Earlier today, Trulia opened its home to the local community as part of the OpenCo San Francisco initiative. Danielle Farnedi, Trulia’s Vice President of Engineering, presented an overview of Trulia and its history in San Francisco. Danielle also shared the narrative of Trulia’s culture of product innovation in context of the rapidly changing real estate industry, and the company’s efforts to deliver the inside scoop to consumers.
Trulia is one of many San Francsico-based companies that is active in the local tech community, benefiting from the unique collection of social, creative and technical talent that the region offers, while also working to give back to the community in the process. The company was founded in San Francisco in 2005 and since being headquartered in neighborhoods such as the Mission District and Potrero Hill, today the company calls the vibrant South of Market neighborhood home.
Finding a place to live can be challenging and stressful – it’s the problem that the company was created to solve. In the 1990’s searching for a home was primarily an offline experience, where consumers searched in newspapers and apartment guides enduring a relatively grueling process. As the Internet grew, listings became available online in the early 2000′s. Today, Trulia provides more than just listings and information, delivering real insights for consumers who are trying to find the right place to live.
So what does “insight” mean in this case? It’s bringing data and neighborhoods to life for consumers in a simple, visual format. For example, Trulia commute maps make it easy to determine what areas have convenient access to work. Trulia users can view school district rankings and crime heat maps that highlight safe neighborhoods.
As Danielle mentioned in the presentation, when looking at properties people ask themselves, “How much time will I spend in the car going to work and will my children be safe on their way to and from a quality school?” These are the important questions that that Trulia helps answer.
Trulia was happy to participate in the inaugural OpenCoSF initiative and looks forward to the growth of the program and further engagement with the San Francisco tech community.0 comments
This morning, Trulia’s COO Paul Levine spoke at the White House’s “Safety Datapalooza.” Hosted by the White House Office of Public Engagement, Office of Science and Technology Policy and the U.S. Department of Transportation, this event highlighted innovators from the private, nonprofit and academic sectors who have utilized freely available government data to build products, services and apps that advance public safety in creative and powerful ways.
In his remarks, Paul shared how Trulia is providing the inside scoop on what it is like to live in cities and neighborhood blocks across the country by leveraging open government data — made available through the Obama Administration’s Safety Data Initiative – on critical neighborhood information such as crime and commutes, into dynamic, interactive maps. Specifically, he demoed how Trulia’s crime map and commute map have helped homebuyers and renters make smarter real estate decisions.
Also speaking was Sha Hwang, Design Technologist at Trulia, who lead the Data Visualization Workshop for Journalists that Trulia co-hosted at our San Francisco office with Fast Company’s Co.Design, O’Reilly Media and Hacks/Hackers. He teamed up with Chrys Wu at Hacks/Hackers to recap the workshops and talk about the fields of data visualizations and data journalism.
Other speakers at the Safety Datapalooza include The Honorable John Pocari, U.S. Deputy Secretary of Transportation; The Honorable Seth D. Harris, U.S. Deputy Secretary of Labor; The Honorable Marcia McNutt,Director, U.S. Geological Survey; and Todd Park, Assistant to the President,U.S. Chief Technology Officer.0 comments
What happens when you combine government transit data, a designer and a few engineers? At Trulia, you get the ability to dynamically visualize your commute.
Commuting sucks. It’s stressful, and no amount of Sirius radio can make a traffic jam fun. Because of this, we know that commuting is an important consideration when choosing where to live, whether you’re in Los Angeles or Boston. So, launching today is Trulia’s first iteration of the Commute Map, a way to visualize driving and public transit times. With this new product, we aim to give Trulia users a better understanding of commute times to work or anywhere important, to help them find the best place to live.
What did we do?
We’ve taken the base data, OpenStreetMaps and General Transit Feed Specification (GTFS) feeds, and produced a visual representation of commute times. We allow users to specify a start point, and then calculate estimates that can be manipulated with a simple slider. With nationwide coverage across millions of transit data points, we’ve built an interactive and responsive map that overlays highly detailed transit results for any local query.
How does it work?
1. We allow users to specify a work location and calculate commute and transit times in real-time.
2. We built a heatmap of the times and allow users to use a slider to visualize how their commute changes.
3. We did this for drive times nationwide, and public transit times for cities where data is available. This is a look at commutes in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington D.C. and San Jose.
We’re working on integrating this data into search and allowing users to combine the heatmap with homes for sale, pricing, school ratings, and crime. More to come.
Please send us feedback… we listen.