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Places and Hubs: Current Problems

The previous Places Problems thread was getting unwieldy, and a lot of the reports in it are for things we've fixed, so I'm starting fresh with this summary. If I'm missing a major problem, please let me know in a reply, and I'll investigate and add it to the list.

PROBLEM: When searching in Link to a Place, you often don't find the entry in the Places Database, even if it already exists.
REPORTED: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/44200... 441
WORKAROUND: If you know the entry is there, search for it separately, and use the full name from the database to search when linking. Also, check to see if the Place has the correct Region assigned--that is often the reason it can't be found.

PROBLEM: Primary Cuisine list is missing some things and has odd categorizations for others.
REPORTED: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/443262 -- If you've got suggestions for updates, please use that thread on Site Talk to discuss them.
WORKAROUND: Select the closest option in Primary Cuisine and add the correct information in the cuisine tags fields.

-- Jacquilynne, Community Manager for Chowhound

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    1. re: Robert Lauriston

      I'm not clear what the problem was in that scenario beyond just that something timed out and you ended up with the correct result as far as I can tell. If it's a recurring problem, or if I'm misunderstanding, please let me know.

      1. re: Jacquilynne

        Aha, the bug is slightly different:

        1. Search for a place that's not in Chow Places or Google Maps.

        2. When not found, click the Add a Place button.

        3. Enter name and address.

        4. Click the "Add place" button.

        Expected result: message that the place will be added to my post.

        Actual result: nothing. Clicking the "Add place" button produces no action.

        HOWEVER, when you click Cancel, the entry appears.

      1. re: applehome

        They put in a fix for that a few days ago, and we got many reports from people who said it was fine now, is it still not working for you?

        1. re: Jacquilynne

          No. I don't use IE7 - I use Firefox, on 2 PC's, one using, and the other still on 1.5. I get the same results on both. I have Zone Alarm on the 1.5 machine, but have turned it completely off and still get the same results. I just flushed cache and re-logged in on both machines - still the same results.

          At this point, I go to www.chow.com/places/new and the screen just sits there blank - the "waiting" little circle is not turning - it has retrieved the site - but it just sits there blank. This reflects the original problem - trying to establish a place from a thread - it goes off on the search and just sits there blank. I do this also from the new places page - which works fine - but when I choose the add a place now from the search page, it sits there blank (same as /places/new).

          I just tried it with IE6 - same thing - flag isn't waving, I have a blank screen. I just tried it on SeaMonkey 1.1.4 - same thing. I have no problem doing searches on google maps on any of these browsers.

          Help! Something my ISP (Verizon FIOS) is doing? Something set wrong on my WAN router? Some redirect not coming in right?


      2. I don't know if this is an old bug carried over or a new one, but it is Wild.

        I changed my theme to the 'light' background and suddenly the Place Edit buttons stopped working. When I changed the theme back to 'dark', all is well. FYI I'm using Firefox


        1. Flossie's should show up on the LA Southern/Soul hub map but does Not.

          Harry's Oklahoma Style Smoke House BBQ in Lomita should be on the Barbecue map - it is Not.

          1. Still linking to the wrong map. For example, the info correctly gives the information:

            Crepe O Chocolate
            San Francisco Bay Area - 75 O'Farrell Street, San Francisco CA - SF - Union Square

            but the map is for an address on Farrell Street in Gilroy, CA.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Ruth Lafler

              Google Maps has problems with "O'Farrell." I think the apostrophe throws it off.

            2. I'm the CHer who posted the complaint listed first in your top message, about the LTAP search always choosing the last place in a multiple list. I've read over your suggested workaround several times, and either I don't understand what you're suggesting or it doesn't address the problem.

              In my original post at http://www.chowhound.com/topics/41758... I gave the example of trying to link to the Green Room on Hollywood Blvd. in Los Angeles. Your response above begins:

              "WORKAROUND: If you want to link to a Place in your post, and it does not already exist in the Places database, [...]"

              But that's not the problem I complained about. It's not that the Hollywood Blvd. Green Room isn't in the database or that it needs fixing -- it's that it shows up *correctly* on the Search list but it can't be attached because the link always shoots to the last item in the list.

              What I have done to get around this is to enter the place name and address EXACTLY AS THEY ARE LISTED IN THE DATABASE, so as to try to bring it up as the only item in the search list. But at least a third of the time this doesn't work either. (See below -- again I clicked on the Hollywood Blvd. Green Room.


              What I guess you're saying is that the only way around this is to intentionally make a duplicate entry in the database. I just want to make sure this is what you're telling us to do, since it seems to me that the long-range effect will be to further fragment the database and make the admin's job a lot harder.

              6 Replies
              1. re: maxzook

                It's been my experience that the problem with it always choosing the last result is amongst the "Other Results By Name and Location" but if you can manage to get your result to turn up under "Chow Places" then you can select it from there and it will link correctly. That's what the workaround is meant to help you do, but the instructions aren't super clear. Let me try and be more clear, and see if it does work for you, or if we're experiencing different behaviours.

                Part 1: Make sure the place you want to link is in the database.

                1. You can search for it using the general site search in the top right corner, then click on 'Places' on the results page to see Places by that name. If it doesn't turn up, chances are, it's not in the Chow database, since that search is the most likely to find things. If it is in the Chow database, click to view the detail and jump to part 2.

                2. If it is not in the Chow database, go to the Add a Place page via the hub, or use this link: http://www.chow.com/places/new

                3. Search as you would with Link to a Place, and then select it from the list of options under 'Other Results by Name and Location'. This will, as you've noted, add the wrong place most of the time--but in this view, it will actually open the wrong place up for editing.

                4. Edit the wrong place to be the right place -- give it the correct name, address and postal code. Blank out the phone number if you don't know it offhand. Make sure the region is assigned.

                5. Save your new place record and return to the thread where you want to link.

                Part 2: Add a place that is in the Chow Database

                1. Check that it's in the right region--if something is assigned to the wrong region, it won't turn up properly on a Link to a Place search. On the detail page for a place, the region shows up as the first item on address line. If it's not set to the right region, edit the Place and change it.

                2. Note the exact name and the City / State / Country as listed on the place page.

                3. Return to the thread you want to link in, and do your search using the exact name, the city / state / country combo and the region as listed on the Place page. This should, if all goes well, make your result appear in the 'Chow Places' section of the search results, and that should work.

                Needless to say, we recognize that that's quite a lot more work than anyone wants to be doing to link a Place, but is it a workaround that's been working for me. If it doesn't work for you -- if linking fails even when you can get the result to appear in Chow Places, please let me know.

                1. re: Jacquilynne

                  I just tried this workaround for Toronado Pub / 547 Haight St, San Francisco, CA.

                  Filled out the places form, but at part 1, step 5, when I saved, it changed to Noc Noc / 557 Haight St, San Francisco, CA.

                  I edited it to the correct address, but it's still not showing up in Chow Places. Somehow I ended up creating a duplicate.


                  1. re: Jacquilynne

                    I think I may understand what the confusion may be.
                    This is *my understanding* of what you've said in these various posts about the 'Link to a Place' concerning it's architecture:

                    * Chow has it's own database of places that get built up by the "Link to a Place" feature.
                    * When something isn't in the database, it falls back to using Google Maps to find it.
                    * If it doesn't find it in either place, then it prompts you to provide the rest of the information about it (I'm speculating here, as I haven't run into this yet).
                    * When all is finished, if the resultant place is not in the Chow database, it is then added.

                    Based on this understanding, when you ask people if it is/isn't in the DB, I can see that people may be confused, because when you do a search using the 'link to place' interface, it may find it via google maps, even if it isn't in the DB.

                    Am I correct?

                    BTW - I'm also coming across this particular issue:
                    Sichuan Gourmet in Billerica, MA..
                    There's also a "Sichuan Gourmet II" in Framingham, MA, and I get the aforementioned always-chooses-last-in-list bug. Searching using the specific title obviously doesn't disambiguate, since the second entry is exactly the same as the first, with additional " II" on the end. I haven't tried your workaround (I'm too lazy at the moment, and can wait for it to be fixed). Just siting another example.

                    1. re: Keithel

                      I get the same "always choosing the last in a list" error.
                      For example, I tried to add a link to Proof Restaurant in Washington, DC.

                      For some reason it can't find any CHOW places for that region, but it lists 2 other results.
                      Result 1: Proof at 703 G Street NW (the one I'm looking for)
                      Result 2: Jinx Proof at 3289 M Street NW

                      I select the first one, and as you can see below it only populates with the bottom-most option. I tried selecting the bottom one and it still links to Jinx Proof.

                      The same thing happens when I enter Clyde's and try to choose Clyde's of Gallery Place. It selects the bottom-most one, Clyde's of Chevy Chase.

                      Thanks for your help.

                      1. re: KWynn

                        Unfortunately it's been at least three weeks since this problem came up, and no solution seems to be in sight. Whenever the search is unable to come up with a CHOW Place meeting the criteria, it always pulls up the last in the list of alternates.

                        The solution we were given if your target location doesn't show up as a CHOW Place is to open this page in an alternate window:


                        ... and enter it as a CHOW Place, then go back and re-search it. This is, of course, pretty impractical to do every time you want to link to a place, but I'm still not clear if this is supposed to be the permanent "solution" or just a temporary workaround.

                        1. re: maxzook

                          Temporary workaround -- but that's not an easy problem to fix. They're working on it.

                2. I tried making a new Place - restaurant had an accent in its name - after the link was made, the name got truncated to just "D" for "Dia de Pesca"

                  Oh, great, now it's not letting me link at all, but here's the post where I ran into this problem.


                  1. Not sure if this has been mentioned but it appears many of the recently added places do not have zip codes.

                    1. I just discovered that the places search didn't find a place at all if I didn't have a comma between san francisco and CA, but when I added the comma, it was fine. This might add lots of confusion, because I don't think that the comma was necessary before

                      1. The add a Place template has an (optional) field for a phone number. I pasted the phone number in, but it doesn't appear on the newly added Place page.

                        1. These problems have been fixed:

                          PROBLEM: 'Remove' link for Places does not work for either Users or Moderators.
                          REPORTED: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/41758... 357

                          PROBLEM: Places linking doesn't work properly in thread starter. The link will appear, and the restaurant will appear in the sidebar list, but on the Place page, there is no link back to the thread.
                          REPORTED: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/41758... 153

                          PROBLEM: Places that are linked on one board will show on that board's Hub, regardless of the assigned Region value on the Place page.
                          REPORTED: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/442895 458

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: Jacquilynne

                            For the second problem re: initial post Place links, does that only work for new Place links going forward? I ask because existing threads that had that problem are still not linked, e.g., http://www.chowhound.com/topics/447168 is not linked back to the Place entry for Panda Country Kitchen.

                            1. re: Melanie Wong

                              Yes, sorry, it won't link old posts that weren't properly linked before.

                          2. Jacquilynne, did Places just get another update? Today I've been trying to use LTAP and it throws me to the top of topic without a search dialog.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: DiveFan

                              Update - the symptom only affects my Firefox browser v2.0.0.7 right now, never had an issue before. Opera v 9.23 seems to be OK......for now.
                              OTOH sometimes LTAP finds a known Chow place, sometimes not, right now - Never. I know, same big bug.

                            2. I'm very pleased to note that this problem is now fixed:

                              PROBLEM: When adding a Place based on the Google list, either via 'link a place' or 'add a new place', it always picks the last place on the list of options, even if you click to select one of the others as the one you want. You can edit the place record that results to the correct info of the place you were trying for, but your post still contains the wrong info.
                              REPORTED: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/41758... 477

                              1. Here's another record that didn't get updated correctly when Northern and Southern Italian were combined.

                                Similar to this problem that had to be manually fixed

                                6 Replies
                                1. re: rworange

                                  Some more Places that are corrupted / can't be edited:

                                  These are easy to identify because they have a Primary Cuisine that is no longer valid.

                                    1. re: Jacquilynne

                                      Can we still edit Places? I was trying today to update some info, but can no longer edit.

                                        1. re: JamieK

                                          Thanks JamieK! I missed that one.......

                                          1. re: Rubee

                                            It's fixed now. I just updated a place linke. Yay!