In a move that promises to increase competitive pressure on real estate search sites like Zillow.com, Google on Thursday said that it had enhanced Google Maps to make it easier to find real estate listings.
The "More" dropdown menu at the top edge of the map area, not to be confused with the "more" dropdown menu used for Google Account navigation, now includes a "Real estate" checkbox that reveals location-appropriate property listings.
Checking the "Real estate" checkbox populates Google Maps' left hand panel with property listing, which can be further refined using the search criteria.
Using Google Maps, users can search for listings that are for sale, for rent, or foreclosures.
Real estate information is now available on Google Maps in the US, Australia, New Zealand and India.
Google Maps product manager Andrew Foster says that Google Maps now includes more information about areas if you pan around and zoom in.
"There are small icons on the map showing the names and location of businesses and prominent features of the neighborhood," he said in a blog post. "This means that during your property search, you'll be able to tell at a glance just exactly what shops can be found down the road from where you're looking, all without typing!"
In July, Google made real estate queries automatically bring up a detailed "one-box" result. Previously, users had to select "real estate" from the search options menu.
Google that month also simplified the process of listing entries for real estate brokers.
Earlier this week, Google introduced another Maps feature, a beta version of Google Maps Navigation, an online navigation service for Android 2.0 devices that provides turn-by-turn, GPS-guided travel directions.
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