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Feb 17, 2012 05:41 PM

Elimination of restaurant database

I'm not posting on the mega thread about this impending change, because my question here is more specific.

How will threads like or look after the restaurant database is eliminated? Will Robert's post say "links" and nothing more? Will the banh mi thread look like the OP provided no name/address of the place under discussion? If that's the case, I'm concerned about all the holes the process will make throughout the (incredibly valuable) archive of old threads. Is there a plan/system to proactively capture and address these gaps before the restaurant database is scrapped?

Eliminating the bit that denotes places that have closed will also considerably reduce the utility of archived threads.

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  1. That is not just recent.

    Until auto-linking was installed, few posters linked to restaurants so many Chowhounds added a separate reply with just the link. There will be a lot of those.

    3 Replies
    1. re: rworange

      Well, yikes. Rather than a download tool that does very little, I wish we could have a system to identify and fill in these sorts of gaps before the restaurant database is scrapped.

      1. re: rose water

        I don't.

        There is too much room for error and difficult to code something like that, i would think.

        Maybe for a reply with only the word 'link', it would just be best to report it to the moderators to delete ... but then again, that might not be possible for some because sometimes people reply in the wrong place and it might mean losing a sub thread.

        I would hope it is going to be manually handled, if people want to do that. It won't be me tho. I contributed all I'm going to do. To have done all that work and then have to clean up the trash left by this move would be a bit more than i want to do.

        You just cant have a program searchig on the word 'link' because a significant number of posts included the word 'link' and additional comments, maybe 20 %

        Of course, there are sausage links or polish links or such so that would make this error prone.

        People used the word other than link because we got bored with that word.

        But who knows. maybe they negotiated the contract and will be inserting the address into any reply with linked data, though that might be impossible because of the records that auto-linked when that started.

        Of course, Chow knows its forums well and is aware of those issues and will address this at the appropriate time.

        1. re: rworange

          I'm not an IT person, but it seems that the only systematic way to identify restaurant links would be to search for the links themselves, not the very heterogeneous bunch of words people use to describe the links (if they describe them at all).

    2. another example of a thread where elimination of the restaurant links will leave big gaps

      1. Hi everyone,

        I have an update on this. We have been able to figure out a way to include restaurant names and addresses in the places where a hole might otherwise be left on threads. Moving forward after late March, you will see the name and address of the restaurant in the place where a link used to be.

        Thank you, Meredith of CHOW

        9 Replies
          1. re: mudaba

            That's really fantastic. Thanks for making it work!

              1. re: jen kalb

                Also wanted to give the update that we have a new restaurant records export tool now available for users to download their restaurant record data. More details about it here:


              2. re: mudaba

                That'll be very helpful, thanks!

                I hope you can also salvage the maps and venue info on the right-hand side of the page (with no links, of course, just the text and graphic). The mapping function isn't perfect, but when it works, people find it useful.

                The thread pictured below is about breakfast options near Methodist Hospital in Brooklyn. One poster writes: "as you can see from the map there are plenty of choices between the subway and the hospital."

                1. re: squid kun

                  But we need something like this to carry forward! Im putting in all the data I can on posts so that at least for legacy threads the info will be there, but without the map and data going forward we are going to deteriorate in the quality of info provided.

                  the Methodist thread is a good example of what we are going to lose .

                  1. re: jen kalb

                    >But we need something like this to carry forward!

                    Agreed! Guess it'll be all Yelp links all the time until Chow delivers restaurant database 2.0 (if that ever happens). Not nearly as informative as the best of the doomed Chow place records, but better than nothing.

                  2. re: squid kun

                    I put in work on a number of the restaurant pages, so it's very frustrating to find they've been eliminated. It was an extremely useful service and the site is lesser for lack of it.