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The Ambition of Trulia Neighborhoods, Served With a Side of Caution

Can Trulia succeed in making sense of neighborhoods for an online platform?
September 3, 2018, 9am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Sites like Google, Airbnb, and Zillow have failed to make much sense of neighborhoods, despite all the data that can avail themselves of, according to an article by Henry Grabar, which makes a new effort by Trulia all the more interesting.

"[The] new Trulia Neighborhoods feature, the company claims, is the first product 'to give consumers an authentic feel for everyday life in a neighborhood.' Not just a neighborhood: Every neighborhood in every American city."

Grabar describes the various sources the Trulia system pulls from to generate its neighborhood portraits. "But the site’s big ambition lies in the 300 neighborhoods in San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose, Austin, and Chicago for which Trulia is dispatching street photographers," according to Grabar. "By the end of the year, he says Trulia will have added those features to the profile pages of 1,100 neighborhoods across the country."

While the appeal of the feature for potential home buyers is obvious, and already documented by Liz Stinson in article that broke the news about Trulia Neighborhoods, Grabar is more concerned about the less obvious biases that might emerge in the platform.

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Published on Thursday, August 16, 2018 in Slate
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