Industry NewsTechnology

Prudential Chicago tweaks Google Maps for house hunting

Real estate brokerage adapts desktop mapping application

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Imagine being able to house-hunt without even going online, just by clicking an icon on the desktop and using the power of Google to search a 3-D satellite map to display houses by geographical area. Thanks to the techno-smarts of a couple of geeks at Prudential Chicago, this scenario is now a reality for folks who are house hunting in Chicago. Just three days after Google released its new satellite imagery-based mapping product, Google Earth, Chris McKeever, director of IT at Prudential Chicago, and Camden Daily, the firm's senior Web architect, had their way with it. On July 1, they launched a plug-in that integrates the brokerage's listings with Google Earth. Consumers need only download Google Earth, then cruise by a special page on the Pru Chicago site one time to grab the plug-in. From then on, they're good to go with listings that update six times a day, courtesy of Pru Chicago. Mapping technology today is a hot commodity in online home shopping, enabling people to search for ...