Hung Truong: The Blog!

MapsKrieg – Craigslist + Google Maps Mashup Launch!

May 06, 2007 | 2 Minute Read


I did a bit more work on MapsKrieg (the official name of my craigslist and google maps mashup) in the past few days, and I think it’s ready for initial launch now.

If you haven’t read my previous posts on MapsKrieg, it’s a mashup that scrapes craigslist apartment listings and displays them using the Google Maps API. I’ve been on the hunt for an apartment in Ann Arbor, MI where I’m going to go to grad school. I had seen the coolness of HousingMaps, but I noticed that it only supported a very small number of cities. I figured I’d build a similar app that listed more cities, since craigslist has expanded quite a bit since that HousingMaps was created.

If you’re wondering about the name, here’s my thought process: I was originally calling the project “Craigsmaps” since that sort of made sense. But the domain name for that name is already taken. So I came up with a bunch of other stupid Web 2.0 names that didn’t really click (Abodr, (okay, just kidding)). So I switched the “craig” and the “maps” and it became “mapscraig” which reminded me of “blitzkrieg” which became “mapskrieg.” And there you have it.

Currently MapsKrieg supports 286 different craigslist locations. I haven’t added any areas outside the United States, though if I get requests, I’ll add them. And I’ll probably add new cities as their added to craigslist if people request them, too.

As far as technical stuff goes, I built the site on the CakePHP framework, which was a new experience for me since I had been doing stuff in Ruby on Rails for the past year. The app uses Google Maps’ API for displaying the data that’s pulled directly from craigslist listings. Of course, all the data is cached in a MySQL database, so the site is decently fast.

MapsKrieg took about two “man weeks” worth of time to complete. It was developed over about a month, though I didn’t work on it every day, and I didn’t work all day on the days I did work on it. I’d say that’s pretty good, considering I hadn’t really done much programming in PHP/Javascript before, and I had to learn the Google Maps API (which was surprisingly easy).

Anyway, go ahead and try out MapsKrieg and let me know what you think. The interface could probably use some tweaking, but I think the app “works” fairly well. But I’m open to any questions or comments.