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Crowdsourcing represents the act of a company or institution taking a function once performed by employees and outsourcing it to an undefined (and generally large) network of people in the form of an open call.
Jeff Howe, Jun 2006

Cambrian House began as a crowdsourcing community using a wisdom of crowds based approach to discover new business and technology ideas. These pages are being kept online as a technology demo to showcase Chaordix™.

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The Idea

Legal issues getting mass access to the MLS... plus Zillow has a heatmap feature now too... ignore.

Harvest historical MLS data via the Zillow API and produce a heat map of the disparity in home values over time to identify the price trend in purchasing real estate. This is a mere visualization of existing data and the tool would be invaluable to anyone in the market for buying or selling a home as it would show clear pockets of increasing/diminishing value. In the same way a stock trader can scan a visual representation of a stock's history to make an informed decision, home buyers would be willing to pay for this type of analysis.

I thought of this idea when I was...

I was doing an animation for a jury trial trying to find a way to best illustrate the poor construction of this floor in an indian casino and I came up with the idea of plugging the height measurements at regular intervals into 3dsmax and then applying a color gradient based on slope to show the particular areas that had the worst differential. It occurred to me that home values could be plotted in the same way only with the z axis being time and the resultant heat map would represent "hot" areas of rapid change and consequently, the best opportunities for arbitrage.

Comments Posted

PsychSplash Posted: October 14, 2006, 6:06 am

scrollinondubs - you are a great thinker!

methinks you have ideas busting out your hiney, and many of them very well thought-out. This is a focused idea, catering to a specific market. i reckon this bodes better as a tool sold to real-estate companies.

techguy Posted: October 14, 2006, 11:42 pm

This reminds me of the WayBackMachine for the web, but applied to real estate prices.

Having this information could be VERY valuable. I'm not sure a heat map is the right way to display it, but having that information stored and retrievable is a great asset that people would pay money to find out about.

Does the TOS of the Zillow API's allow you to use the information you glean for commercial purposes?

scrollinondubs Posted: October 17, 2006, 7:28 pm

@psychsplash - you might be right. it's probably more appropriate to market this to Realtors. The popularity of Zillow indicates that regular consumers are hungry for the same data but it might be easier to get a foothold amongst Realtors first.

@techguy - I read their TOS, haven't looked at their API yet but it seems that it's more designed for replicating the Zillow service on other sites rather than giving you direct access to home values and such. It says "cannot use behind a subscription service or for internal use" so that pretty much kills that -> Zillow API cannot be used for internal use
There's nothing sacred about using their API to get this data but I figured they've already done the legwork of aggegating all the data from the disparate MLS systems. It would be a PITA to cull that data and I'm not even sure how it works getting license to access the individaul MLS systems. so yea, I dunno- good idea in theory but might be impossible to implement.


Brenden Posted: May 30, 2007, 4:38 pm

why is this idea deleted?

Brenden Posted: May 30, 2007, 4:39 pm

ok sorry my bad didnt read


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