Thursday, April 08, 2010

The Google Maps "hack" 5 years on

It's great to be back! I'm thrilled to be posting and to remind everyone why today is so significant to Google Maps Mania, the maps and mashup world, and the web at large.

I'll start with this Craigslist post that was put up 5 years ago..
New web interface for housing (beta) < rademach > 04/07 23:40:15

I'm working on a graphical interface to Craigslist rental and for-sale listings. It's still in early beta, but you can check it out at:

There's a link on that page to email me feedback, which I'd appreciate. Thanks! :)


..This is the first post that Paul Rademacher made to let the Craigslist community know about his little hack which combined housing data from the site with the exposed code that was available from the then newly available, Google Maps. After seeing Paul's creation I was personally inspired to start this blog and mentioned it on day 2 of posting.

Keep in mind that an API for Google Maps did not yet exist. This was the first act of its kind to mash data up and add it to a Google Map and as far as record keeping goes, is, the first Google Maps hack, or mashup. I've always tended to call it a hack since it's just more bad-ass and disruptive than a "mashup" sanctioned by a proper API. :)

There is so much significance to today and it started so many things. It's the act that showed that a Google Maps API should be created. What followed were many more from Google and others from across the web. This in turn gave rise to this massive, hysterical explosion of development on top of a Google map and specifically a transformation in the online real estate vertical that saw some of the best aggregators like Trulia and Redfin featuring a map as the center of their user experience.

In short, Paul Rademacher helped to change the web and he has been recognized for it the world over. The cool part? It's still being used as the go-to site for people looking for a place to live. Congrats to you Paul 5 years on for creating something that helped to change so much.

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