The RE world really needs a comprehensive visual analytics tool.
I saw this, but it doesn't even come close to what *could* be done:
Can anyone think of a good way to scrape the MLS (both sale and rental), AirBnb, VRBO, and others? In fact, actual listings could (should) be anonymized: the tool would be mostly for investors and policymakers to understand long-term trends.
Who has thoughts on this? Where would one start?
Not quite sure what you are looking for. GIS databases, systems, etc. already exist and most universities have programs related to their use (e.g. http://cnr.ncsu.edu/geospatial/)
I've noticed a lack of decent analytics as well. I think the problem stems from a high barrier to entry for useful data in Real Estate. In most cases it seems the expense of the data feeds outweighs the payoff for development. If data was cheaper to come by in this industry, a lot could be done with it.
If you're familiar with Python, this GitHub may be useful. I've played around with it a bit myself, but Airbnb is not my focus and I'm not sure what kind of end-user terms this may or may not violate. In any case, full credit goes out to the developers.