Greased Realtor

In the process of househunting, Ames and I have spent a lot of time on Realtor.com checking and rechecking for listings that match our criteria and budget. This process has been fun, but frustrating as well because the technology doesn’t quite meet my expectations. In particular, the map views on realtor.com are quite the annoyance. In the past, if I wanted to see where a listing was, I’d copy and paste the address into Google Maps and navigate using their much more user-friendly interface. Not anymore.

Enter Greasemonkey, an extension for Mozilla browsers that lets you define “user scripts” to specified webpages. Thanks to Greasemonkey and Birdman (programmer extraordinnaire), there is know a handy link to the Google Map of each house I look at. Since this is a functionality we thought a lot of other people could really use, we posted it up on the GreaseMonkeyUserScripts Wiki. There are literally hundreds of user scripts that have been written for Grease Monkey in the last few months, and the creators of the extension are planning to create a proper script directory at http://userscipt.org which will be much more searchable. In the mean time, be sure to check out book burro, Geocaching.com scripts, and of course our Greased Realtor script.

6 Comments

  1. Also, not nearly as powerful as your GreaseMonkey script (I’ve already installed and started playing), you might like the Firefox DictionarySearch Extension.

    It basically gives you up to 4 menu items when you right-click on selected text. I added one for Answers.com and one for Google Maps. So now anytime I see an address, I just highlight it, then right-click and select “View in Google Maps”. A new tab is popped open showing the address (if Google finds it). Pretty cool.

    Of course, this works great for spell checks too.

  2. Of course, there is the synthesis of Google Maps meets Craigs List, but you’ve probably seen that one.

    Going to have to check GreaseMonkey out, sounds pretty cool.

  3. I had not see the Google Maps meets Craigs List site, but that it’s very impressive. Now if they could just hook that sort of thing into realtor.com it would be a much more universally useful resource.

    The DictionarySearch Extension is very useful as well. If I had seen that before, I don’t think Nathan and I would have written the GreaseMonkey script…but having the GoogleMap link on the page rather than in the context menu removes two clicks from the process.

    Since you brought up a Dictionary extension, I’ve got one to plug as well. The SpellBound extension adds a “Check Spelling” link the context menu of any text box. Before I post a blog entry or comments on a blog I always check the spelling first. I use it constantly to trick people into thinking I know how to spell.

  4. I’m having trouble getting the SpellBound extension installed, it’s too bad because that’s exactly what I was looking for when I installed the DictionarySearch extension. The latest version of Firefox has been quite buggy for me lately, I’m hoping they fix that soon. I wish I never upgraded past the 1.0 build.

  5. Really? I’m running 1.0.3 and haven’t had any major issues with Firefox. If you install SpellBound, be sure to install a dictionary first per the instructions on the Installation Page.

  6. I actually installed the Extension first, then the dictionary (isn’t that what it says to do?).

    I’ll give it another try when I get home, but I’ve upgraded to 1.0.4 now.

    My Firefox (1.0.3) both at home and work has been crashing fairly regularly (several times a day). It seems that only certain pages cause it to happen.

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