Well, I did it. I finally got around to rewriting PadMapper in a newer version of Google Maps. I'm probably one of the last developers on the planet to upgrade to Google Maps v3. Why? Well, I really, really liked Google Maps v2. That, and I wrote more extensive v2 code than most, and many of the features I had been using weren't added to v3 immediately (or at all, in some cases) so upgrading was particularly daunting for me. But that's why a lot of the visual styling just changed. Also, if there are any bugs that have cropped up, please let me know! (firstname.lastname@example.org). The upgrade brings with it some neat features and refinements that I found time to toss in, or that v3 offered. First, I could finally add the official Google mass transit overlay, which is a lot cleaner/neater than my old one. If you ever used it, you know that mine looked like a kid drew it with crayons on top of a nice Google map. Second, for those of you with car storage anxiety, I added the … [Read more...] about Massive Rewrite in Google Maps V3!
Craigslist has decided to make it impossible for the PadMapper bar to function with their listings, so now, those listings won't have the PadMapper bar on them. Sorry everyone. If you want a consistent experience, you can filter out Craigslist listings by clicking Show More Filters and looking to the bottom to see the source filters. … [Read more...] about Good night, sweet PadMapper Bar
Every so often, I get requests from researchers for rental data/statistics to analyze, and they frequently yield some interesting papers and visualizations. One of them just posted some great visualizations of median rents and rent distributions that she extracted from some PadMapper data. She seems to have been more rigorous with her assumptions than most infographic makers looking for pageviews typically seem to be, so it's worth a look. And it's just plain interesting. Here's a geographic (and interactive!) map-based breakdown of median rents A violin plot of the distributions And the associated blog post for the geographic breakdown … [Read more...] about Neat Rental Analytics
You may have noticed a small addition to the filter box - a little checkbox called "Vacation". It's probably temporary, but for now that will let you filter for/filter out nightly/weekly vacation rentals. The prices are still quoted by the month, though, so if you see any outrageously expensive seeming places, that might be why. I'm thinking about doing something more specifically tailored to the vacation rentals to replace the little checkbox, because the current search interface isn't a great fit for them - for example, date availability is a pretty basic part of searching for a vacation rental, and monthly prices, while nice for their consistency with the rest of the site, are not usually what people care about in a vacation rental. So, I have more work to do. But for now, I thought it would be interesting to include them and see whether people found that useful. If you have any feedback or notice any issues that probably aren't things I just haven't gotten to yet, please send … [Read more...] about Vacation Rentals!
The following is a post mostly written for me by the folks at UberSignal.com, who sell cell phone reception boosters. They didn't pay me anything to post this, I just thought it was useful because this has been one of my issues with my place, hopefully you find it useful too. --- Everyone has a list of “deal breakers” when searching for a new apartment. These can include from price, storage space, windows, and many times, cell phone reception. While you can’t change many of these items, poor cell phone reception is actually one which can be solved. We’ve put together a list of options for ways to improve cell phone reception and make it that much easier to find your perfect place. 1. Jump Ship The first option is the most straightforward, and that is to switch cellular carriers. If you’re not in a contract and another carrier provides better service in your apartment, switching carriers might be the easiest way to solve your signal problem. Unfortunately, most people in … [Read more...] about How to Solve Crappy Cell Phone Reception at Home
I've been wrestling with whether to bring back Craigslist listings in the search results. I've found a way to include them that I'm told is legally kosher since it doesn't touch their servers at all, but it still seems somewhat dickish to go against their wishes in this, and I've always had a lot of respect for what they've done for the world. Also, court seems like it'd be no fun. But then I did some back of the envelope estimates of how much of people's time and effort it would waste if I didn't, and it became clear how much less nice it is to waste the time of millions of apartment hunters out of stubbornness or some clearly inaccurate assumption about the will of the community. If it takes half of PadMapper's millions of monthly users 3 hours longer now to find an apartment, that's over 350 man-years wasted per month, or 5 lifetimes. That really pisses me off. Apartment hunting is an activity which, unless you enjoy it or it teaches you something, adds no value to the world, and … [Read more...] about Bringing Craigslist Back