GeoCarta Has Moved

Feb 5, 2006

Virtual Land Rush: Web Promoter "Sells" Virtual Real Estate

"Land - they're not making any more of it," so goes the old saying. But one enterprising web promoter has found a way to create more real estate to sell, literally out of thin air. Gary Ewell recently announced the launch of The site lets visitors purchase any location on Earth, as long as it has not yet been sold. To generate publicity for the site, Mr. Ewell has been "selling" some of the world's largest cities on eBay - London recently went for $31. But if you're interested in buying a city or some other location, you don't have to wait for an auction, you can simply purchase it directly from the site.

So what exactly does the owner of a piece of virtual real estate get for his money? Basically they get to place an image of their choice over their property on a map of the world located at the website. The image can be an advertisement that is linked to another web site, or anything the owner wants. When visitors move their cursor over the owned property, a larger image of the ad appears.

Mr. Ewell says, "People are buying for the novelty factor, as advertising for a web site, and by investors who hope that future buyers will offer much more to obtain a favorite city."” Apparently he is having some success, Luiz Rogriques from won the first eBay auction for virtual real estate. He bought New York City for $51, which is slightly more than the Native Americans got the first time it was sold.

If you decide to purchase a piece of the virtual planet, let me know, I'll be glad to give you a plug here, as well as hit Mr. Ewell up for a commission. If you decide to purchase a piece of the Virtual Earth, you will need either a credit card or Paypal account though. While the real estate may be virtual, the cost is real.