There's a Map for That

Move Over, PadMapper: Craigslist is Stealthily Testing Maps

You get a map! And you get a map!
picture 25 Move Over, PadMapper: Craigslist is Stealthily Testing Maps

(Photo: Craigslist)

When last we heard from Craigslist, they were filing suit against a scrappy little startup called PadMapper and yanking their listings from Google to keep PadMapper from aggregating them. It was kind of a dick move. But at least now we have a motive!

Craigslist is apparently working on a map tool of its own. Oh, and while it’s doing its best to discourage web openness, it’s also using an open crowd-sourced platform to build out Craigslist maps. Hey, maybe they’re hoping PadMapper will join in the effort to collect location info?

Talking Points Memo reports that Craigslist is quietly testing maps for apartment listings in Portland and the San Francisco Bay Area. The company is using OpenStreetMap, an open source alternative to Google Maps, that offers “free and reliable location data compiled by volunteers around the world.”

As TPM put it:

Craigslist was widely criticized by tech bloggers for its move to prosecute the two startups, all the more so because the company, which launched in 1995 and incorporated in 1999, has for most of its history been heralded as a beacon of Web openness and user-friendliness.

So there’s a certain irony to Craigslist suing other companies for creating maps with Craigslist ad data — claiming a breach of proprietary content — then turning around and using an open, crowd-sourced mapping solution to create its own maps.

We’d totally quit using Craigslist just to spite them, but then where would we post our missed connections?

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