March 18 2012 Introducing HomeSnap for iPhone
HomeSnap is now available for download in the App Store. The premise is simple: take a picture of any home in the USA to find out how much it's worth (and more). Download HomeSnap and go for a walk!
Building HomeSnap was a massive undertaking on two fronts. First, we had to build a humungous corpus of data. This is something we have been working on since the launch of Sawbuck in 2008 but we really turned up the volume for HomeSnap. HomeSnap pulls together tax records for 90 million homes, 18 MLS databases in 14 major metropolitan areas, 2012 census data, public schools data, school attendance zones, geographic polygons, historical value assessments and more. In addition to translating, assimilating and scrubbing all of the data, we indexed and staged it for peak performance.
On the second front, we had to design an app that performed admirably and provided a friendly user experience. HomeSnap uses many different sensors within the iPhone to track location, movement and heading. Advanced, patent-pending mathematical algorithms are required to identify the correct home. Just in case the app can't determine the exact home or doesn't get it right the first time, we developed an elegant fall-back that allows the user to pick the correct home on a map.
All of this work, including design and programming, was completed at our headquarters in Washington DC by 5 people in about 6 months. We officially launched HomeSnap on March 8, 2012 - the first day of the SXSW Interactive conference. Download HomeSnap
I'm Lou Mintzer, an entrepreneur, programmer, speaker, blogger, designer and product builder.Tweets by @LouMintzer