Easier Apartment Hunting on Craigslist With Ken's Craigslist Greasemonkey Script

craigslistKen Go put together an excellent Craigslist Greasemonkey script for Mozilla Firefox that allows you to search Craigslist for items such as apartments far more easily than you otherwise would.

Let’s face it, Craigslist is free and fast but looking at 100s of listings for locations on Google maps, etc pretty much sucks. You have to have multiple windows open, go back and forth a lot and bear the ugly Times New Roman font that is Craigslist.

So getting to the nitty-gritty, Ken’s script makes it so you can surf Craigslist with one browser window while viewing a list of listings, i.e. apartments, an individual item, and the associated location of the item in google maps–all in the same window. Have a look:Ken's Greasemonkey Script
Pretty awesome, no? The only catch is that you must first install Greasemonkey, which requires Firefox. Really, if you aren’t running Firefox you should probably be chased down and disconnected from the Internet anyway. Greasemonkey is easy to install and in fact, Ken’s instructions make it easy:

Instructions

  1. To use Ken’s tool, you need to be using a recent copy of the firefox browser. Version 1.5.02 worked for me. (Time to update your FF, Kate Pratt!)
  2. You need to install the Greasemonkey extension. Click on that link to install, Firefox will ask you to first allow the site as an install point. Say yes. You will then have to restart your browser. This means you’ll need to close all Firefox windows including the Downloads window if it is open! Here’s more on Greasemonkey.
  3. Afterwards you need to right-click on this –> link and choose the “Install User Script” option.
  4. Finally, just navigate to any craigslist post or listing and see the difference.
  5. Important note: You should alwasys see your search listings in the left pane, the listing details in the top right pane and the google map in the bottom right pane.  If this is not happening, it is probably because you are trying to navigate directly to a listing.  You must start at the base craigslist URL for the city you are searching in.  I.E. portland.craigslist.org or atlanta.craigslist.org.  From there you should click on “apts / housing.”

    The address bar in your browser should always show the general URL of the city you are looking for, for instance when using Ken’s script with Greasemonkey to search for apartments in Brighton, the address bar should always  read “http://boston.craigslist.org”

    Often you would like to send the exact URL of a particular listing to a friend or family member so that they can have a look at it.  In order to get this URL, you will need to right-click the search listing and choose “Copy Link Location.”  Then you can paste the exact URL to the listing you’re looking at into an email or wherever.  Make sense?  Good luck.

Update: 5/15/08:  My friend Luis Duarte was doing some apartment hunting in Brighton and I suggested he check out this script.  In so doing, we realized that Ken’s webspace at his former school has been taken down.  I found another fan of the script who had an updated version (not sure what was updated) so I decided to save the script locally to my server so that people can grab this forever and ever.

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