Satellite Maps for Property Buyers

by Sonal Desai    May 08, 2007 is developing virtual environments to help prospective property buyers and sellers understand their neighborhood, once they purchase a property for residential or commercial use.

The on-line real estate agency, a venture of Horizon Infoventures has tapped Geographical Information System (GIS), and will use satellite maps to enable users to identify sites as per their budgets.

According to Murli Ramkrishnan, CTO of RealAcres, “RealAcres has entered into a memorandum of understanding with Google Atlas for satellite imagery services. Google has provided us with an API code. We had also evaluated Yahoo!, but found it inefficient; and, but that did not have satellite images.”

He explains that the concept is derived from the US real estate sector which essentially runs on brokerage.

He says, “People do not understand the latitude and longitude of a place. Our services enable them to locate the place by just entering the pin code and road name of the area. The map locates the site. The person then only has to drag the cursor to that point. The solution is also devised to give driving instructions using flash arrows.”

The company has started beta trials since the last one month, and is providing these services to Rustomjee Group (Keystone), Raheja Builders, Ekta Shelters, Royal Palms, Sumer Group, Haware Builders, Adiraj Constructions, Lakhani Builders and Prajapati Constructions. It plans to extend the value adds to all its listed builders.

Murli claims, “We are the first online estate agency in India to have embraced this technology. People these days want more information on nearest railway stations, malls, schools, restaurants, libraries, etc, before signing deals with real estate brokers. This is one of the value added services we are offering our customers. The services have boosted sales as well.”

Researchers at RealAcres are also compiling demographical statistics based on gender, number of people in a particular area, number of literate and illiterate people, etc. Murli informs, “We will be ready to add the statistics feature on our website in the next six months. As of today, the GIS services are offered to customers only in Mumbai and Navi Mumbai, but we are planning to go-live in Pune next week, followed by Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad.”

Smita Thorat, company CEO comments, “The service will essentially benefit non resident Indians, since we will provide them with virtual environments while helping them invest in properties.”