CurbedPlaces continues to improve

Slowly but surely, they are coming along. Local real estate search site CurbedPlaces continues to improve. There are bugs (the street I grew up on is nowhere to be found, and the map goes blank when I search for it), but it remains intriguing to watch. I still think that ShackPrices remains the local real estate search to beat and/or model.

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  1. Michael Wurzer May 17, 2007 at 10:26

    Jim, do you find the ShackPrices (and others) approach of only displaying the first 100 matches effective? We did a blog poll a few months ago, and though we only got a few responses, most respondents preferred sites that display all of the matching listings on the map.

  2. Arthur May 17, 2007 at 11:07


    The map’s inaccuracy is the thing that keeps me from using this site. Just glancing around downtown it looks like the program has a hard time getting the numbered streets right. 5th SW is mapped as 5th NE, etc. I like the way the site works otherwise.

  3. Galen May 17, 2007 at 14:06

    Thanks for the kind words, Jim!

    Michael, Colorado HomeStop shows little dots on the map – you can’t really do anything with any but the top 20 results that have pictures along the bottom of the page. They force you to zoom way in or to pan through 13 listings at a time be at all useful.

    Are you suggesting that ShackPrices would be infinitely more useful if we added a ton of tiny dots that you could zoom in on? (We also let you show up to 600 properties at a time if you’re logged in – it’s a feature only for those with fast computers though).

  4. Daniel May 18, 2007 at 11:56

    Thanks for another mention, Jim.

    I looked into it, and our database shows two addresses on “Bennington Rd.” in 22901. Apparently, the Charlottesville assessment database has incomplete records for those properties (no assessment date). That’s why they were not showing up while browsing the map. I have altered the code to always display property that lacks a “Sold On” date.

    I’d love to hear your thoughts (or anyone elses) on what you would like to see in a real estate maps / search website (and what you like about ShackPrices). We are currently working on a “Search” function (as opposed to the current “explore” function).

  5. Michael Wurzer May 18, 2007 at 12:19

    Galen, first, I agree with Jim that ShackPrices is one of the best search UIs available. You’ve really done an awesome job of making a complex function simple. My question to Jim wasn’t intended as a criticism of your choices but rather was an expression of a sincere interest in what approach Jim thought was better. As evidence of that, our current mapping in our MLS system has a limit of 200 or so listings as well. We’re designing a new mapping system and are trying to engineer a way around the limit, because our users have said they want to use the map as a way to explore rather than just see the location of the indicated listings. An inherent limit to only displaying a certain number of listings at a time is that you do not see the locations of the others and so it is difficult for the user to maintain context as the different result sets are plotted on the map. You’re right that ColoradoHomeStop only displays inactive icons with very large result sets but they do provide the user with context for the entire result set, and the icons become active once the user is zoomed in. I’m not saying this is the perfect solution but it does allow for large result sets and I think that is useful for allowing users to explore what’s available in a more complete fashion.

  6. Galen May 18, 2007 at 15:21

    Michael, admittedly my comment there was a little defensive. I like the many dots and tackling that a better way of visualizing tons of listings is definitely on our to-do list. Send me your solution when you next push it out – I’ll do the same.

  7. Jim Duncan May 18, 2007 at 15:44

    Quite candidly, I don’t know what the *best* real estate search site will look like, but I’ll know it when I see it. 🙂

    I know that I and my clients want to have access to as much information as possible from one spot – be that house data,

    I forget on which site I saw this, but I think it was the one out West that was first to market with implementing MS’ Virtual Earth mapping. I liked how they used slides to alter the data displayed. That worked for my eye, and I was abl to interpret and process the data efficiently. The dots are good for a high-level analysis, but the ability to drill down to a house-level is where the most value comes in for me.

    I am looking forward (my enthusiasm is tempered) to see what the new will look like.