Announcing Localographer: find an apartment or house with Google Maps

Localographer logo Earlier I wrote about using Photoshop to create a heat map and to use data maps when house hunting.  I got a pretty good response to those tutorials but the process is a little too labor intensive for most.  So when I moved to California, I decided to do something similar, using the Google Maps API, so that it would be easy for anyone to make their own heat map.So here it is:  Localographer – build interactive heat maps for house and apartment hunting.  You can see a screenshot below:Screen shot of a Bay-area heat map from LocalographerLocalographer is a beta release right now, so watch out for bugs and random downtime.  Also, I have to add a disclaimer:  this is not an official Google project, this is something I did on my spare time.  In fact, most of the work was done before I started working at Google in preparation for our move to California.The site takes you though a series of steps to build your map:

  1. Pick your city and create your map;
  2. Add places you’d like to be near (like your job or your school);
  3. Add potential locations (houses, apartments, condos) to see how they compare.

I’ve got a ton of ideas for additional functionality, so hopefully I’ll have time to add more in the next few weeks.  I’ll also be working on the site’s design, making it a bit more usable and interactive.Here’s how a map in Localographer compares to my Photoshop heat map of the Cleveland area (click on the images to see larger versions):Screen shot of a Cleveland-area heat map from Localographer   Heat map we used for house hunting, with hotspots placed at locations we need to drive toIn case you’re interested, the site was developed in PHP with a MySQL database.  The maps use the Google Maps API with some hand-written functions to correctly draw the hot spots.Please take a look and let me know what you think.  Post and problems, bugs, or new feature ideas in the comments below.  Later I’ll post a poll so you can vote on new features and other enhancements.

4 thoughts on “Announcing Localographer: find an apartment or house with Google Maps

  1. That’s a great idea, I’ve only dabbled a little with Google Earth and KML, it would be fun to get more into it. I might add some other features first, though, depending on user requests.

  2. Is there some bug tracker for localgrapher?

    I tried to add an address to a map, picked “within walking distance” and submitted the form.

    I got the following error:

    Problem executing: MDB2 Error: null value violates not-null constraint – _doQuery: [Error message: Could not execute statement]
    [Last executed query: EXECUTE MDB2_STATEMENT_mysql_d25581b6f8497bf039666b8c5c9ad745 USING @0, @1, @2, @3, @4, @5]
    [Native code: 1048]
    [Native message: Column ‘place_name’ cannot be null]

  3. Andy,

    This is probably the best place to report bugs.

    You’re right to report the error, that’s not a very good response to give the user. If you enter something in to the name field you should be able to continue without the error. Let me know if you’re still having problems.

    I still have a lot of rough edges to clean up, I’m only able to work on it in my spare time.

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