Craigslist launches maps feature for apartment listings

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Craigslist recently launched a new maps feature for apartment listings to let you see where your prospective new home might be without flipping back and forth between Google Maps and Craigslist. The new feature is available in many cities across the U.S. including Austin, Chicago, Dallas, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, San Francisco, Seattle, and Philadelphia.

Major metropolitan areas still missing out on the maps view include Boston and New York City; however, some individual listings (usually apartments without agency fees) in both cities will show a map at the bottom of the posting.

The new maps feature relies on OpenStreet Maps, the free, user-created worldwide mapping system, as well as Leaflet, a JavaScript tool that helps you create markers for online maps.

Craigslist's mapping feature is pretty straightforward. When you click on the apartment listings for a city, any area that has the new mapping feature enabled will display a new “map view” tab. Clicking on the tab gives you a scrollable map of the city. Apartment locations are indicated with map markers shaped as purple peace symbols (the Craigslist icon). Clicking on a marker gives you brief summary of the listing and you can click through to the regular listing for more information. The new maps are also embedded at the bottom of Craigslist apartment listings.

The new mapping feature also seems to be attracting pranksters who are posting bogus apartment listings in bizarre locations. The one above, for example, shows a “large junior one bedroom” advertised as “pure luxury” just off the Chicago coast in Lake Michigan. Luckily, the apartment is close to transportation, so no worries about having to swim to work every morning. Craigslist has flagged the post for removal.

Mapping for apartment listings comes to Craigslist after the site in June sued PadMapper, a service that took Craigslist apartment listings and displayed them on a map. The online classified site also named 3Taps in the suit, another company that harvested Craigslist data.

Craigslist began testing mapping in apartment listings in August. The new maps view rollout was first reported by The Next Web.

This story, "Craigslist launches maps feature for apartment listings" was originally published by TechHive.

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