Craigslist begins rolling out Map View for apartment searches… so long, Padmapper!

Craigslist Map View Atlanta

The jig is up for Craigslist; the popular classified ads site has officially unveiled its map view feature on select cities to help apartment hunters get a sense of listing locations. Looks like the embedded maps feature spotted back in August eventually became a site-wide deal after all.

Like the testing preview we previously noticed on the Bay Area and Portland Craigslist sites, the map allows you to zoom in and out of a particular location, with circles identifying the number of listings nearby scattering the closer you zoom in. The circles are also color-coded to represent heavier volumes of listings, such as orange for hot spots and green for less-in-demand locales. The map is Javascript-based, and runs off data from OpenStreetMap, so the option also works on most smartphones.

The new feature is similar to Instagram’s Photo Map that geo-plots the various locations of your photo based on where you tagged it. So far, we’ve tested the Craigslist map search in various cities such as Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., Austin — even Anchorage — and they all contain the Map View option, which is highlighted in green when you first click any category under Housing. New York is still without a map, likely due to the volume of listings the city receives a day. It’s a crying shame, too, considering the amount of people who come and go in this city on a daily basis.

Craigslist Chicago maps apartment

From what we can tell, the service works pretty well but a few bugs still plague listings that have recently been removed or marked as spam. For example, check out the above random “luxury” one bedroom we found sitting in the middle of Lake Michigan. One simple click led us to the disappointment that this apartment has either been taken down or sold, but it was nice to entertain the thought that Craigslist believed someone posted an apartment located in the waters. Still, even without this curious incident, the Map View on Craigslist has a long way to go. In the example above, just 428 out of 2,072 listings were deemed “mappable,” meaning that if you were actively apartment hunting, you could miss out on a ton of viable options.

The rollout comes just months after Craigslist launched a full-on war against Padmapper and 3taps, so it’s not surprising that this is what the site had under wraps after all. No word on whether a similar option might come to other Craigslist categories in the near future.


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