Cube Cities Blog

The Cube Cities Blog

29 November 2012

Retrofit Chicago's Commercial Buildings Initiative

This past June, Chicago's Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced the "Retrofit Chicago" program, a private effort to make 14 office and hotel buildings downtown Chicago more energy-efficient. The voluntary program is projected to cut the energy costs of all structures by $5 million a year and reduce energy consumption by 20%. The following buildings are participating:

  • The Wrigley Building, 400-410 North Michigan Avenue 
  • 515 North State Street, 515 North State Street
  • Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers, 301 East North Water Street
  • NBC Tower, 454 North Columbus Drive
  • InterContinental Chicago Magnificent Mile, 505 North Michigan Avenue
  • The Marquette Building, 140 South Dearborn Street
  • Hyatt Center, 71 South Wacker Drive
  • One Financial Place, 440 South LaSalle Street
  • Fifth Third Center, 222 South Riverside Plaza
  • The AT&T Building, 225 West Randolph Street
  • CNA Headquarters, 333 South Wabash Avenue
  • Santa Fe Building, 224 South Michigan Avenue
  • 333 North Michigan Avenue, 333 North Michigan Avenue
  • Franklin Center, 227 West Monroe Street & 222 West Adams Street

Click here to see a high resolution flight of the buildings.

More information on the program here.

25 November 2012

Cube Cities Direct Link: "View it in Cube Cities"

Use our new "View it in Cube Cities" button to link to buildings and available space on Cube Cities. Click the icon to open the Empire State Building.

Use this button to link to buildings and listings

To find the link for any listing, click here to locate the listing in Cube Cities, and then copy the URL after the listing has been selected. Below is an example of an office listing in Vancouver and the arrow indicates the URL that points to it. Cube Cities embeds the precise camera view for the listing in the URL so brokers and property managers can be sure their listings are viewed exactly as planned.

Jones Lang LaSalle (Josh Owen's) listing in Vancouver, viewed in Cube Cities

21 November 2012

The Coming Changes To Real Estate With Google Earth 7

Earlier this month Google released Google Earth 7 (beta) which also updated the latest version of the Google Earth web plugin. Two significant changes for how real estate is showcased in Google Earth have been revealed. The first is a change to how colours are displayed, due to a new 3D software rendering method that Google has introduced with version 7. The result is a gradient effect on polygon surfaces that adds a new brightness, especially to our visualizations at Cube Cities. See the differences in the screenshots of Chicago's skyline below.

New Colouring in Google Earth 7
Old Colouring in Google Earth 6
Secondly, Google has introduced their auto-generated, 3D city models to the desktop with Google Earth 7. This means that users will see entirely new cities of 3D building imagery when updating to the latest version, and will see the same 3D building content that is visible on Google Earth for iPad for cities with this new coverage. Currently the largest cities with this coverage are Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle and Denver, but the list is growing. The video clip below shows transitions between the legacy building layer (consisting mainly of the 3D buildings from Google's 3D Warehouse that was recently sold to Trimble) and Google's new 3D imagery. The direction of travel through San Francisco is Northwest along the Market Street corridor toward the Ferry Building.

Transitions between Google Earth's legacy building layer and new 3D imagery

Access to both the legacy and new 3D buildings remains available through the Google Earth web plugin in cities that have coverage from both sources. However, beginning with Google Earth 7 on the desktop, users will by default be shown the new 3D imagery in cities where there is coverage. Google has emphasized that their new 3D imagery technology will improve and the coverage will continue to expand.

Click here to download Google Earth 7.

19 November 2012

Direct Links To Listings

Use this widget to show direct links to space in 3D on your webpage. 

Direct URL links to office and retail space listings are now available on Cube Cities. When clicking on a listing in the search results, the Address Field in the browser will automatically change to a direct URL for the listing. This makes it easier for users to share listings (especially on Twitter) and creates a new, unique page for every available space. See the example below and click here to see this new functionality in action.

8 November 2012

Available Space in Chicago's Landmark London Guarantee Building

Here's a great example of how Cube Cities visualizes available office space using the London Guarantee Building. This famous landmark built in 1923 and managed by MB Real Estate in Chicago's East Loop currently has 18 different available suites. Explore it's current availabilities on the Cube Cities website by searching Chicago here.

London Guarantee Building from the Chicago river

Available space as seen in Cube Cities

Click the eyeball icon on the tools menu to see the floor view from any available space. The London Guarantee Building has amazing views up the Magnificent Mile of the Wrigley Building, Tribune Tower and the InterContinental Hotel.

View from the 17th floor of the London Guarantee Building

1 November 2012

Donald Trump's Office Windows

See Donald Trump's office on the 26th Floor of Trump Tower with this link to a Shared Grid. With Shared Grids, you can highlight any floor or window in any building, and then add comments and a URL to the selection. Begin by going to the Grids page and searching for a building. Once selected from the search list the building will load covered with square grids that you can turn on or off by clicking them. Make sure to sign in so you can save the work and exchange it privately or share it with the Cube Cities community.

To explore all the Grids that are shared on Cube Cities, click the city icons on the Grids page. You will find Shared Grids scattered throughout cities, marking them up with building, floor and window-specific information.

Central Park View from Donald Trump's Office Windows
Donald Trump's Office Windows Marked Up in Cube Cities Grids