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Last time I wrote about Booli, the Swedish real estate search engine service, for six months ago, we spoke about both inspirational search, open API and new markets as the next steps in Booli’s road map. They’ve certainly stayed focused, and on the road. 

For two months ago they launched their open API, having already six sites using it, and today they launched a new feature called “Booli Inspiration (I found the picture above while browsing pools).

What it does is that it simply categorizes all the pictures of properties for sale by tags, e.g. “Living room”, “Bedroom”, “Bathroom”, “Balcony”, letting the user then browse properties by pictures in the selected category instead of, for example, area or price.

I’ve been testing the feature for some time now and I must say it’s pretty addictive, whether you’re really looking for inspiration, a new apartment, or just checking out other people’s homes. It’s a bit like reading an interior design magazine, except you get to choose if you want to read the entire magazine, or just go through all the bedroom coverage. With Booli Inspiration one can “like” a picture (no disliking!), the most “liked” pictures then being listed in a category of their own. When browsing the pictures the most relevant information such as price, number of rooms and address of an object is displayed, the entire description of an object being just one click away. Browsing a lot of pictures, trust me – it’ll be a lot, makes me want to save the pictures of my liking to my favourites for future inspiration. I would also like to get a nice thumbnail index of the pictures so I could easily go back to a certain one.

Google keeping up the pace

When it comes to search engine business there’s no time for rest for Booli. Google didn’t exactly close for holiday after their launch of the Google Wave. The team down in Australia has apparently been working simultaniously on combining Google Maps and search technology to make it easier to find property on Google Maps. The new feature was released for only 10 days ago. As I tried it out, there were only few objects found in Stockholm, but it worked, and one gets the picture.

Booli was recently nominated as the best real estate site in Sweden by the annual Internetworld Top100.

So, now we just wait for new markets to launch?

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