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Tech Now

Covering all the latest tech happenings from the Silicon Valley.

Want to Avoid a Bad Commute? Trulia Has a Map for That

San Francisco company helps lighten your drive.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    Avoid this with the help of a new app from Trulia.

    You’ve tracked the best schools, you’ve checked to make sure the crime rate is low, and you found what you think is the perfect house.

    But then you head to work and realize that the commute is a nightmare.

    Well, there’s an app for that.

    It’s about to come from Trulia, the San Francisco company that has tracked housing prices (and crime rates, and schools, and amenities) for its users for years. Now , it’s launching functionality that will let you know, before you pounce on that house, what your daily commute will be.

    Trulia uses lots of data from street maps, and traffic feeds, to take a specific point (say, your office), and then lets you move sliders (one on the bottom of the screen, another one in a box along the top of the screen) across a map to other points (your potential houses or apartments) to calculate the amount of time you would have to drive from point A to point B.  There’s also a way to calculate how long public transit would take to get through the same distance.  The driving data comes from Open Street Maps; the public transit data from local government transit agencies.

    According to the company, the new commute-style maps would be overlays, in much the same way you can overlay crime statistics to your neighborhood, or other stats onto areas where you’re thinking of living. 

    Pretty soon, you’ll be able to lay down several “maps” worth of data to pick and choose your way through several categories, helping you choose just the right place. 

    According to Trulia spokesman Ken Shuman, "From a technical standpoint, nobody has been able to build what we are unveiling today. Our geo-engineering team has been focused on creating a one of a kind experience that is easy to use and super helpful for homebuyers and renters."

     It’s a bit of technology that could save you a whole lot of time.

     Scott, who hates traffic, can be found cruising Twitter:  @scottbudman