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AerialSphere ready to take property search to new heights

Phoenix-based 3D aerial photography company has earned patents for its hi-res, high-elevation photography process that accurately puts lat-long coordinates on every pixel. With new funding, 70 markets are on the radar
Experience location

AerialSphere is a 3D aerial photography service that uses a patented process to capture entire metropolitan areas for advanced property search and marketing.

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AerialSphere creates 360-degree aerial maps for real estate search and marketing.

Platforms: Browser
Ideal for: Brokerages, teams and individual agents; professionals who sell new construction; those in fast-growing markets

Top selling points

  • Highly unique way to search
  • More visually informative than Google Earth maps
  • Patented processess
  • API integrations
  • Not limited by drone regulations

Top concerns

Advanced functionality and data overlays are still a ways out, as the company itself has only recently launched. But the flight-plan is expanding quickly as a result of a recent Series A funding round.

What you should know

Why is map search important?

Because homebuyers are more lifestyle-driven than ever before. They want to know how close to the beach a house might be or where the closest middle school is located. People want to walk, bike, and be close to friends and craft breweries.

Maps help online homeshoppers visually determine all this stuff.

Plus, when it’s a map like what AerialSphere offers, it’s also a damn addicting way to keep people on your website.

Think of it as Matterport from a half-mile in the sky: move around, zoom-in, jump to distant parts of a city, zoom in on a listing.

Co-founder DJ Vegh owned a drone business, is a pilot, and helped build the technology behind his company, who he runs alongside Mike Smith.

The two managed to earn five patents for the four-camera attachment and photography process they use to capture their vivid, informational landscapes.

Able to fly between 1,500 feet and 2,000 feet, the team’s Cessna 206 does 50-mile-long, 1-mile-wide serpentine loops of an urban area to capture every pixel of the market. It took them under a day and six tanks of fuel to photograph greater Phoenix. And that’s sprawl-city.

What makes AerialSphere so unique, beyond the patents, is that its image processing “geo-rectifies” each fly-by capture, resulting in a latitude and longitude reading of every pixel in an image — that means they can give the exact coordinates of a fire hydrant. Or, more practically speaking, it means every single property in a scanned MSA is in their database.

That’s an absurd amount of property data.

Think about what that can mean when they eventually partner with rich data miners such as TopHap or forward-thinking portals like Homesnap., a real estate website developer and marketing technology provider, has fully integrated AerialSphere’s imagery via its API into more than 400 client sites throughout Phoenix and Tuscon and embedded live MLS data.

While the company is mapping itself a future full of new features and ways to leverage its aerial imagery, it already has some slick tools ready to go.

In addition to the MLS data overlays, I was shown a use of the Google Places API that enables queries for neighborhood amenities around a subject property, such as “nearby dog parks.” It can also instantly jump to a Google Street View of a specific property or screenshot a high-resolution view of your listing’s neighborhood.

With its recent funding, AerialSphere plans to add five more planes to its fleet to start knocking out flights over 60-70 metros, starting with Las Vegas. It is almost finished with San Diego. Vegh told me they sometimes use a helicopter.

Whereas drones are able to quickly capture a single home or small community, they are very limited in distance and altitude, not to mention meta-data absorption. In fact, AerialSphere makes standard drone footage seem rather rudimentary.

Practically speaking, there are marketing advantages to this kind of map content, as well as higher concept usages like appraisal, environmental assessments and site selection.

AerialSphere has great applications for listing presentations. And agents who specialize in corporate relocation can use its tools to fly around communities as they relate to the subject company’s location.

AerialSphere’s technology has been around a while, but its developers are just now understanding its applications and putting them to use for the real estate industry.

It’s no doubt a slick, captivating way to search for homes and, eventually, visually share acres of visual demographic data, and I’m excited see what’s on their radar 12 months from now.

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

Craig C. Rowe started in commercial real estate at the dawn of the dot-com boom, helping an array of commercial real estate companies fortify their online presence and analyze internal software decisions. He now helps agents with technology decisions and marketing through reviewing software and tech for Inman.

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