A data scientist and ethnographer joined forces to build a software product called Spatial, which adds a first-of-its-kind human-driven social layer to your average rendering of cities, streets, highways lakes and rivers. Pulling from 31 public social media tools, Spatial’s patent-pending Illuminate technology lets users immediately visualize a city’s lifestyle landscape.

  • Lifestyle decisions are increasingly driving real estate decisions.
  • Spatial overlays heat maps of community and social activity curated from over 30 geo-tagged-capable social media platforms.
  • The tool's data coverage extends to over 100 cities internationally. In the U.S., that includes Chicago, Houston, Austin, Denver, Los Angeles, Miami, San Francisco, New York, Washington, D.C., Baltimore and more.

Have suggestions for products that you’d like to see reviewed by our real estate technology expert? Email Craig Rowe.

Spatial is a lifestyle and social intelligence mapping tool.

Platform(s): Browser-based, mobile-responsive
Ideal for: All size teams and offices, individual agents

Top selling points

  • Comprehensive (uses 31 social data sources)
  • Used with existing website maps
  • Ease of use

Top concerns

  • Future upgrades impacting ease of use

What you should know

Maps are a part of just about every real estate agent’s website. And that’s kind of the problem.

Most maps simply sit there, showing pins and addresses. It’s a shame because there is so much more to see.

That’s why a data scientist and ethnographer joined forces to build a software product called Spatial, which adds a first-of-its-kind, human-driven social layer to your average rendering of cities, streets, highways, lakes and rivers.

Pulling from 31 public social media tools, Spatial’s patent-pending Illuminate technology lets users immediately visualize a city’s lifestyle landscape.


Spatial’s interface shows an extensive list of activity choices and presents the results in an overlay of color-shaded polygons. The social data layer functions as a heat map — the darker the shape, the more popular the activity in that place.

The social category options include, among others: Events, Hip, Foodie, Sights, Artsy, Nightlife, Healthy, Family and Culture.

It can get more specific, too. You can filter Nightlife for dance clubs, sports bars or live music. Foodie can be knocked down to food trucks, coffee lovers, organic or fine dining. You can search by Sights that are the most often photographed.

Spatial illustrates the hottest concert scenes, where people are congregating for yoga on the lawn or this evening’s play at the local university. Hovering and clicking over one of the polygons brings up the social happening’s name, location, date and time. The map coverage extends to more than 100 cities internationally.

Applications for the agent user

The product was designed to help people travel and explore new places, the latter of which is often folded into real estate client needs. Agents can use this map at the beginning of a buyer assignment, matching buyers’ lifestyle preferences with those communities that best reflect what they want in a new neighborhood.

An agent could continually monitor their Spatial map and juxtapose it with clients’ shifting home choices.

Listing agents could use Spatial to establish themselves as an expert in a new hot market. For example, you could find the popular places for fitness and outdoor activity, or hotbeds for fine dining, and target those ZIP codes with mailings about their communities.


Spatial is pulling data from any media source that is public and geo-tagged.

If you spend time at a particular bar and take a picture, write a caption and check-in, you are part of what makes Spatial so effective.

It’s not just Facebook powering Spatial. The software uses Foursquare, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, Tinder and a number of other platforms.

A total home run

I think Spatial’s ability to overlap its social intelligence layer on the Google or Yahoo map already on your website really makes it worthwhile.

Its mobile functionality is spot-on as well, providing users a copious volume of data in only one screen. With Spatial, you don’t need 10 browser tabs open to explore different facets of an area.


Either your tech partner or Spatial can help you roll it out, and it shouldn’t take more than 15 minutes.

This is a very cool tool for agents, and one that takes little time to understand and use.

Have a technology product you would like to discuss? Email Craig Rowe.

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