Being a map based housing search engine, you can imagine how particular we are about map designs. That's why today we're especially excited to roll out a new version of our U.S. map. This is a big update which we hope will make your experience on HotPads faster, cleaner, and much more meaningful.
Over the last few months, we have been meticulously testing color schemes to make our maps more crisp and easier to navigate. Important map details like bodies of water, parks, bike trails, bridges, road signs, and city streets have been given particular focus, making sure these details are easy to spot in relation to listings.
In the process, we also made significant speed improvements. You will notice our maps now load much faster and are generated dynamically as you move around. We were able to achieve this by reducing the file size of each map tile (those little squares that make up digital maps). With almost a billion map tiles and 16 zoom levels, this was a worthwhile undertaking.
We're also especially proud to continue using OpenStreetMap, the open source maps created by hundreds of thousands of contributors from around the world. For those not familiar with OpenStreetMap, it is essentially the trusted "Wikipedia" of maps, generated by crowdsourcing detailed map data from passionate "do-it-yourself" cartographers. This means we are able to display micro details like park trails and alley ways, ultimately making your search experience much more meaningful.
We hope you enjoy the new and more pleasant version of HotPads!