If you’re an observant person or a fanatic of maps and aerial imagery, you probably already noticed that we updated our map images late last week by integrating the Microsoft Virtual Earth maps/aerial imagery with our underlying maps platform. As a result, you’ll now see aerial images that are more clear, crisp, and actually a bit closer when searching on Zillow.

Prior to integrating Microsoft’s Virtual Earth, we were hosting maps and satellite images we acquired from various sources. We have been using Microsoft Virtual Earth’s Bird’s Eye views of homes for some time now, and with the mapping technology of Microsoft Virtual Earth now integrated into the site, you’ll see improved maps and satellite images along with an expansion of coverage.

I’ve included some examples of some of the things you might notice off that bat:

UW Student Housing

New construction. Some of our developers who recently attended and lived on the University of Washington campus pointed out changes to the UW college apartments, which you can now see in the After image.


Closer aerial map views. Notice in the Before example there are more homes and streets showing at the most zoomed in-level,  whereas on the After map view, the image is closer resulting in a more detailed view of homes.

Points of Interest

Points of interest. In the top view, museums, stadiums and other prominent POI did not exist, but now you can see how close you live, or could live, to some interesting hot spots.

We hope you enjoy these updates.  As always, if you have feedback on ways we can further improve the site, please do let us know!

  • Joshua

    You seem to have killed of heatmaps with your “upgrade.” Sure hope they are coming back.

  • Overland Park Real Estate

    Those images do look a lot better. Was G your old source?

  • arjun


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  • Srinivas

    We lost the heatmaps from the upgrade. We will try to get them back. Our aerial image provider is GlobeXplorer.

  • anon

    Heat maps have been down for over a month now.

    Goodbye, Zillow.

  • http://zillow nick

    Heat Maps need to be brought back!!

  • Sunshine

    Good morning Mr. Srinivas Paluri,

    Quick question. The aerial views are much clearer. I purchased my home over a year ago and made many changes outside. The aerial view have not changed. My yard look the same as when I purchased the home. Will zillow ever updated the actual aerial views of homes. I had a pool installed and updated landscaping. It would be kewl to see an overview of my yard now on zillow. Have a great day, Sir!

  • Simon

    Are you guys using Live Search Maps API or Virtual Earth SDK and is the images served free from Microsoft or have to pay a fee? I’m planning to use Virtual Earth in my local application I’m building

  • Parker

    I like the aerial view from VE, it’s really good

  • ann carey

    I bought my house in Belleair Bluffs in 2005 and have had many updates but the same old picture keeps showing up on the zillow maps. When can I expect an updated picture? I have written once before and never got an answer.

  • Diane Tuman

    Hello: Our maps come from a variety of aerial and satellite providers and each are continually updated. In some places, our maps could be up to 2 or 3 years old or even more in some places.

    As a suggestion, you may upload recent photos of your home. Just go to the Overview page of the home and click “Add/Edit photos” button or link.

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