Behind RPR: Visualizing and Exploring Data

The bond between real estate and GIS is not a new one – real estate was one of the first business/consumer markets to adopt GIS since the concept of geographic location is so integral to both. But exponential advancements in technology over the past few years – particularly with processing and storage capacities – have expanded what we can do with GIS and real estate applications, who can use them, and from where. 15 years ago (or so) back in college I developed a prototype real estate application for my GIS curriculum’s final project using a clunky out-of-the-box GIS software package. I think back about what I envisioned back then with that project and I have to laugh at myself a little, because all of it and so much more is actually being done today… and its all being done over the web. It really is amazing how far we’ve come.

GIS (Geographic Information Systems) integrates database technology, digital maps, and spatial analysis capabilities. This is a powerful combination: databases provide the robust storage and processing capabilities needed to handle massive sets of data, maps provide an excellent way of visualizing and exploring data, and spatial analysis capabilities enable useful interactive map tools and sophisticated location-based data processing. And with so much data available that’s in one way or another related to the real estate market these days, this is indeed an exciting time to be launching RPR™… the possibilities are seemingly endless! Our mission is to aggregate as much data as we can that’s related to the real estate market, and combine it with powerful search tools, interactive maps, and community features to form a well-designed, user-friendly application that provides REALTORS®  information they need to be local area experts, wherever that area may be.

In a few weeks I’ll follow up this post with more information on our search capabilities, map layers and tools, and share some of our plans for the road ahead.  In the meantime, it would be great to hear what you think is important to include in the RPR, with respect to data, search capabilities, map layers and tools.

3 replies
  1. Victor Lund
    Victor Lund says:

    Yes! This is really cool stuff.

    Information can now be easily mashed up around a property location or a person’s location. We have begun to understand the power of organization information around location through the use of location aware phones. It is great to be able to type in a broad keyword like dry cleaning and see all of the resources appear around your immediate location.

    The same experiences are beginning to emerge in browser technologies. Today, websites know where you are when you access their site by detecting the ip address of your internet service provider. It is far from a GPS location, but usually accurate to the county level. Wouldn’t it be great if real estate technologies would dynamically adjust to your location?

  2. Reggie
    Reggie says:

    Hey Victor, thanks for the comment on Mike’s post. We’re closely watching browser GPS technology and agree this is another huge step forward…and has the potential to greatly increase relevancy for users.


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