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Real Estate Geolocation Data Performance

October 26, 2006

We have spent a good amount of time on the performance aspects of the geolocation database.  As we talked about in our previous geolocation article, the properties for sale, members, and service provider data are all geolocation “aware” within our custom web engine without the need to interface with an online mapping service or the requirement for an address. Geocoordinate data that is “close enough” is the initial goal for our custom geocoder software and we have a plan to become much more accurate in the near future.

All this data floating around in our servers comes with its own special cost – namely a potentially huge performance hit on our infrastructure. We’ll been working at reducing this as much as possible.  To give you an idea of the scale, the initial data return times for most countries and states in the untuned geolocation database were in the 45-75 second range.  California is a special case (due to the sheer amount of data) and was in the 4 1/2 minute range to return the required sets.  Yikes! This type of poor performance would be completely unacceptable for a website.

I’m happy to say that after crazy efforts by the team around performance tuning, we’ve gotten the time for data return for almost all US states and the 20 or so countries with data available for launch down to less than 2 seconds (same dataset requested). California is still a challenge with 12-13  seconds (marginally acceptable).  We’ll continue to work on performance tomorrow.  

In all, registration for the will be pushed back to Monday and will be available at the same time as the functionality to post porperties for sale (no change).  This will also give us the weekend to finish our final test cases around geolocation.

 In the interim, learn a bit more about podcasting or enjoy the new real estate videos that we’ve posted.  Only a couple in English…but a boatload in Spanish and Portuguese.

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