November 20, 2009
Google Controls the Value of Your House
This complaint off the Google Transit e-mail list today:
The walk score of the homes in Great Neck are artificially low in www.zillow.com which is a home valuation web sitedue to the fact that the MTA or the LIRR trains do not provide them with the transit data.
This has depressed the home prices in the area. It would be greatly appreciated if Google can help to correct this anomaly and ask MTA and LIRR to report the transit feeds for Great Neck, NY
November 20, 2009 10:25 AM
Cora Potter Says:
I hope this post title is tongue in cheek. People really should be consulting Real Estate agents and appraisers to determine housing values. Zillow/Walkscore are just algorithms and loose estimations. They should never be used to determine a listing or sale price for a house.
November 20, 2009 10:27 AM
Chris Smith Says:
Decidedly tongue-in-check, but I'm enormously encouraged that walk score has become so important!
November 20, 2009 11:50 AM
Cora Potter Says:
I love that their voting system that they use on walkscore.org...
I can't tell - but do you think that it is run by google moderator?
November 20, 2009 11:57 AM
It appears that Google Transit does indeed include GTFS (Google Transit Feeds) with schedules, but without the data to physically draw the routes (this is required for the route to turn up on the 'transit' layer, but is for visual use only), so I'm not sure what the MTA is to do about this.
November 20, 2009 1:11 PM
it is a reason for otherwise uncaring citizens to lobby their transit agencies... which is a good thing. i fully dislike walkscore for so many reasons, mainly because you can get a 99 without being within 1/4 mile of anything
November 20, 2009 2:14 PM
Dave H Says:
Why is Google getting blamed for what Walk Score and the local transit agencies do? Google only provides public data from agencies that allow them to, it's not their fault that the LIRR/MTA doesn't make those feeds public.
Walk Score has a page about this that the complainer may want to check out. It's linked with "Why?" if there's no transit score available for an address.
November 21, 2009 8:50 AM
Jason Barbour Says:
At the same time, I'm extremely discouraged that there's so much reliance being put in to one company creating proprietary online software.
If anyone here hasn't been to google-watch.org, I highly recommend it.
November 21, 2009 2:11 PM
Dave H Says:
Google gets blamed for a lot. The guy who runs google-watch.org doesn't (or refuses to) understand how PageRank works, and is mad that his original site (Namebase) didn't get the ranking from Google he felt it should, since nobody was linking to it. 90% of his complaints are resolved by just not using Google, but that's not good enough for him, since he's got a financial interest in making sure his site gets more traffic.
Google-watch-watch has a nice article explaining it all in a lot more depth.
And again, this particular issue has nothing to do with Google other than WalkScore depends on a file format Google developed, and uses Google's list of available feeds as a central source.
November 23, 2009 7:50 PM
Steven Vance Says:
Google doesn't need to ask the transit agencies for data. The transit agencies need to decide if Google Transit being available for Great Neck is something their customers want and would improve their customer service.
It seems like a no-brainer decision, but transit agencies have to weigh the ramifications: Give data to the corporation so it can further profit, or provide customers additional enhancements to their transit.