Bonnie Cha

Recent Posts by Bonnie Cha

Wildfires, Hurricanes, Tornadoes, Oh My! Trulia Adds More Natural Hazard Maps.

There are a lot of things to consider when searching for a new home. Aside from finding a place that meets your criteria and budget, you want to know about a neighborhood’s schools, crime rate and amenities. And in some areas, you also might want to know about the risk of natural disasters.


To that end, real estate website Trulia released new tools today that show areas across the country that are prone to hurricanes, tornadoes and wildfires. Previously, the site only offered information about floods and earthquakes.

Available through the Trulia Local feature, users can enter a city and then select from one of the natural hazards to see the potential risk of an area. The company created the maps using data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the U.S. Forest Service.

The wildfire maps show fire occurrences from 2001 to 2010. Meanwhile, the hurricane and tornado maps show information from 1950 to 2011, and also allow you to see the track and strength of storms visualized on the maps.

Peter Black, lead geospatial engineer at Trulia, said the company had the idea to provide information about natural disasters for a while, but knew that it had to get the data out there after Hurricane Sandy hit.

“If we can help just one person with this information, then it’s worth it,” said Black.

For now, the latest natural hazard maps are only available on Trulia’s website, but the company plans to bring them to its iOS and Android apps. Also, the maps will be updated every year.

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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald