The Loveland Blog

Page 12

Survey Property at Light Speed: Site Control + Street View

By Alex Alsup on May 6, 2016

Evaluating Property with Site Control + Google Street View

Are you a real estate appraiser who needs to collect parcel-level data on properties and neighborhoods quickly? A city on a tight budget, trying to evaluate housing stock? A researcher collecting data on properties to inform your studies and analysis? If so, we've got a pretty awesome tool for you...

Watch the video below to see how you can use LOVELAND's Site Control to create custom property surveys, evaluate properties via Google Street View, and attach data to the assessment records of any of the more than 115 million parcels LOVELAND has online across the United States.

Now in Site Control: The Street View Surveyor

With Site Control and the Street View Surveyor, you can collect parcel level data on thousands of properties in record time.

But, it's not just Street View imagery at your property surveying fingertips: We can consume imagery via API from other third party street level and oblique / orthogonal imagery providers. If you're working with third-party providers of high resolution imagery, LOVELAND can feed your provider's imagery into Site Control, allowing you to code high resolution imagery in record time.

The LOVELAND Surveyor Interface in Action

When to Use Street View vs. In-Person Surveying

If you’re thinking, “But Street View is often years old. How can I trust its imagery when I know things change? I don't think it can replace a person who's familiar with the city out surveying in person.”

Trust us, we hear you. Nothing can replace a human in the street evaluating a property, talking to neighbors, and taking up-to-the-moment photography, but that can be an expensive proposition. Surveying via Street View can help you evaluate many properties quickly, and identify the ones that you think need in-person follow up.

When you decide it's time for a surveyor on the ground, they can hit the field with the LOVELAND App and survey using the exact same questions used in your Street View evaluation. This can augment your Street View surveying, giving you an up-to-the-moment understanding of conditions, and collecting insight from neighbors or occupants to gather deeper information on the property.

We want to help you focus your survey personnel on the properties and areas where you know conditions are more dynamic, and the human eye is far mightier than Street View’s.

Freshness of Street View Imagery

Street View’s drive-thru regularity varies widely, typically based on a city’s size. However, there are many places where LOVELAND has parcel coverage, and Street View drives regularly.

To help those of you who are interested in this tool and wondering how recent the Street View imagery is in your city, we’ve assembled a list of just a few of the major counties & cities where LOVELAND has parcel shapes and data, and Street View imagery is less than a year old.

Some major cities with Street View imagery less than a year old:

If you're curious when Street View imagery was last collected in your city or town, just go to Street View in your area and look in the lower right hand corner of the screen, as you see below:

Sample Results of a Street View Survey

In the map below, you can explore the results of a very simple one-question property survey conducted over 250 or so parcels on Chicago's South Side.

The job was to answer one question: Is the property vacant? Street View imagery in Chicago is very recent -- circa November 2015 -- so a quick scan of the area can reveal where vacancies are likely, and further follow ups with those properties can happen through in-person surveys of just those parcels, limiting the amount of on-the-ground time and expense.

Thank you, Google

Finally, a word for Google, if you’re out there, thank you for Street View. Its value is tremendous and we believe only beginning to be realized. We hope that we’re playing some small part in demonstrating what it can do. And I couldn’t end this without asking -- Please, pretty please, may we have API access to Street View Time Machine imagery?

That’s when the real fireworks start (#changeovertime).

Thank you from Team LOVELAND.

Interested in a Loveland API?

By Paula on May 3, 2016

Greetings from Loveland HQ!

We've been hearing from friends and fans alike that having access to a Loveland API would be really helpful. Since there's no better place to get suggestions and feedback, we're going straight to the source.

If you or someone you know is interested in a potential Loveland API:


We want to hear how you’d like to use a Loveland API to power your projects and ideas with parcel data and shapes. If you have ideas, let us know. And if you've got any general questions, you can reach us at any time at

With love,
Team Loveland

Digitizing Maps Showing Locations of Flint's Lead Pipes

By Alex Alsup on January 30, 2016

Ari Shapiro from NPR posted a photo on Instagram with the comment: "These are the maps that will help people in #flint figure out which pipes are made of lead and need to be replaced."

At first glance it looks like an old Sanborn map, but we don't think it is. Perhaps it's some kind of engineering map drawn up by Flint itself. As best we understand, no digitized version of the map exists. But if the people of Flint are to understand exposure, impact, and removal needs, they'll need to digitize that data and match it up with other existing information, like which houses are occupied.

I took a stab at digitizing just the bit of the map captured in Ari's photo using LOVELAND's Site Control software. That's what it's designed for -- capturing parcel based data in an updatable, sharable format, with multiple data sources overlaid. So if we can get at those Sanborn maps, we can digitize the rest for the city.

Below is the map I made digitizing the data in Ari's image. In Ari's photo he points to a notation on a property that reads "L+C". I assume this refers to the type of pipes connected to the property, though I'm not certain -- maybe "Lead + Copper"? I've highlighted in red in this map the properties in Ari's photo that had the "L+C" notation.

Click any parcel to see the data from the Sanborn map. If you click the "Basic" tab on a property, you'll see imagery of the property and ownership and assessment information.

If you have info on these maps, please let us know

Sample Flint Sanborn Map Digitized in Site Control

Press Release: A SCHOOL DISTRICT IN CRISIS: Detroit’s Public Schools 1842-2015

By Jerry Paffendorf on January 24, 2016

For Immediate Release: A Highly Visual Look at Detroit Public Schools From 1842-2015

A brand new report called A SCHOOL DISTRICT IN CRISIS: Detroit’s Public Schools 1842-2015, by Detroit-based mapping company LOVELAND Technologies, is now available at

It is a highly visual, very readable, deeply comprehensive look at Detroit Public Schools since its beginning, told in pictures, maps, stats, and common language.

Included in the report are hundreds of new photographs taken by LOVELAND surveyors who visited every single DPS property, rare historic photographs mined from archives, an interactive map of all 470+ Detroit public schools that have ever existed since 1842, and an even-handed narrative about issues the school system has faced throughout its history.

As DPS teachers protest poor school conditions, and as the eyes of the world turn to Michigan trying to understand the impact of our Emergency Management laws, this report is a timely primer on where DPS came from, how it evolved, and where it currently stands, financially, physically, and socially.

It is designed to be readable by and informative to the general public, teachers, students, and policy makers.

The report is the result of more than a year and a half of independent research and surveying by LOVELAND Technologies. All of the content is being made freely available, and to cover costs, LOVELAND is inviting readers to pay what they want, hoping to raise $25,000 from people paying as little as $1.

Please feel free to link to the report, use images, pull quotes, or remix the content however you would like, with a link back and an attribution to LOVELAND Technologies.

For questions please email or call 313-338-3825.

Thank you very much,


LOVELAND Technologies

1514 Washington Blvd, Suite 201

Detroit, MI 48226