Google Should Buy This – Real Estate Shopping With Google Earth

Ford Plant in Google EarthEd Kohler, Technology Evangelist, has just posted his recommendation (using Google Earth to illustrate) that Google should buy Ford’s Twin Cities Assembly plant in St. Paul, Minnesota (see here in Google Earth ). The plant is going on the market soon after financial troubles Ford has been experiencing. Ed points out that this prime piece of real estate is not only a rare large industrial property in the middle of town, but also has some really great features: 1) It has it’s own hydroelectric clean power source (a dam of the mighty Mississippi right next door); 2) it has large underground tunnels dug for trucks to mine sandstone – great for underground protected server farms; 3) very close to a major airport; 4) has it’s own train depot; and the list goes on. Ed also points out there might be some environmental clean-up issues since the plant has been there for many years. But, Google would come out looking like a hero if they handled it properly. Ed makes a compelling case. I wonder if he has ulterior motives?
I’m sure if Google considers this real estate that they will use Google Earth effectively to evaluate the opportunity with handy information about housing in the area, nearby parks, recreation, weather, environmental issues, nearest food establishments, etc. All they have to do is turn on the appropriate Google Earth layers and do some searching for relevant placemark collections. Turning on the “Geographic Web” layer I noticed there’s a Panoramio picture of a nice waterfall just west of the dam. It’s part of the “Hidden Falls Crosby Park”. The features available in Google Earth almost make me want to go shopping for real estate even though I’m not really in the market.

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