Wacky Ideas from ETech 2004, day one

by chromatic

Related link: http://conferences.oreillynet.com/etech

The fine Kasei folks showed up in the lobby bar. Aside from talking about YAPC::EU 2004, Tony Bowden brought up a fantastic idea.

Suppose you're in the market for a house. You might be out and about in a nice neighborhood for some other reason — taking a walk, for example, or just driving around — and see an interesting house for sale.

What if you could send an SMS or some other easy request with your phone to allow you to find more information? It'd be useful to see photos of the inside of a house without having to make an appointment with a realtor and show up again.

It doesn't stop there. When GPS is more prevalent, history buffs could say "What's interesting about this building?" House buyers could say "What's the price and what does it look like inside?"

You could receive the data in a message or a URL to look up later, or you might just store the coordinates where you could look them up later. There are lots of options.

As well, there are privacy and advertisement concerns to consider, but the basic idea is pretty simple. It should be easy to correspond information to locations.

Does this already exist? I'm new to GIS geekery.


2004-02-11 04:08:36
Overthinking a simple problem
Aren't you overthinking this a little bit? GIS tells you a location; a URL is a location: just stick the URL on the for sale sign and be done with it. For giggles one could also use a barcode, an RFID tag etc.
2004-02-11 06:47:32
Recent experience
I just bought a house (closing soon) and some things like this have already been implemented by clever realtors and companies.

Most people that buy "For Sale By Owner" kits nowadays get the signs and the legal paperwork, plus a tube to put info in, PLUS a web address and suggestions on how to put up a virtual tour. While looking for a home, we were copying down URL's left and right.

Some realtors also make advanced use of voicemail and give "narrated tours" of the homes they are selling. They just place the phone number and the extension for the particular property on the sign (and in advertisements). Not bad.

I think it would be great if they set up a small (say $200) server running wifi, a web server and rendevous type technologies to allow you to check out the info with a wifi PDA (go Zaurus) or laptop. They could install this in the home and offer connectivity to the server only up to the curb.