Technology

Cellphone coverage and rat maps: content for listing portals?

Homes.com is testing cellphone coverage maps provided by OpenSignal

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Trulia has set itself apart from other listing portals by serving up crime heat maps. Homefacts.com is experimenting with a map-based listing search tool that can show the locations of sex offenders. What will listing portals and neighborhood information sites think of next? How about mobile signal strength maps and "rat maps"? Click above to use a "rat map" of New York City. Homes.com is experimenting with mobile coverage maps provided by OpenSignal, which keeps a database of cellphone towers, cellphone signal strength readings and Wi-Fi access points. The maps could help buyers and renters factor an area's cell coverage into their evaluation of a listing or identify what network provider they might want to sign up with were they to move into a particular home, said Jaleh Afrooze, operations manager at OpenSignal. "OpenSignal offers some unique data sets around cell coverage maps, and we're in an early testing phase to see if these localized visualiz...