Padmapper is a site that takes housing listings from Craigslist and other sites and plots them on a map. That sounds like a very simple thing, but it makes searching for a new home easier by many orders of magnitude. Craigslist, though, doesn’t like people scraping its data and monetizing it–even if the use of that data sends lots and lots of traffic right to Craigslist.
In a blog post, PadMapper CEO (and only employee) Eric DeMenthon told the sad story:
I recently received a Cease and Desist letter from Craigslist, and wasn’t able to get a meeting or convince Craigslist’s lawyer that PadMapper was beneficial to Craigslist and apartment hunters in general. They allow mobile apps to display their listings if you buy a license from them, but not websites.
Padmapper does have a mobile app, but most traffic comes from the web site. It isn’t alone in being shut down, though. Other sites that use Craigslist data (and sell ads against the aggregation) have been shut down, like Mapskrieg and jaXed.
For now, HousingMaps is a similar site available in a number of larger cities. And if you’re a landlord or broker who only wants to deal with people savvy enough to use PadMapper, you can submit your listings directly for free. The site’s still up…just a lot emptier than it used to be.
Upset about the loss of these sites? Their creators ask that you e-mail Craigslist founder Craig Newmark and CEO Jim Buhrmaster. Their addresses are easy to figure out: their first names at craiglist.org.
Bye Bye Craigslist [Padmapper blog]
Craigslist: Why did Craigslist send PadMapper a cease and desist letter? [Quora]