When Google launched StreetView it was widely discussed (and in some cases disparaged because of the privacy implications), but few people regarded it as a practical tool. However, in what appears to be the first implementation of StreetView on a third-party site, Trulia has incorporated its imagery and functionality in 40 US metropolitan areas, with more to follow. The new capability is called “Walk the Neighborhood” by Trulia.
The Google StreetView images appear on the property listings pages:
In this real estate-specific context, StreetView quickly shows its practical side.
On most real estate sites, one can see still images (or worse, illustrations) of the exterior of the house intended to showcase it in its best light. Most of the time there are also interior shots available. But a potential buyer doesn’t get to see the surrounding homes or the larger neighborhood until actually at the property. StreetView on Trulia can thus potentially save homebuyers’ time by providing more “context” to listings.
For example, if you’re thinking about even looking at that two-bedroom condo in San Francisco listed at $800,000, you might want to examine at the block surrounding it to determine whether it’s worth your time:
All this goes double for people who may be relocating from one city to another and can’t easily visit the property in question.
Zillow previously incorporated Microsoft’s Bird’s Eye photography, which is also helpful in this context but not to the same degree.