Using Google Earth For Property And Data Visualization: Three Great Examples

The data visualization business has long been critical to commercial real estate dealmaking. At the deal table, all the pro forma work, diligence and sales skill brought to bear can be for naught if, at the critical time, you’re still telling the client when you should be showing the client.

Today’s resources have lowered the barrier to data visualization in eye-popping ways.  There has been a wave of Google Earth maps joined with 3-d animation to produce sales tools showing space and property – here are three.

Chicago Growth Animation 1862-2014 

Midtown Manhattan, 1850s-2014

San Francisco Market Street Corridor 1877-2013


How Do I Use Google Earth For Data Visualization?

Got distance, area and 3D measurements on your desk?  Chance are you wouldn’t be in commercial real estate if you didn’t. Using Google Earth to visualize these begins with Google’s Google Earth Pro product, an offering of the tech giant that includes movie creation, measurements and mapping of multiple points and more.  Trial versions and free versions exist and are, as is often the case with Google technology, surprisingly powerful.


27. September 2013 by Wayne Grohl
Categories: New Technology | Tags: , , , , | 52 comments

Comments (52)

  1. Google never stops amazing me. Thank you everyone for putting in the time and research for the 3D city animation growth. Do you have a link for Edmonton Alberta?

    • Hi Audrey:

      Sorry, I don’t, at least I don’t have a link to a video produced using the underlying data. But I do know Google Earth covers Edmonton; that would be the right place to start. You probably want to download the Google Earth client at



  2. These graphics were produced by Cube Cities, we’d be happy to share movies for any city in North America to show city growth animations and real estate data. Please visit our website to learn more.

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  4. Great opportunity. Is the 3D application available for Minneapolis, MN and St. Petersburg, Fl? Thank you.

  5. This is fantastic for assisting our commercial agents for certain presentations!

  6. I never knew about these blogs, I will absolutely be subscribing to a few of them! Great Job

  7. Google Earth is useful for every kind of real estate. I use it before going to meet with a potential seller.

  8. Thanks for sharing this article Wayne! It’s really quite amazing how far technology continues to take us and improve our profession of real estate.

  9. Impressive animation! Advanced technology certainly makes our presentations so impressive! Kudos and thanks for sharing!

  10. The usefulness of Google Earth was always diminished for me in the past due to limitations on views it would produce. This new technology seems to have solved that problem completely and I think it will be very useful in the future.

  11. Very cool technology – would love to see this applied to residential growth, tracking urban sprawl, etc.

  12. Thank you for this great info! I had no idea this technology was available and I look forward to exploring it further.

  13. This is an incredible resource.
    Can it be done on a regional basis? Southeast Florida is my area of interest.
    If not, can regional msa’s be combined? EG palm beach, Fort Lauderdale, Miami
    Thank you!

  14. Loved seeing the growth of the cities. What a fantastic way to present development. I’ve always wondered what land looked like before a subdivision or PUD was built. Would Google Earth work for residential development to show the before?

  15. We have used it in the residential market for several years. Just talked to a builder about some land for sale and the first thing he said was “hold on while I pull it up on Google” with out even walking the property he gave me an offer. Great resource.

  16. I agree with Audrey that Google just keeps on moving, shaking, growing and inspiring.

    Our world just got smaller while expanding the possibilities because of this technology.

  17. Technology is moving us forward by leaps and bounds with Google at the forefront of innovation. It anyone other than me finding it hard to keep current with it all?

  18. Looking at the data visualization allows you to see what direction Chicago has been growing and what the future may hold.

  19. Great tool not only for commercial but also city infrastructure. Love the professional quality for presentation purposes.

  20. Wow. It’s amazing what technology can do.

  21. Very good information. Thanks for the link!

  22. Cool product. Thanks for sharing.

  23. Yet another valuable tool the digital age brings REALTORS – I like the 3D Google Image technology and definitely intend to incorporate this service in my presentations

  24. What a wonderful tool. Thanks so much for sharing the link; I can’t wait to look into it.

  25. I like the 3D Google Image technology and definitely intend to incorporate this service in my presentations

  26. Google continues to amaze and inspire taking business to the next level. Thank you for the great info.

  27. Wow, this is amazing! I can’t wait to figure out how to start using it!

  28. Use these products to further qualify properties, great time saver.

  29. This is a great way to show clients the new technology that is available today. Very informitive for the commercial investor and also for homeowners as well. Thanks

  30. Now we just need to be able to interface seamlessly with our phones, cars, and this technology through Bluetooth.

  31. Every now and then I used Google earth; However the 3D version is an opener. Thanks for sharing. By the way do you mind to share the link to the free version please?

  32. Thank you for sharing this information about the Google Map technology in the commercial real estate. I would like to learn more about selling in the commercial properties in the near future and this is something I would like to sue in the future. Mercy Reyes-Rubin

  33. Wow I loved this I will go and use this just for the fun of it.
    I actually did it for my neighborhood because being a newer Floridian I was interested to see what my neighborhood was before!
    Google is great!

  34. This is just an amazing thing. Google Earth is on top of it.

  35. Always amazed at what people can do with the new technologies we have available to us. This is just plain out “cool” 🙂

  36. What an amazing look at this cool technology! I’ve known about Google Earth, but this is a very fresh take for applying it to RE business.

  37. Thank you for the great information.

  38. Wow! Google Earth sure has come a long way!

  39. I agree with Chris. Would love to see this for residential urban sprawl predictions!


  40. Great article, very informative, now to put it to use!

  41. I have bookmarked this post to refer back to when preparing commercial real estate presentations.

  42. Google does an excellent job helping us visualize things on a large scale. I’m am amazed by this!

  43. These videos are amazing. Seeing the growth of these cities over time is really fascinating.

  44. This really sets the bar for presentations for sure! Great visuals.

  45. Google is just continually updating and providing more tools . These videos are great.

  46. Great presentation. The potential with new mapping technology is mind blowing

  47. Google is always on top of technology Innovations.
    Excellent tools.

  48. Yet another way to leverage technology in this ever changing market!

  49. Very impressive presentation to prospective buyers who can get a visual picture of how the commercial real estate landscape positively changes!

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  51. Great article, thank you.

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