A few days ago, we covered the CLMapper extension for Google Chrome that lets you view maps for housing listings on Craigslist. Mapping with Craigslist house listings is getting serious by the day. There was an excellent service called PadMapper, which displayed maps against Craigslist house listings. However, Craigslist sent them a cease and desist letter, and put them out of the picture. Although not clear at that time, the move is making sense now as Craigslist is finally testing its own map integration with house listings.
Craigslist is testing its housing listing with maps from OpenStreetMaps at San Francisco, Oregon and Portland. The map view shows a simple map with a marker at the supposed house location. Compared to what PadMapper was offering, the Craigslist mapping test is quite bland and does not offer any advanced capabilities like searching in the neighborhood.
Craigslist, which is known for its openness and user-friendliness, took a detestable decision of filing a copyright infringement against PadMapper. It also sued 3Taps, the company providing data to PadMapper. When Craigslist learned that 3Taps gets its data from scraping Craigslist, it even went to the extent of declaring exclusive rights to user-posted listings. This meant that the same user could not put up a listing on Craigslist and any other classified website. This was a disastrous move and Craigslist backed down soon.
After this game of cat and mouse, Craigslist is finally testing its own mapping. Craigslist clearly saw the popularity of PadMapper and realized what it was missing. Perhaps, this whole episode was an eye-opener for Craigslist. Moreover, kudos to them for choosing OpenStreetMaps over Google Maps.