Case Study: Illustreets, the geospatial application with all the information you need to look for a house
Good data analysis can become a great easy-to-use-tool with a good overview of the huge amount of available data. This was the aim of the founders of project Illustreets with CartoDB.
Looking for a house is a major step in everyone's life. Manuel Timita and Katya Koval were worried about how difficult it is to choose a neighborhood, to think beyond your current life... They founded Illustreets, a geospatial applicationthat helps to you make this complicated decision by providing an overview of the information required to find a house.
Timita and Koval were faced with this issue in England, where it is was very difficult to find information about the neighborhood even though there was a lot of available information. This information was increasingly more available and could even be analyzed in an Excel document. However, viewing this data was not a very intuitive experience for the user.
Given this situation, the project founders realized that the information should be displayed on maps. This was when they had to find a geospatial solution view for the problem.
In fact, aside from the sales/purchase and rental data from the propriety finder Nestoria, the project only uses information from the UK Open Government Dataportal. This portal contains more than 9,000 data sets from different departments of the UK government, state institutions and local authorities. British law grants free and perpetual access to this information.
Illustreets also analyzes data from 15 databases belonging to the following institutions:
- Office for National Statistics
- Department for Education
- Land Registry
- Ordenance Survey (boundary and postcode data)
- Department for Communities and Local Government
- Ofsted (school inspection data)
- Department for Transport
- Environment Agency
Faced with so much information, Illustreets aimed to extract and analyze this data and make it accessible and useful by means of a geospatial application that displayed the information in an appealing and interactive fashion.
The result is an effective tool both for people who are looking for a house to buy or rent in a specific area, and people who only want more information about their area.
How to view the information
For three months, the Illustreets team researched and tested several proprietary and open-source mapping technologies and tools until they finally chose CartoDB and its tools CartoDB.js, CartoCSS and SQL API. This technology is now used to display the information requested by the users.
In fact, usability has always been at the core of the project, and became the main testing factor since the team wanted to provide a good user experience.
By doing a single search or clicking once on the map, users can:
- See information quickly when they hover the mouse over the selected area
- Filter by the average sell and rental price to match a specific budget
- Estimate travel time between two points
- Access information such as the standard of living, reported crime and school fees