PadMapper will once again include apartments listed on Craigslist on its map of apartments available for rent, app developer Eric DeMenthon owner said today.This is fantastic news.
PadMapper is one of the best ways to find an apartment in a city. It pulls data from a bunch of listing sites — including Craiglist — to populate a Google Map with available apartments.
It’s much easier to use than a text-based site like Craigslist, and it points its users directly back to those listings.
But just last month, the powers that be at Craigslist sent a cease and desist letter to DeMenthon, asking him to remove Craiglist listings from the map.
The unfortunate alternative, without PadMapper, is using Craigslist’s poorly-designed listing service, which is purely text-based and offers no location context (other than vague references to neighborhoods, like “Park Slope” or “Tenderloin” that are usually false).
So, instead of pulling data directly from Craigslist, which is apparently against its terms of service, DeMenthon found a roundabout way of getting the data and will be adding the listings back soon.
Here’s the full blog post:
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 should be over as quickly as humanly possible so that you can get back to doing other, more productive things.
Thanks to everyone who sent them letters, there were a surprisingly large number of you. I was a bit depressed that there didn’t seem to be much of a response from them, but it was pretty incredible to see the outpouring of support (still ongoing), and I really appreciate you all taking the time out to help out with this.
Happy hunting, everyone.