Visualizing Search with HotSpots on HotPads

Say hello to "HotSpots"

HotSpots combines a broad housing market overview with individual property insight, taking visual search to a whole new level.

The colored price points dynamically recalibrate based on zoom level and location, making it simple to see relationships between location and price! Each colored dot is an actual listing you can click and view pictures, property details, and send an inquiry.

The dark red points represent the most expensive properties and the light blue points represent the least expensive ones on a cost per bedroom basis. Marking a property as a "favorite" changes the point to a star, making it easy to come back to your favorite properties. Points which have already been previewed shrink in size, helping you discover new properties even faster.

The ability to see hundreds of properties on one screen, categorized by price and location, significantly reduces the time it takes to spot and send an inquiry to a hot property...give it a try!


Zillow Changes Back To The Old Map Search

A few weeks ago, we updated the home shopping search experience on Zillow with the intent to give our users better shopping tools to find the home of their dreams. We added a more usable map area, added keyword search to the list of filters, and also changed the format of the list so that the map stays in view when you scroll through the homes.

No one has ever accused us of being complacent; we are constantly working to improve the Zillow site, and we’re certainly willing to take risks and learn from our mistakes.


Map your Linkedin Connection- Personalized Data Visualization of Your Proffessional Network

Wow, this is cool!  I am already a bit of a data-visualization geek, and Linkedin's new lab allows you to explore the interconnectivity within your own Linkedin contacts, which is amazing.  I mapped my personal connections below, and each color roughly corresponds to an industry, an association or social grouping (like college) to which I might belong.  Zoom in and you begin to see affiliations among your various relationships.




Zillow Announces Redesign

Just in time for the buying season, we’ve upgraded our home shopping experience to make it easier than ever to find the home of  your dreams on Zillow.  Starting today, we’re giving our 13+ million monthly visitors on Zillow new tools and features to help them search for homes for sale and for rent.

Heads up: if you’re a fan of the Zillow iPad app (the # 1 real estate app on iPad), some of these changes may look familiar. That’s because we borrowed heavily from the design of the Zillow on iPad app whose design and functionality helps simplify the shopping experience on Zillow.

Here are some of the ways we are making it easier for you to shop for homes:


  • You’ll notice the map is bigger which means we can show you more homes on one page.
  • You can now easily scroll through the list of for-sale homes that match your search criteria with the map always in view.
  • It’s all about location, right? Click on a home on the map and it automatically highlights on the search results list, and vice versa.


  • Now there’s the ability to search for homes based on the special criteria that matter to you. You’ve always wanted a deck or a porch with a view? A gourmet kitchen or an open-floor plan?  Is a fenced yard a must-have for your pooch?  The new keyword filter search brings you one step closer to finding your dream home (see below).


  • List view: It’s now easier to sort and compare homes by price, Zestimate® home value, beds, baths, year built, etc.  For a deeper search, we’ve added filters such as  price per square foot, neighborhood, monthly payment, property type, and even property tax.
  • Gallery view: Switch from the list view to gallery view to see photos of homes side-by-side.  Looking at the pretty pics in the gallery view may help you better determine which homes are of most interest.
  • Bonus – when you click through to a Home Details Page, the list or gallery view remain at the bottom of the page. This means you can quickly and easily compare individual homes that match your search criteria with a single click.


Journalism in the Age of Data

Journalists are coping with the rising information flood by borrowing data visualization techniques from computer scientists, researchers and artists. Some newsrooms are already beginning to retool their staffs and systems to prepare for a future in which data becomes a medium. But how do we communicate with data, how can traditional narratives be fused with sophisticated, interactive information displays?

Watch the full version with annotations and links at

Produced during a 2009-2010 John S. Knight Journalism Fellowship at Stanford University.


real estate and apartments for rent Rent vs. Buy


Trulia did not waste any time with its recent acquisition of the mapping startup Motivity.  Go to to check out "Rent" vs. "Sale" costs, mapped by major U.S. cities, pulling from sources, ",,, and Moody's" I am guessing that Trulia will be using the new data mapping capabilities on a variety of interactive reports in the future.

"Trulia's Q1 2011 Rent vs. Buy Index provides guidance to help you make a smart decision on whether it is better to rent or buy in each of America's 50 largest cities by population."

Other metrics availble are:

U.S. Cities Rent:Buy Ratio Rent:Buy Ratio Rent Price, List Price, Unemployment Foreclosures Job Growth