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Manhattan, Brooklyn, whatever: one more persistent Places problem

squid kun Oct 30, 2009 12:49 AM

A respected NYC regular observes that Chow's redesigned restaurant database sometimes can't figure out the difference between Manhattan and Brooklyn ... http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/3129...

He's talking about a Manhattan restaurant called Turkish Kitchen. New Yorkers will recognize from the screen grab below that its map places it in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, miles from its actual location. This doesn't seem to be a Google map problem; Yelp's Google map gets it right: http://www.yelp.com/biz/turkish-kitch...

Yes, this is a "known issue." I raise it again now because it came up more than a month ago in beta testing, and we were told it would be fixed before launch. Well, Chow launched it, and it wasn't fixed.

I also mention this because it's the kind of screw-up that makes Chow look dumb: out of town and out of touch. If I were a New Yorker new to the site, that would be my first impression. And the longer this bug is visible for all to see, the more accurate that first impression appears.

By now Chowhound veterans have seen this movie: Minimally tested release goes live. Functionality goes south in numerous infuriating ways. Users go bananas. Some bugs are fixed. Users get over it or drift away. Life goes on. Fade to black (or application error page).

What I don't think the Chow bosses get is just how badly this m.o. erodes the site's credibility over time. What's the rush with major site changes? Why not make sure this stuff works before going live? Other sites seem to manage overhauls and redesigns with far less tsouris and bugginess. Why not Chow?

 
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  1. LNG212 RE: squid kun Nov 4, 2009 08:09 AM

    To the technical staff:

    Just to second squid kun ...

    Would you people please turn off the google maps feature? It is absolutely horrible that CH can't seem to figure out the difference between Manhattan and Brooklyn in pretty much every post. (See here for an example of two restaurants in Manhattan and both being shown in Brooklyn: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/664646 ).

    The poor out-of-towners looking at these maps will be utterly confused. If you can't get the information right, you should at least turn off the map feature.

    1. squid kun RE: squid kun Nov 17, 2009 11:13 AM

      Some progress: If one edits a record with this problem, saving the record appears to correct the map. But records that haven't been edited since the fix still seem to display incorrectly.

      1. LNG212 RE: squid kun Nov 18, 2009 08:23 AM

        Some progress, I guess. But still not working properly. See http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/668046 .

        Oh, and by the way, why would the address for a restaurant be listed as Apartment 1A? The database you purchased is just insane.

        2 Replies
        1. re: LNG212
          squid kun RE: LNG212 Nov 18, 2009 10:49 AM

          The database is full of that kind of robo-listings language ("Frnt" is another common example). Actually I have no reason to think this database is worse than its competitors (if any).

          The problem is that this kind of weirdness has been imported intact by the site, along with uncounted duplicate entries and an occasional howler of a factual error (all documented in other threads). The result is that Chow's restaurant section, like other interchangeable listings sites, has that familiar, off-putting "untouched by human hands" vibe.

          1. re: squid kun
            LNG212 RE: squid kun Nov 18, 2009 11:41 AM

            Yes, I have been following your posts and those of others on the other threads too. I guess I just keep hoping that someone (with power to do something) out there is actually paying attention. Alas, it seems not. And I agree with you (and rworange too) that this is a huge turnoff both for new users as well as for regular posters. To echo you all, it certainly does make it seem that no one at Chow/CH/CBS gives a damn.

        2. LNG212 RE: squid kun Dec 5, 2009 01:33 PM

          Okay, I thought this problem was actually getting better. Apparently not. See: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/666727

          1. Jacquilynne RE: squid kun Dec 20, 2009 01:54 PM

            We're going to try redefining those regions by zip code in January and that should help.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Jacquilynne
              Melanie Wong RE: Jacquilynne Jan 6, 2010 02:19 PM

              Has the zip code trial been rolled out?

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