People googling other people to learn more about them has become part of modern life. A few months ago I was debating the best way to ship something to a company, so I brought up their location on Google Maps. On a whim, I switched to imagery and saw "head office" was a rural farm (incongruous).

It is common knowledge that lots of businesses (particularly small ones) hope to make themselves look bigger/different than they are. While I’ve always used a consumer mapping engine to figure out directions to a place I’m about to visit, I’ve recently started using aerial imagery to scout the location of some firms prior to doing business with them.

Because I made a decision from Victoria, I depended heavily on aerial imagery during the selection of the location for our new office in Toronto. And yes, I absolutely considered how people might read into possible office addresses based on a bird’s eye spatial query.

If I’m visiting from above, then I imagine lots of other people are doing it too. I wonder if we’re entering an era in which location as seen from above will become increasingly relevant for businesses (especially for small/online businesses that may never have a customer visit their premises). Will growing birds-eye visits fundamentally change site-selection criteria? Might lower-quality premises in a quality area be superior to a nice office in a lower-quality area? Might appearance from above be more relevant than appearance from ground level when determining “quality” and making decisions about where to establish an office?