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Jan 31, 2011 11:57 AM

International Restaurant Page inactivity - Please Lord

I think its been a year since I first posted a query on making the international Restaurant Pages interactive with the International Boards. (btw India is)

since then I put up 1200 Restaurants roughly in Italy. But a whole summer and fall travel season went by without the feature being utilized. Im not the only one who is faithfolly inputting data in hopes that this will come live.

Im going to Italy and Gernany this Summer and it would be really nice to be able to use this work.
getting sort of sorry I didnt just make a google map, but I thought that making an effort that would be usable to folks other than me would be a better way.

Please tell me what gives.

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  1. Can it be that I received an answer to prayer? I am seeing some maps appearing and linking now on the Italy Board. Bravo Chowhound.

    33 Replies
    1. re: jen kalb

      We're not actually sure how well this is going to play with our auto-linking system, but as a long-awaited response to your plea, we've turned on the linking function for the UK boards and the Italy boards as an experiment. Let us know if you run into any significant problems, and we'll re-evaluate turning on linking for the other international boards in awhile.

      1. re: Jacquilynne


        it looks like it is working fine so far - I have added some links and it looks good.
        one thing doesnt work - dont know whether it does on the US boards either - there is a counter/spot on the Restaurant page which is intended to show the NUMBER of discussions of the restaurant appear on Chowhound - it is still registering 0 though which wont encourage folks to click through to the Chowhound discussions (they can be accessed through the link right beneath. I think if this were fixed this would be a great enhancement!

        Maybe it would be good to put a post on the two Boards so people can experiement (also suggesting that they can add restaurants to the database)
        It is still clunky to add data and the entry fields are largely irrelevant, but hey, its great
        THANKS again! I am heading to Germany this year and will try to build some data there in addition to further Italy additions.

        1. re: jen kalb

          PS I still dont understand why links to googlemaps on the restaurant pages do not work - usually - because every so often one does work.

          1. re: jen kalb

            I'm not sure what you mean by this, can you elaborate?

            1. re: Jacquilynne

              The google maps place pages link a lot of useful info and reviews for restaurants. I put links to these pages on a large number of the Italian restaurant entries. However when you click on most of these links an error message is generated. Here is a restaurant page with a lgooglemaps ink that works

              and here is a brand new entry with a link that does not work - it takes you to a HTTP Status 4.3 Apache Tomcat 6.0.18 page with a message "access to the specific resources has been forbidden"


              thanks for any clarification and help you can give!

          2. re: jen kalb

            Those numbers are based on links, so if there aren't any existing links the number will show as 0. Are you seeing somewhere that there are linked conversations but they're not showing up?

            1. re: Jacquilynne

              here is the way the related discussion thing works on the Outer Boroughs Board

              Here is a Rome thread that now has links

              But when I go to one of the restaurants this is what I seehttp://www.chow.com/restaurants/915720/sora-...

              on another restaurant in the thread the function seems to be working

              and on another this happened rather than a link to the thread - I guess I screwed it up up by putting in a rating? But it asks for a rating!

              not much consistency but I am sure you can explain the logic!

              1. re: jen kalb

                I think the 'links to Chowhound threads' may get updated by batch overnight, so I'll check on those tomorrow.

                When you mark something as a review of a specific restaurant, that's what's supposed to happen. It shows the review directly on the page. There's still a link there to the thread, though -- the reply button. If it's not a review of a specific restaurant, then use 'manage links' rather than marking it as a review.

                1. re: Jacquilynne

                  Your new post on the italy board makes it clearer. the problem on the international boards is that so many threads are trip reports with multi reviews or planning discussions. It is a very awkward interaction with the "review" feature.

                  1. re: jen kalb

                    It's okay to skip over the review function if your post isn't a single review.

                    1. re: Jacquilynne

                      linking seems to be working ok. two things I am noticing

                      (1)I think the "manage links" bar is opaque - if we want to encourage people to link the restaurants they are discussing, shouldnt it be labelled better and placed more prominently? Its hardly noticeable vs that great big "is this a review notification

                      (2) there are some small problems on the Italy Restaurant page (not a lot but some) with the software "choosing" the wrong region lable for the town. The mapping software usually maps correctly, but there is software that attempts to complete the geographical designation, by adding region and zip and it sometimes confusingly adds the wrong names and zips. This cannot be corrected manually.
                      for example on a current thread, the software labels towns and addresses in Alto Adigo to Sicily and Puglia. Is there someone to talk to about this? It irritating the users already.

                      1. re: jen kalb

                        Can you provide examples of point 2? I'm not really following what you mean.

                        1. re: Jacquilynne

                          the issue came up on this page but for some reason its not showing the links now. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/683990

                          Zur Rose in Bolzano is an example of a restaowith this problem (address of this rest. in Alto Adige/Trentino says Sicila, no matter what I do and two restos in San Cassiano (Also Alto-Adige/Trentino) show Puglia, It would be like an address of a resto in California coming up as Florida instead. as I mentioned, they map correctly.


                          1. re: jen kalb

                            Weird, not sure what's up with that. We're not keeping our own mapping data on Italy, so the likelihood is that the bad data is coming from Google, unfortunately. I'll see if I can get Engineering to at least show that field on the edit screen so it can be corrected.

                            1. re: Jacquilynne

                              just to confirm, the google maps are fine it is just a problem, sometimes, the info that is automatically input in the Restaurant data fields. In some regions of italy, the region name and/or zip in others not - there is no uniformity.

                              1. re: jen kalb

                                it would be a state/region field. Not sure how it would work for other countries if people started inputting data there. Also in Italy there are smaller units, provinces that are actually part of addresses (Emilia Romagna, Campania, Puglia, Lombardia are not though they are more useful designations touristically Might be worth some consideration re how this field would be used - just to correct the auto data entry?

                                1. re: jen kalb

                                  by the way the international boards appear to pick up this type of info in a variety of ways, Spain looks like it picks up Provinces, France, Departments , Germany, States (sometimes) , India states, couldnt figure out UK, postal code is only constant (Scotland says Scotland) as long as it is correct I dont much care how this goes but its relevant to the data input screens. the main inquiry screen only wants city and country (mostly) to function,

                        2. re: jen kalb

                          I Am noticing the same thing about your Google map link giving the incorrect location; on my review of Rabaja the map positions the restaurant in Neive, not in Barbaresco, and with my review of Gener Neuv, yes it correctly locates Asti, but way away on the wrong side of town. If I go to Google maps directly and punch in the address, the correct location comes up for Gener Neuv, so its not the fault of Google maps, but your data link. For Rabaja, its Google maps problem, as they haven't updated the name change of the street even though its been 5 years.

                          1. re: Villasampaguita

                            I have looked into the Rabaja thing and am really confused - the Reataurant name - Rabaya or Rabaja, the address on their websidte vs the google map they link to and the address listed on the google link - if google and the website are screwed up all you can really do is put in a note to that effect (you should) in your entry or use the tool Jacquelyne has mentioned.

                            Anyone who is really interested can call the resto for directions.

            2. re: Jacquilynne

              We have written several reviews over the years, how can we retroactivate the auto- linking?

              1. re: Villasampaguita

                You can't, directly. But if you use report to flag you previous reviews, and provide the URL of the restaurant you want them linked to in the comments, the mods can help with that.

                1. re: Jacquilynne

                  OK, I think I got it, first you need to add the restaurant to the data base and then review it and add the link. I have made links to two reviews and flagged them but waiting to see them be transferred into the restaurant data base reviews, I guess it takes time if the moderators are busy. Question: would it not be better just to cut and paste the review and add it to the data base which provides space for a review?

                  My comments on the "International" restaurant database is that the only links on the restaurants page are to USA localities and you need to run a search to find international ones, I hope that other country links will be added in due time.

                  And a critique of the cuisine check list is that it only has "Italian" and no other choice. That's all very well outside of Italy, but in the country itself we don't find "Italian" restaurants, they are all regional with a few exceptions of "international Italian" in major tourist centres. I am not suggesting that there should be checks for all 20 Italian regions, however an "Italian Regional" would suffice. And the same applies for French, Indian, Chinese and Indonesian cuisines as well.

                  1. re: Villasampaguita

                    >a critique of the cuisine check list is that it only has "Italian" and no other choice.

                    You can refine the description of a restaurant's food in the "Cuisine Tags" field. The Chow record for I Trulli in New York, for example, includes the tag "Puglian" (see below).


                    1. re: squid kun

                      Like Squid Kun says - In inputting restaurants in Italy to date I have been ignoringI most of the data entry fields - most of them are irrelevant in the European environment - (alcohol - please)

                      any info about cuisine, type of restaurant, (ristorante, trattoria, winebar etc) can be entered in Cusine Tags. this shows up right under the name of the restauant when the data is displayed, along with the address. If the resto has a slowfood Gambero Rosso Michelin or other status I will put it there. there is a separate data entry line below for tags I will add any recommended specialties to give an idea of what is on offer If I have time and ireliable nformation or personal experience (if you are doing a full review that maybe doesnt matter so much. I mostly ignore the rest of the form unless their is outdoor seating, a view or a good wine cellar, in which case I will tick the boxes.

                      Re the addresses, sometimes if you fiddle with the address format, it will map better. I usually check against the googlemaps entry for the rest and check to see it is mapping in the right village/area. If it doesnt get an address format it likes sometimes it will space the resto smack in the middle of a town. If it does this, thats when I start to fiddle. The normal italian address format (street, no or even localita, no) works. If the place is in a fraxione or localita, it will usually map ok, but it may substitute the name of a larger town. I usually will let that go if it maps correctly, but put the name of the fraz or loc ahead of the street address or else in the neighborhood line so the reader knows where it is.. Just fool around with this a bit and you will figure out how to manipulate the system. The only place in Italy that is really hard is Venice!

                      If you put in the correct street address it should not generate a different street address, you should be able to override.

                      1. re: jen kalb

                        VS - I looked at your entry and how it maps on googlemaps, added the Borgo Tanaro place name and it now looks like it maps correctly.
                        Nice entry!

                        1. re: jen kalb

                          How strange, the address of Gener Neuv is actually Via Lungotanaro dei Pescatori 4, which if I enter on Google maps shows the restaurant. If I enter Borgo Tanaro on my Google map it gives me Corso 25 Aprile, next to the police station! Borgo Tanaro does not show on either Google.IT or UK maps

                          Rabajà or Rabayà (the names are interchangeable, I think its because the Piedmontese "j" is not pronounceable in Italian) used to be on Via Rabajà (not Via Rabayà), but several years ago the name was changed to Strada Della Stazione (although the station hasn't been there for 20 years) but Google Maps has not updated the name. However its easy to find.

                          Google maps also changed the name of our truffle hunters place from Fraz Burio to Via Canelli, forcing him to change his address as all GPS's followed Google.


                        2. re: jen kalb

                          The other thing you can do with mapping is completely override the address by inputting a latitude and longitude on the record. I usually use http://itouchmap.com/latlong.html to find the info, though it's a bit tedious to drill down to find your location since you can't search directly on the address. If it's not mapping correctly on Google, especially, that override will be necessary. If it is correct on Google, but isn't on CHOW, fixing the address will usually correct it.

                          1. re: Jacquilynne

                            It is nice to see that a numbe of Italy board participants are using the links, but too many of the posts are picking up the wrong links - in dfferent cities and regions which completely messes up the mapping., defeating part of the purpose of the links.

                            I report these as I see them but they seem to remain on the board too long.

                            Here is an example

                            Also, the group of Alto Adige restaurants that inappropriately identify to Sicily or Puglia continue to be confusing participants. They only interfere with mapping when you try to search sicilia or puglia - their remote destination pops up on the map reducing the size of the Sicily or Puglia map. Is there any way to get this fixed, its truly puzzling.

                            check this out http://www.chow.com/search?query=&amp...

                            1. re: Jacquilynne

                              Jacquilynne, I seemed to be having trouble adding a new restaurant to the database in the past few days - in this case, Bibendum restaurant on the UK/Ireland board. I used the 'add a restaurant or bar' link as I'd always done. But the search "clock" will then run for a long time, with no search results coming back. Prior to this, I'd had no problems using this.

                              Do you know what's the problem?

                              1. re: klyeoh

                                it doesnt seem possible to edit or add to the restaurant data base for the last few days. hopefully now that the weekend is over somebody will address this??

                                1. re: klyeoh

                                  Here's a longer thread about the problem that everyone is having.


                                  It seems to have started when the "share" tab was added. Sharing tweets, likes and emails is encouraged. It seems trying to share information about the restaurant isn't.

                    2. re: Jacquilynne

                      Would there be any way at ths point to open the topic announcing the links at the top of the Italy Board. At this point, people probably ignore it and I can think of some comments I would like to make to participants there. that would broaden participation in putting up restaurant names and avoiding bad autolinks

                      It seems like its working very well except for the wrong links that come up because of similar or common names - da Gino, Castello, etc. and the fact that people do not self monitor. - the links they generate dont necessarily show up right away.

                      Is there any way this could be opened now for other countries???

                  2. I want to put up a trip report on the Italy board, all restaurants in Sicily- should I rather put a different review up for each restaurant than one trip report? There's like 12 of them... Don't want to mess with board etiquette here!

                    25 Replies
                    1. re: Gooseberry

                      If you want to mark the reviews as 'a review of a specific restaurant' and have the text of your reviews appear directly on each restaurant page, you'll need to use 12 different posts.

                      If you want to simply have links to and from the restaurant pages, you can do all 12 in a single post, and then use Manage Links to add links to each one.

                      Either is totally fine.

                      1. re: Jacquilynne

                        Personally I think it would be nice if folks started using the review feature, its fallow in Italy and its a great big empty hole in the restaurant page along with the hole for pictures that cant be posted (or can they?) whereas the link to board discussions is not so visitble.

                        But gooseberry, what Im really looking forward to is what you have to say about those 12 restaurants! terrific!.

                        1. re: jen kalb

                          And by using the review feature I hope you mean clicking on the box within a Chowhound post and not just using the quick review section on the restaurant record.

                          The first option will get it more attention. As you mentioned, this is a great big hole everywhere on Chowhound with the second option.

                          Last I tried, pictures couldn't be be uploaded to the restaurant record. They can be uploaded to a Chowhound topic

                          My own personal preference would be 12 separate reviews. Otherwise the post gets too long and the responses for particular restaurants get mixed together. So someone looking for information on a specific restaurant has to pick through possible discussions about 11 other restaurants. However, that's just my own personal preference.

                          1. re: rworange

                            Another benefit of posting 12 separate reports, each titled with the name of the restaurant and location, is that they will be indexed higher as best match in the site search engine, google and other search engines when someone searches for that information.

                            1. re: rworange

                              I'm with you there, rworange :-)

                          2. re: Jacquilynne

                            Jacquilynne - I don't seem to be able to add a new restaurant & its address details to the database anymore (I used to be able to do so). Do you know why? Privilege revoked? I'd been trying to add address links to restaurants I'd been writing up about in the China/SE-Asia board. Nothing happens when I try to add new restaurants ;(

                            1. re: klyeoh

                              That isn't a special privilege, so if you can post, you should be able to do it. But there are a lot of changes happening right now as they rewrite the back end of the site, so it could just be a bug. Can you walk me through the steps you're taking and where you're running into problems so I can report it to Engineering?

                              1. re: Jacquilynne

                                I'll go to the "Manage Your Links" bar, and type the name of the restaurant into the box provided. If the restaurant already exists, it's fine - the rest of the restaurant's address pops out automatically.

                                But if the restaurant is not on the database, nothing happens. So after a while, I'd go to the "Still can't find it? Add a Restaurant or Bar" section.

                                I'll type the relevant details into the "Name:" and "Address:" boxes. Previously, this will work, and the new restaurant's details will be updated into the database after a while, and I can then link it to my post. Unfortunately, the past few months, I'll only see a circular "time dial" moving, as if the application is processing my name/address update request, but nothing will happen, and I'll just press "Close" to stop the wait eventually :-(

                                1. re: klyeoh

                                  I had problems accessing this function from the Boards a week or so ago - but i could still do it directly on the Restaurant page.

                                  1. re: klyeoh

                                    Can you provide me with the info for one of the restaurants you've been trying to add? I'll see if I can get it to work myself, and that'll at least let us figure out if it's something specific to your set-up or a general issue with restaurants in that region.

                                    1. re: Jacquilynne

                                      fyi i just added one today through the boards in Germany, so in my case it was a temporary issue.

                                      1. re: jen kalb

                                        jen kalb, did you add a Germany-based restaurant address? I'd not been able to add any addresses for the restaurants in Hamburg & Berlin which I posted last month in all of June I was there - neither from my own laptop, nor my German office colleagues', and even those Internet desktops in the airline lounges in Germany or Singapore :(

                                        I never had problems adding new restaurant addresses during my 3 years on the SF Bay Area board. The Restaurant page itself only has US cities, but no options to go into International boards. I really miss the old Chowhound format whence I could easily add new restaurant addresses - I even did one for Sage in Kuala Lumpur whilst posting from San Francisco then.

                                      2. re: Jacquilynne

                                        Jacquiline, one example would be Bibendum which I visited in March this year - address details below:

                                        Michelin House
                                        81 Fulham Road
                                        London SW3 6RD
                                        Tel: 020 7581 5817

                                        If a restaurant is already on the database, I have no problems amending/refining the address details, e.g. like what I did for Thai 101 & quite a few other restaurants also on the UK board. Thus far this year, I'd not had much luck addding new restaurants on the UK/Ireland, China/SE-Asia and Europe boards :(

                                        1. re: klyeoh

                                          That didn't seem to be a problem for me: http://www.chow.com/restaurants/92450...

                                          So maybe it's something browser specific. From our server logs, it looks like you're using a pretty old browser, Internet Explorer 6. Is that correct? If so, that may well be the issue.

                                          1. re: Jacquilynne

                                            Thanks, Jacquilynne. Yes, mine's Internet Explorer 6 (though I think I'd used other desktops before but not sure what IE versions those were). I'll try & upgrade my IE & see if it works!

                                            Thanks for your prompt response!

                                            1. re: Jacquilynne

                                              Jacquiline, I managed to successfully add Le Gavroche, Rules and Wiltons using the Restaurant page (as suggested by jen kalb above). However, 2.5 hours later, I still can't find or link those restaurants to my post on the UK/Ireland board. How long does it take for new entries into the restaurant database to be validated? I'll try again this evening to link the addresses to my post.

                                              The Bibendum address which you added seemed to work almost instantaneously & I was able to link that to my 2nd April post on the UK/Ireland board with immediate effect :)

                                              1. re: klyeoh

                                                Hrmm. I wonder if it's a difference in how they're country coded. I didn't enter the country, just London and the post code you provided, and let the software fill in the rest, and they ended up tagged as GB, while the ones you added have United Kingdom on them. Did you fill that into the address field yourself, or did the software choose that?

                                                1. re: Jacquilynne

                                                  Jacquilynne, usually, the software will provide GB as a default value, and I'll amend that to United Kingdom before saving it.

                                                  1. re: klyeoh

                                                    That's probably the problem, then. The software relies on being able to look things up using pre-defined values. If you change the data from what it expects, and provides, it may not be able to find the records.

                                                    We may be able to set up more expansive search definitions for the board so it's more inclusive, but in general, assuming that the data is not actually wrong (as it sometimes is with the Italian regions), it's best to let the software have its way.

                                                    1. re: Jacquilynne

                                                      Yes, I think I just came to the same conclusion as you did a while ago - I should linked the address to my post FIRST. Once, that's been done, we can then amend/refine the address!
                                                      Anyway - thanks so much for your help. I'll try to follow your method for my future posts :-)

                                                  2. re: Jacquilynne

                                                    Yes!! It worked - I amended all the addresses (Rules, Le Gavroche & Wiltons) from United Kingdom back to GB. And the address links now work!
                                                    Thanks again for your help :-D

                                      3. re: klyeoh

                                        Did you get a "Page not found" after trying to add the restaurant? I got that to happen once on the test server, but it went away when I refreshed the page and I couldn't get it to happen with any other new restaurants after that.

                                        If you are getting the "page not found", then your new entry is getting to the database OK. The error may just be a timing issue.

                                        1. re: Engineering

                                          Unfortunately, it's not a timing issue. I used to be able to get the new restaurant details/addresses updated (after a short wait), and I'd had no problems adding new restaurants for my posts on the San Francisco Bay Area, UK/N Ireland and even China/SE-Asian boards back in 2007/2008/2009, but the system seemed to have stopped working for me these past year. I now type the restaurant address details right after my posts, but with no links to Google Maps. Sad :-(

                                          1. re: klyeoh

                                            it looks to me that linking is now activated for the whole world, judging by the fact that "manage my links" comes up now on posts in many geograpies. Could we get a confirmation that this is true?

                                            One thing that I experienced last week in posting from Europe was significant delays in seeing new links appear. Am wondering if this is a geographical issue. ie. things happening outside of US business/active hours may be delayed, or was it just a temporary issue?

                                            1. re: jen kalb

                                              Yes, looks like it's activated for the whole world again now. It was that way before, but during the software upgrade a couple of years back, they removed that for all boards except US ones. The address links for the China/SE-Asia board was only restored a few weeks ago, whilst the UK/Ireland board was done earlier this year :-)