Outside.in is a site I visit with some frequency. It compiles articles from local news sources and blogs, giving you a “one stop shop” for local info. It can, with the right type of article, also drive some traffic to your blog — local traffic at that, which is really what a real estate blogger wants as the odds of someone in Phoenix buying a Phoenix home is significantly greater than say someone in Wasilla, Alaska buying a home here (though curiously, we’ve had 394 visitors from Alaska this year, including 8 form Wasilla — Governor Palin, have your people contact my people…).
Last week Outside.in introduced “StoryMap” – a nifty little widget / navigation tool that displays blog posts based on the location of what the post is about. It takes geocoded information from a post and plots it on a map. Here are mine from the last three months:
I’ve been lax in properly tagging and geocoding very localized posts, because to be honest, it’s a pain and there really didn’t seem to be much point in it. But with the ever expanding blogiverse there seems like there is good reason for making it easier for people to find location specific information.
Without spewing too much technobable and boring you to tears, GeoRSS.org has some pretty cool tools for geotagging blog posts and RSS feeds and there is a growing list of media providers and applications that use geotagging for RSS feeds, photos, and web pages. With the constant evolution of “wearable” electronics like smart phones, MP3 players, GPS systems and who knows what in the future, the possibilities of what geotagging may become will really make your head hurt if you ponder it for awhile.
The applications for real estate are mind-boggling. After all, much of real estate is location base. There are already applications out there that will flag a home for sale in your car’s GPS system. GPS enabled phones allow you to find out what is around you. If you’re looking at a home and want to know where the closest Starbucks is, or where your kids elementary school would be, you can find that out. By geotagging your RSS feed, you can have your blog posts aggregated and displayed based on a users actual or desired location. One day in the not-to-distant future I think people will be using GPS and RSS and they won’t even know they’re doing it.
I’ve installed the Outside.in StoryMap widget in the “Widget test area” at the bottom of the right sidebar. Once we see how it plays with everything else, it will likely earn a permanent spot here. Navigation on a traditional blog leaves much to be desired, and StoryMap may be one small step toward making it easier to find location-specific info here, and elsewhere.