Mr Ho Chin Soon (何振顺) recent talk in The Edge Investment Forum on Real Estate 2010 has enlightened me about the use of Google Earth and Google Maps in property investment.
Google Earth enables us to zoom in to the property of our interest, survey its surrounding environment and nearby township, assess the road systems and buildings, measuring distance from city center, know the nearby amenities, etc. You can also watch Panoramio photos and/or Youtube videos of selected locations uploaded by contributors in the Internet.
One of the powerful feature of Google Earth is it Historical Imagery, which enables us to view the historical satellite images of the location, and see its change and development over time.
For example, we are able to see the rapid development of Kota Damansara on the northern part of Klang Valley, by looking at its Historical Imagery in 2004...
Meanwhile, Google Maps is directly accessible with your web browser, and enable you to easily switch between Satellite view, Map view and Terrain view.
No doubt that Google Earth and Google Maps can help you study the area of interest, find out the township developments and conditions of the surroundings, before you actually pay a visit to the site. They can also give you a clearer picture about the present and past developments and constructions of a location, and probably let you discover some growth area that you might be interested to invest in.