Found this on SearchEngineWatch.com: Hot:Real Estate Industry Uses of Satellite/Aerial Imagery. It’s a longish post with about a million hyperlinks, but it’s worth it if you have the time. The databases that are being developed in this area are huge:
"The combo of online maps, satellite/aerial imagery, and real estate are a hot combo these days. This new Reuters article, Every inch of Netherlands viewable online, offers a profile of Funda.nl
a database that lists 75 percent of the Dutch property for sale and
gets 2.6 million visitors every month. It will soon provide 15 million
photographs growing it to 21 million images by year-end."
I’ll point out for those who haven’t figured this out yet (all six of you and you know who you are) that these are tools that until very recently were available only to the military. Even then, an object the size of an airplane hangar or a ICBM silo was just big enough to capture in any detail. Not anymore. Imagine seeing how a plot of land you’re considering buying in another city (or another state or another country) is affected by local roads, access to other towns, or changing coastlines in five minutes with a mouse click or two. Imagine planning a town (or even a city) from the ground up in advance based on the topography available through this medium. Imagine what will happen in the not-too-distant-future (somewhere in time and space) when the imaging and metadata tools get even more powerful.
I’m nowhere near smart enough to imagine all the ways this infrastructure can be used (an awful thing for a guy who writes scifi in his spare time to admit), but I have faith that plenty of others are that smart and will come up with amazing stuff.