Jamie Starke bio photo

Jamie Starke

I develop for my career, but I also develop for fun, and whenever I think it can solve a problem I'm having. This has lead me to create side projects, such as Rental Map and BusTimes, among others.

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After running for almost 5 years, I have decided to retire the Victoria Rental Map.

When Lars and I created the rental map back in 2012, I was highly motivated to make a better solution for finding rentals. This was largely due to the fact that my wife wanted to go back to school, so we wanted to downsize a bit, and we weren’t entirely happy with our apartment at the time. After spending a few hours every night looking through all of the websites of the various rental agencies in town, I knew there had to be a better way. I think the Victoria Rental Map definitely offered a better way.

One of the hardest problems with the Victoria Rental Map is with Data Collection. None of the rental agencies have a API for getting rentals, so we relied heavily on custom data collectors to get the rental information for our map. These collectors were fairly fragile, and require regular maintenance to keep them able to collect data from each of the rental agencies. But due to their highly custom nature, each collector is suitable for only a single agency. As this was always a hobby project, it’s difficult to justify spending the considerable time keeping these up to date.

If anyone wants to help create a newer, revamped version of the rental map, don’t hesitate to contact me. I’d be happy to share my knowledge of the data collectors, mapping, or potentially work with any Devs that would be interested in making a better way to find rentals in Victoria.

In the mean time, if you’re looking for a place to rent, I’d recommend checking out Used Victoria, Craigslist, or the UVIC off campus housing.