When one considers buying or renting a house, one of the traditional questions that is asked is how much light and sun the house will receive in each season. One can get an idea depending on the orientation, but now we have tools that allow us to know how much sun our house is going to get at each moment of the day… and of the year.
One of those tools is Cercalia RealState, a platform developed by the Spanish company Nexus Geographics. With her we can simulate the behavior of the sun in any location, and thereby estimate the light and shadows that house will have at any given time. His tool, which is available here, is undoubtedly a small wonder for those who are looking for a house with the desired orientation.
A fantastic solution for the real estate market
In Xataka we have been able to speak with Save Carbondirector of Cercalia at Nexus Geographics, who told us how this company, “a historical figure in the GIS sector” was born in 1997.
This company has offices in Barcelona and Gerona, and has a team of just over 60 people and a turnover that according to forecasts will exceed four million euros in 2021.
Its solutions are aimed at both the public and private sectors, and were among the first to offer “our own Google Maps”. The first version is in fact from 2002, and some time later Cercalia would be born, which was initially oriented to logistics issues.
Today this cartographic platform and solution – a discipline in danger of extinction – is much more important and receives some 15 million requests a day. As Carbó explained to us, the main focus is logistics: They have clients such as Envialia, which takes advantage of Cercalia to optimize routes, but they also have clients such as Interfacom, one of the largest technology groups in the taxi sector, which uses this platform “for all its GEO functionalities”.
There is also a second focus of business, that of insurance companies, and here Carbó highlighted how in Cercalia they have a system for locating roads and kilometer points —something important when sending cranes to points where problems occur— that works in Spain, France and Portugal and is not even available on Google Maps.
Especially striking is the third business focus, which is the real estate what concerns us With Cercalia RealState, this company has managed to respond to one of the great demands of the market: know how and when they will have direct light and shadows in their homes.
The company straddles payment solutions such as Google Maps (“the most expensive,” says Carbó), or Here and Mapbox (the other two major references, somewhat more affordable “if you don’t consume much”) and free and open solutions like OpenStreetMaps.
In fact, indicated this manager, Cercalia is a solution that is more affordable than Here or Mapbox but also offers an annual flat fee that tries to conjugate two elements that can fit its clients.
Look, in that garden the sun shines until 5:00 p.m., perfect for dinners with friends
Precisely part of this effort in the real estate area is this platform whose demo —available here— can be used directly through a web browser. With it it is possible to navigate through any geographical point of our country and achieve a bird’s eye view in which we can also activate that “Sun lighting” option.
By doing so we will see how the shadows produced by the sun are projected in different urban areas.
The representation of the buildings is really surprising for its precision, but it is more so the fact of verifying that as we advance or delay the time, the shape of the shadows projected on the different areas of the map moves accurately and in real time.
The result is surprising for the aforementioned precision and for adjusting to that path of light and shadows that also adjusts perfectly to other times of the year: we can choose any day and any time, and the representation will be truly faithful.
Obviously there are elements not covered (trees) and certain limitations, but they are already working on solving an important one for the real estate market: how many hours of light does a flat receive per day on average.
This function will come later and will be available to customers in the sector who request it, and will undoubtedly be another of the most striking features of a platform that is quite a discovery. if you are looking for a house to buy and rent and you take into account that important factor of orientation.
Cercalia, yes, is not the only one to offer something like this. Our Genbeta colleagues were talking these days about Shadowmap, a mobile application that also offers a web version and that allows something similar to what Cercalia RealState proposes. There is also a demo called F4Map with a similar function, although not as configurable.
Also curious in this regard is Sun Surveyor, a mobile application available both on iOS —last year it was analyzed in Applesfera— and on Android. It is mainly aimed at filmmakers and photographers, and there is also some competition here, as shown by solutions such as ‘The Photographer’s Ephemeris’ or Sun Intervals, which are somewhat more specific.
The option put forward by Cercalia – which also has its powerful “no shadow” mapping service here – is of course especially noteworthy, and it is surprising how can be a useful (and even fun) way to find that house that has the perfect orientation.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism