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Aug 5, 2011 10:53 AM

Restuarant search glitch

Wondering why, when I put Rome,IT or Turin,IT into the Restaurant search it only returns a handful of restaurants? this is a pretty consistent glitch. there are more than 260 in the Rome database and I think at least 30 in turin. this does not seem to be a problem for Milan, Florence, Venice, Bologna or any other locality I have checked.

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  1. It looks like a lot of the entries for Rome have incomplete addresses -- missing country codes and lack of postal codes. That's likely affecting the search results.

    6 Replies
    1. re: Jacquilynne

      A good thought, but Its unclear whether or how the post code affects the mapping in Italy. this doesnt happen in any of the other cities and there are many more than 2 restaurants in Rome that have postal codes attached. for example, if you take the initial Rome search results and click on one, then click the nearby restauants box, a whole lot more restaurants (most with postal codes) appear.

      1. re: Jacquilynne

        I haven't been overly picky about Guatemala eateries. My only focus was getting a restaurant record entered ... which was quite the chore.

        However, I know I have entered at least a 100 restaurants for Antigua, because the site I got a lot of info from had over 100 entries .. and I entered a ton of restaurants that weren't listed on that site.

        Yet, when I search on Antigua, Guatemala I only get 32 results.

        I bookmarked a search just on "Guatemala" when I was working more updating the database.

        As of this post there are 233 results, the majority in Antigua where I ate the most.

        A few examples .. Casa Santa Domingo doesn't have a postal code, yet it shows up in the post with 32 posts

        El Arco has more complete information with a postal code, but doesn't show up int the 32 record search.

        In both cases, I just let the system initially generate the data.

        Since I no longer care as much about entering Guatemalan records, I'll pass along my dirty little secret to get these entered. Also engineering has been fabulous recently, keeping on top of and adressing issues. Installs have been flawless. In the past, I was afraid if I mentioned this workaroud, someone would "fix" it and I'd never get restaurant records entered.

        The street addresses were ALWAYS rejected in Antigua. North, South, East and West were REALLY important. 3rd Avenida Sud was blocks away from 3rd Avenida Norte ... think Manhattan and how important East and West is in the address.

        Initially I was dropping the N,S, E,W and noting the the CORRET address in the "Good to Know" section which kind of bugged me.

        Then I found out by accident if the city name started the street adress, I could enter the correct address. So my Street addresses are "Antigua, Street (Norte, Sud, Poniente, Oriente... North, Sourth, West, East). Search lists show the correct street address that way.

        Unfortunately, these don't show up in the search list.

        Anyway, getting a restaurant record in with hours, and other info was more important to me than anything else which I figured could be fixed up line. So as long as this is being address, yes, search is screwed up. No matter how the street address is entered, entering "Antigua, GT" should display ALL records with Antigua as the city and Guatemala as the country.

        And really .... why should zip or postal code be a game breaker? I MAY know the zip code in the US, but after a year in Guatemala and two weeks in the rest of Central America ... there is NO way I'd know the country code. It isn't something anyone puts on menus or business cards like in the US with zipcodes.

        1. re: rworange

          I dont think the postal codes enter in at all abroad. Something else is going wrong here. I agree that there have to be workarounds for entering these addresses and the ordering of the address varies by country which has to be figured out; Venice was a particular bitch.
          Now I paste in the google place page address (the whole thing) when I creat an entry if one is available - it works almost 100% of the time, maps right and includes the postal code. then I buff it up to replace the street number and add the other information to make it usable.

          ps if the postal code were necessary it would be very difficult to enter data on many restauants since that info is not usually published on foreign restaurant websites and in guide books.

          1. re: jen kalb

            Unfortunately, without the postal code there is no reliable means of creating a match. Attempting to link by name or a combination of other fields would create far more problems (false positives, incorrect matches, etc) than it would solve. At the risk of abusing an old saying, postal-code matching is the worst option except for all of the others...

            1. re: Engineering

              Not sure I understand.

              We have a search box on the Restaurant page that asks for location -

              city and state or city and country would be the most logical items to enter (it might be helpful if this was more clear). If I put in simply "Rome, I would fully expect to get Rome GA or Rome NY as well as Rome,IT.

              Its inconceivable that anyone would enter a postal code in this box. since people looking for restaurants normally do not have this level of info. (ps I added the postal code and it come up with 267 or 268 restaurants for Rome,,basically the whole universe in the database, but not all of them are in the postal code I used.

              How are you recommending that people use the search?

              1. re: jen kalb

                Sorry, haven't had my coffee yet and somehow thought we were talking about auto-linking. Please disregard the above.

      2. Now that I've looked into this properly for a bit, what search term were you using on Rome? If I search, say, Pizza in Rome, IT I get three pages of results; but when I search with the first box empty, I only see about six.

        (EDIT: six results, not six pages...)

        10 Replies
        1. re: Engineering

          thats right, and there are at least 268 restaurants in the Rome database.
          so thats what my question is about, why the basic simple search would only come up with 6/268 in Rome and also only part of the universe for Turin also.

          1. re: jen kalb

            The empty search query issue is a quirk in our search tool, though I'm surprised that it manifests the way it does here. I'll look into getting better results out of blank search. Thank you for bringing this to our attention.

              1. re: jen kalb

                Im seeing this empty search issue for Lucca,IT too.

                we cant really tell people to use the restaurant search unless the data comes up. properly when they do.

                workarounds like clicking on one of the restaurants and then the box for nearby restaurants and manipulating the map are useless unless you know the data is there - especially since you cant page around in the info generated this way.

                1. re: jen kalb

                  My exploration of this issue has been regrettably slow. In the test environment, everything looks to be fine; but on the live site, we're seeing the problems you've described. There's something subtle and insidious going on here, which unfortunately means that it's going to take some time to track down.

              2. re: Engineering

                Wondering if you're working on the Restaurants search right now. A new behavior cropped up just now in the empty search use. Previously, when I entered a city, state in the location box and left the first search box empty, I'd get every restaurant in that town as a result. Just now I tried that for Avila Beach, CA and got 800K+ results from all over California.

                1. re: Melanie Wong

                  We haven't been, no. And that's not a good sign, thank you for bringing it to our attention.

                  1. re: Melanie Wong

                    Perhaps related to this bug, I can no longer add a new restaurant with just the city and state in the address field. It now requires a street address and not just "Pier 3" for example. Previously, entering just city and state in the address field would generate the name of the city in the street address field.

                    1. re: Melanie Wong

                      Hm. "Avila Beach, CA" wouldn't take but "Sacramento, CA" would. I wonder if it's just the one town? What city did it fail on for you?

                      1. re: Engineering

                        Hmm, is right. I tried two more towns, Santa Rosa and Salinas, both in CA, and no problem. Tried Avila Beach, CA again and it still turns up 85K results all over the place. Then I thought maybe my first attempt failed because there are no entries in Avila Beach. But I had entered one, , and it pops up if I enter Olde Port in the first search box. Wonder if that zip code is not in your search tool.