Category Archives: Urban Tech

MacroMarkets Home Price Indexes

MacroMarkets offers some of the most sophisticated housing market indexes in the world. The numbers are based on rather complex formulations.
From their site:

“In May 2006, in partnership with MacroMarkets, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) successfully launched Housing Futures and Options for U.S. residential real estate. This landmark development created the first exchange-traded financial products for directly investing in and hedging U.S. housing.”

The five-year Miami-Dade Home Price Index (based on U.S. Census Bureau MSAs):


Filed under Urban Tech

Urban Tech: Flash Earth

Flash Earth offers filters that allow the user to employ different mapping technologies without going back and forth between websites. Flash Earth is not good for diagramming and drawing on maps as none of the features are available. Correct me if I’m wrong. The site discloses that they use mapping technology from different providers without official consent so it may not be up for long, but while it still is, check it out.

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Filed under Urban Tech

Map/Satellite Imagery No Substitute For Being On the Ground

In analyzing the urban transformation of Miami, using tools such as Google Earth, Microsoft Virtual Earth, and Google Maps/StreetView is extremely useful. However, when making final determinations, there is no substitute for surveying the reality on the ground–venturing out into the city, street by street. To illustrate this further, let’s take a look at these images:

A. GOOGLE MAPS (Satellite View): No Activity on Nordica Site

B. VIRTUAL EARTH (Birds-Eye View): Nordica Under Construction

C. On the Ground View: Nordica Topped off

Virtual Earth definitely has more updated satellite images. The more user-friendly Google Maps has satellite imagery that is pretty outdated–although Street View is recently updated. There is no doubt that both offer great tools for analyzing urban development patterns, but if you aren’t on the ground, you don’t know smack.


Filed under Maps and Illustrations, Urban Tech

Spine 3D: Revolutionizing New Construction Sales

Spine 3D Animation Studios represents a window to the future. Surely you’ve seen their animations. They bring the future to life with life-like animations of projects. Spine 3D represents a truly novel segment of the real estate industry. Their animations and renderings allow for an idea to materialize in the mind of the buyer before it becomes a reality.

Sales agents need only let Spine 3D animations play on plasma T.V.’s and let the videos soften up buyer defenses. These sophisticated and highly detailed animations aim to capture the project’s lifestyle, architecture, and location in one shot. They are designed to stir positive emotions in the viewer. Spine 3D does it best.

Image: Rendering of the lobby at the Ivy

The animations provide detailed depictions of the showcased building’s features both inside and out. One gets a sense of the interior dimensions, furnishings, and overall style. A sales center without one of these animations is like a rapper without a music video.

The studio was founded in Miami in 2000 by three architects. Just in time for the boom. In Miami alone, they have produced animations and renderings for Paramount Bay, 500 Brickell, Everglades, Ivy, Epic, Mei, Axis, Solaris, 50 Biscayne, Infinity 2, Capital at Brickell, and many more.

Spine 3D’s ingenuity has reshaped the way the industry views new construction sales. They are the self proclaimed national leaders in this type of animation and it seems like no coincidence that their creative impulse was sparked in Miami.

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Filed under Architects, Urban Tech