One industry that stays cutting-edge on technology is the Real Estate industry. They were one of the first to introduce networked computing and then Web based solutions to allow realtors to submit and search for properties. The Multiple Listing Service (MLS) is essentially a giant pay-to-play database of all the properties for sale in the US. MLS then took it to the next level by offering their search via a Web service, so that other companies could provide the search and display functionality.
Well, it was only a matter of time, before these records were joined with satellite data. My friend Jon Beck, while researching property up in Washington, happened across just such a service — and he looked up my new house.