowed for embedding images into the maps and offering 360º tours. For instance, you could embed an image of the Peninsula tower into the mapping system, and then be able to tour around it like you were flying around in a helicopter. Very cool. An example of where this is going has been done for Deck 12 (you’ll have to download or have Google Earth first to view it – which you should try out anyways.).
There are some very interesting things being done with mapping systems these days, and it seems Google is leading the race.