Search beyond, behind and around a listing

Geolocation shop SimpleGeo released a new iPhone app today.

It’s a pretty straightforward app that shows off the depth of the data platform they’ve built. It’s easy to use, but also shows us just how powerful a real estate search tool could really get.

Firing up the app quickly pinpoints your position. Then, by adding a series of layers, it starts to reveal where you truly are. It really feels like you’re peeling back the mysteries behind your location.

Layers may be geographic boundaries like neighborhoods, zip codes or congressional districts. OK, so those are pretty boring. But additional layers reveal nearby historical landmarks from Wikipedia, other people’s photos from Flickr and even wildlife sightings from Project Noah. There’s about a half-dozen in all.

That’s pretty cool.

Here’s a snapshot of what was around me when I was at lunch today.

Each layer exposes unknown aspects of your physical location. It’s exciting to use. It adds a sense of discovery to every new place. I ate all this up, along with my sandwich.

Clearly, there is room for this in real estate. “Lifestyle search” has been a buzzword in the industry for some time, but to date it has largely been focused on nearby amenities, schools, area demographics and the like. All interesting data points to be sure, but we can go deeper.

When I’m standing in front of a home, I want information about that home, but I also want context – as much as I can get my hands on.

SimpleGeo is showing us a world where this is possible. Where deep data about places is at our fingertips.

The best news is this app is simply a proof of concept, whipped up by their summer intern. SimpleGeo makes all of this data available through an API – so anyone could build this. A mobile real estate search tool with deep, deep contextual data.

Someone please do it. I can’t wait.