Meet the man behind Google Maps
This week on Tech Talk Radio, Emily Wright and Sam McClary talk to the man behind Google Maps about how real estate remains “conservative” when it comes to data in an overwhelmingly digital world.
Geospatial technologist Ed Parsons joined Google from Ordnance Survey in 2007 and has been instrumental in the launch of Google Earth and Google Streetview. He says that mapping the world has never been more efficient now that “everyone” is a surveyor but urges real estate to embrace its power to chart the globe through data.
“At Ordnance Survey we would send 100 surveyors out every week day to map Britain,” he says. “Now, through mobile phone use everyone is a surveyor. There are tens of thousands, if not millions, of people contributing data and mapping the world every hour.
“Nothing much has changed in the last 10 years regarding the technology itself, it’s just that now everyone has access to it through their smart phones. We all carry around in our pockets the same geospatial technology that was developed to launch intercontinental ballistic missile submarines.
“And yet, from the outside looking in, property remains very conservative in terms of its use of data. It still seems rather craft-based. Every building is unique and built on a bespoke case-by-case basis. It is not data driven enough in a world where almost everything else we do is becoming more and more digital and efficient.”
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