Thursday, August 04, 2005

Google Earth - Uses in a legal practice

Category: Miscellaneous Musings

A tool often used in our office is Google Earth (review and download at Google Earth). It is an amazing resource that "combines satellite imagery, maps and the power of Google Search to put the world's geographic information at your fingertips." Once downloaded (you must have a newer machine to run), you can literally fly over the earth from one location to another, and actually look at a location and its surrounds. Want to see a map overlay? Click a button. Looking for nearest hospital? Click a button. Beyond being a really neat tool to check out your house, there are some practical applications to consider

* In Elder Law .... Your parent lives far from you and is considering moving. You can get a birdseye view of the neighborhood and proximity to other locations.

* In Business Law ... Look at the locations of your customers and competitors business to get a sense of who they are. Small shop or large? Class A space or Class D space?

* In Real Estate ... Look at properties and their neighbors. If selling, see how yours compares to the neighborhoods in size and location. If buying, what else is around.

* In Estate Planning ... Plan a vacation to celebrate that your finally completed your estate plan, named guardians, did asset protection planning, and otherwise put an important aspect of your life in order.

Google Earth allows you to "see" things from your computer that otherwise would require an exploration trip in the car. There are many more creative uses, but it is also fun to fly around the world at the flick of your fingertips.

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