Pool Guy Taps Google Earth

Pool business in Google EarthA few days ago, KUTV of Salt Lake City reported on an interesting business model developed by Chris McCall of Provo, Utah. Chris is a young entrepreneur who has started a pool service and cleaning business and thanks to Google Earth, his business is doing very well. Rather than just sending a mailer to every house in a neighborhood, Chris got onto Google Earth and found the neighborhoods with the most pools. Then he drove out and wrote down the addresses of each house with a pool. He then used that mailing list to do more targeted marketing of his services. “It took me a long time to drive by each house,” says McCall. “It was worth it.
Too bad someone didn’t tell Chris that he could use a site like Zillow to identify the addresses of the houses he found. He could have saved some driving time.
I imagine this concept of using Google Earth/Maps for identifying new prospects could apply to many other businesses. Lawn companies could target houses with the biggest yards. Landscapers could target houses that look like they could use improvement – :-). I’ve heard of roof repair companies using Google Earth to find houses that might need work. There is a caveat for some of these things though – the aerial or satellite photos you see in Google Earth may be as little as a few months old to as much as four years old – so new work may have already been done. There are other mapping sites to look at as well – like Virtual Earth – which might give you photos taken at other times or from different angles to further evaluate prospects. The pool guy story via AllPointsBlog.
Here are some other ways Google Earth has been used to market a business, or sell products around Google Earth (for even more, look at the Business category for GEB):

About Frank Taylor

Frank Taylor started the Google Earth Blog in July, 2005 shortly after Google Earth was first released. He has worked with 3D computer graphics and VR for many years and was very impressed with this exciting product. Frank completed a 5.5 year circumnavigation of the earth by sailboat in June 2015 which you can read about at Tahina Expedition, and is a licensed pilot, backpacker, diver, and photographer.


  1. I hope he didn’t use the free copy of GE for commercial use.

  2. Matt Fox says:

    I suspect our government is using Google Earth in a similar way. Except, they are looking for homeowners who have added structures to their homes without getting permits. My father got a bill from the city for a patio cover he installed a couple years ago. The only way they could know this is by looking at a recent aerial photo. Not only do you get a bill from the city for the permit fees, but you have to pay extra property taxes every year. Of course I don’t know if they used Google Earth, or some other source for aerials.

  3. Advanced versions of Google Earth return the approximate address when you control-click on a street. Professional users enjoy several such power-tools.

  4. There are so many types of aerial photo maps online today that companies could use this type of search with almost any map.

  5. That is a shame about getting caught without a permit, but it really is a good idea to make sure projects as large as patio covers are built to pass code. In Houston, work done without a permits have begun being completely torn down. Could be worse!
    Patio Cover Houston Texas

  6. This couldn’t be more true – you can’t blame the government for using the same technologies we all use and more than likely take for granted.
    Permits and HOA approval are always import to secure before starting any project.
    patio cover houston

  7. I’ve never thought of using Google maps & Earth like that. We do roofing here in Sydney and I’m going to try this. Maybe I can use street-view to find the addresses of houses to save driving.

  8. micheal verns says:

    It really pays off to do some detailed research before venturing out. Just imagine the time and gas you save. Next time, check out internet first to achieve a bit of convenience Roofers Austin

  9. Great way of using Google Maps for his marketing strategy. Google really helps, great idea.

  10. We have been doing this for years and wanted to add another tip. If you use Google earth and plot points around the pool you can get an approximate size or see a spa attached or detached to do even more targeted advertising.

  11. I think now you can even do this with the regular Google maps and you can even zoom down to get a street level view. You don’t even have to use the Google Earth version.

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