Recent transplant from another board. Just having some trouble getting oriented. For one thing, there was no apparent direct way to get to this board (Site Talk) or did i miss it. Only stumbled on to it by doing a search for "places mentioned". Which is my real question.
Is there a FAQ that explains it (PM) in a little detail? How come some threads have it and others do not? How come some locations mentioned in a thread appear while others do not? Is there a way to save the maps? Join the maps? Get a map for all recent places mentioned in a specific board? Are there any other mapping features on this site i may have missed? I'm a huge fan of mapping locations and created my own MapMuse map that included all the locations for DDD, BTIEA, Man VS Food, Outrageous Food, etc, Has there been any activity here of that type?
A complete list of boards on Chowhound (including Site Talk) can be found in the box near the top of the page under the tab "Choose A Board". Site Talk can be found by clicking "See all boards" under the "Topical" heading.
I don't believe that there is any FAQ for Places Mentioned, but I'll try to sum it up. Chowhound automatically looks for restaurant names in each thread and tries to match them against the restaurants in our database corresponding to that board's region. The matching is fairly conservative to avoid false positives, which is unfortunately why some (as you have noticed) do not get linked.
Users can also manually link their posts to a restaurant in the database using "manage your links" underneath the text-input for posts. Both automatically and manually linked restaurants will appear in the "Places Mentioned" list.
The map itself is just a Google Map widget, and (as far as I am aware) has no special capabilities aside from what you have already seen. I'm not personally aware of any map-related activities around the site, but do not know enough about the community to say for certain.