Trulia Brings Sweet Eyecandy to.. the Housing Market?

Trulia, the real estate search engine and community, has released Snapshot, a new interactive housing map that is a bit more fun than it should be.

Snapshot overlays a Microsoft Virtual Earth map with thumbnails of houses on the market. Each image hovers over its proper location on the map, and users can drag them around to get a better look at the terrain if some houses are too close together. After releasing the image, it snaps back into place – complete with a nice jiggle.

Users can move a sliding bar to set the price range of houses that appear on the map. As each house appears, it enthusiastically pushes nearby pictures out of the way, leading to lots of totally useless (but fun) bouncing. There’s also a slideshow function that lets you sit back and watch as this odd combination of real estate and Jello does its own thing.

Snapshot does have some more practical functions. Clicking on a photo will present more detailed information, including the price and a link to the realtor. And the sliding price limits are handy for getting a feel for what’s available in a neighborhood. That said, there doesn’t seem to be much in Snapshot that wasn’t already on Trulia already, it just presents it in a more visually appealing way.

Trulia was founded in 2004 and has raised nearly $18 million in funding, with investors including Sequoia Capital and Accel Partners. Other competitors in this space include Redfin, Zillow, and Roost.