Oct. 5, 2012 at 1:55 PM ET
Craigslist may be the first place apartment hunters look for rental info, but the famously sparse entries leave some things to be desired. Until now, that included a map of the neighborhood. Now, if you go apartment-hunting, you will likely see a map alongside the ad.
Craigslist started using maps a month or so ago, mainly in Portland, Oregon and the San Francisco Bay Area, and is rapidly integrating maps into rental ads in more places around the country.
Bear in mind, it's not everywhere yet. The site is using the crowdsourced OpenStreetMap, which is based on both publicly available information and user contributions.
And it's a bit erratic. A check for apartments in Santa Monica, for example, shows some listings with maps incorporated, yet others without. This one has it:
But this next listing is map-less. All you get is the option of clicking out of the site to use Google or Yahoo maps:
There's also a bit of behind-the-scenes map drama going on. Apartment-mapping site PadMapper said some months ago it would no longer include results from Craigslist because it received a cease-and-desist order from Craigslist lawyers.
PadMapper — whose clever slogan is "Making Apartment Hunting Suck Less" — continued to use Craigslist info, and now Craigslist is suing both PadMapper and 3taps for copyright and trademark infringement. You can read more about that suit here.