Craigslist adds maps (quietly)

craigslist adds maps quietly mapHistorically, there’s always been one step missing from trawling Craigslist for the latest rental opportunities, cheap garden furniture or job opportunities: The need to have some sense of geography or go to another site that can help you with that. But no longer – or, at least, no longer for two specific metro areas, which are part of a pilot program to add maps to the free listing site.

Without any fanfare, Craigslist added embedded maps to the housing ads for the San Francisco Bay Area and Portland, Oregon sections of the site last week, using data from OpenStreetMap, a service that describes itself a “the Free Wiki World Map” that is “created by people like you” (The OpenStreetMap Foundation alerted the world to the change via Twitter on August 21). One of the reasons for the relative silence surrounding the trial is that it seems to be somewhat unevenly applied; maps appear on some listings, but not on others, apparently reliant on whether or not the original posting including an actual address or not. The maps, then, are not added by the posters’ choice.

Oddly enough, even though the maps are dynamic – The user can move around the area, as well as zoom in and out of the area – they don’t appear to be hosted on OpenStreetMap’s site; Richard Fairhurst, a board member with the nonprofit OSM organization told Talking Points Memo in an email that “They [Craigslist] appear to be hosting the maps themselves.”

As TPM points out, Craigslist is merely the latest name brand to turn to OpenStreetMaps’ offerings to give users a chance to get their geographical bearings; so far this year, the non-profit has added Apple, Wikipedia and Foursquare to its user roster, with iPhone and iPad apps expected to begin using the free alternative to Google’s Google Maps offering with the next major update of iOS. It’s believed that OpenStreetSource has benefited from a backlash against Google when the latter company introduced a plan to charge users of its Maps API over a certain amount back at the start of this year. Although Google has since rolled back the plan – it should be noted, however, that the rollback saw Google reducing the charges, but not abandoning them altogether – the damage is likely already done, especially with an equally impressive, and far less expensive, alternative available.

Having rolled out its own map feature without announcement, it remains to be seen whether or not Craigslist will be expanding its trial to other regions or areas of its website.

Product Review

Google’s Pixel 3 is a hair away from pocket-sized perfection

Google’s Pixel 3 smartphone is the best Android phone you can buy. It doesn’t have the best looks or the best hardware, but you’ll be hard pressed to find better software and unique A.I. functionalities.
Home Theater

Cutting the cord? Let us help you find the best service for live TV streaming

There's a long list of live TV streaming services available to help you cut the cord and replace your traditional TV subscription. Each is different in important ways, and this guide will help you find the best one for you.

GPS units aren't dead! Our favorite models still do things your phone can't

Love hitting the open road but hate having to rely solely on your phone for getting around? Thankfully, the best in-car GPS systems will allow you to navigate and capitalize on a range of features sans your cellular network. Here are our…
Product Review

Never invite a Shark robot into your house. Unless it’s this vacuum

Robot vacuums can definitely make chores suck a lot less, but they aren’t capable of cleaning places that are off the floor. Shark has an answer for your couch cushions and your carpets with its new S87 cleaning system, which comes with a…
Social Media

Sick of Facebook privacy scandals? Here's how to protect your personal data

With a number of security scandals in 2018, it has us questioning if we should get rid of Facebook. Here's how to protect your personal data without deleting your account, as well as how to just nuke the thing altogether.

Google Slides now auto-transcribes verbal presentations for real-time captions

A new feature for the Google Slides presentation software uses a computer's built-in microphone to transcribe the words of a speaker in real time, displaying them for everyone to see.

PayPal will soon let you withdraw cash at Walmart, but there’s a catch

PayPal has teamed up with Walmart to allow its account holders to withdraw and deposit cash at the store. The service launches at all Walmart stores across the U.S. in early November, but there's a catch.

Pixel 3, Home Hub, and Pixel Slate — our first look at all Google’s new devices

Google has taken the wraps off of a slew of new devices, including the Pixel 3 smartphones, Google Home Hub smart display, Google Pixel Slate tablet, and more. We were at the event, and took a ton of photos of all of Google's new products.

Spotify vs. Pandora: Which music streaming service is better for you?

Which music streaming platform is best for you? We pit Spotify versus Pandora, two mighty streaming services with on-demand music and massive catalogs, comparing every facet of the two services to help you decide which is best.

Here's how to download a YouTube video to watch offline later

Learning how to download YouTube videos is easier than you might think. There are plenty of great tools you can use, both online and offline. These are our favorites and a step by step guide on how to use them.

Carbuying can be exhausting: Here are the best used car websites to make it easier

Shopping for a used car isn't easy, especially when the salesman is looking to make a quick sale. Thankfully, there are plenty of sites aimed at the prospective buyer, whether you're looking for a sedan or a newfangled hybrid.

How to recover Google contacts

If you accidentally deleted an important person from your Google Contacts, they might not be lost forever. Recovering them is a fairly easy process -- as long as you do it quickly. Here's how.

Afraid that Bitcoin could be a bubble? Here's how to sell what you've got

If you're investing in cryptocurrencies, it's important to have your exit strategy in place if prices start to crash. If you've decided it's time to get out or just want to learn how to sell Bitcoins, here's how to get started.

Don't take your ISP's word for it: Here's how to test your internet speed

If you're worried that you aren't getting the most from your internet package, speed tests are a great way to find out what your real connection is capable of. Here are the best internet speed tests available today.