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Mar 1, 2012 01:42 PM

New Export Tool Soon to Be Available for Restaurant Records

Dear Chowhound community,

A few weeks back, we announced the retirement of the restaurant pages, happening March 20, here on the site. It was met with mixed feelings: confusion (many users did not use the restaurant pages, so were confused about what was being retired), frustration (for people who spent a lot of time updating duplicate and incorrect information, as well as adding their own restaurant finds to the database), and neutrality (some users never used the pages, and didn't mind their removal one bit).

We listened to your feedback, and tried to do what we could to hold on to the information that you spent time putting into the database. We understand that you didn't put the records in the database just to have access to them yourself, but there are also instances where users indicated that being able to recover the data they entered would be helpful.To that end, we have added another export tool to your profile pages. It is called "My Restaurant Records." It is an export of all restaurants that we can confirm were created by you, and will only include records created since the last major update to the design of the Restaurants pages. Again, this tool will benefit the small portion of you who have spent time inputting restaurant records, and it will allow you to retain that information.

It will appear sometime in the next couple of hours. You will see it in your profile under the "Export My Data" tool, at the bottom of the list under "Been There/ Wanna Go."

Thank you,

Meredith of CHOW

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  1. Since that is possible why is there such total resistance to having a database that just has those records and letting users rebuild the database.

    While I can marginally understand the decision ... which looking at posts was made months before the announcement, I can not understand why restaurant data is so unimportant to Chow that they did not replace this with something else or even have this on the table.

    1. Meredith, thank you for this...

      1. Thank you, this is helpful as far as it goes. But the records appear to go back only to some time in 2009. That excludes those created in the two years before that. Any way to take it back further?

        Also, I may be looking in the wrong place on the spreadsheet, but I'm not seeing anything from the free-form fields where users have added outside links and "Good to Know" guidance. That's where I've observed that the best-updated Chow restaurant pages really blow away those in other online databases (and I look at a lot of them).

        The information contained in these fields includes, among other things, venue and chef history; a restaurant's other locations; and links to reviews and other Web mentions (see pics). The records also link to Chow editorial material: Chow Tour reports, Digest etc. Since the lion's share of traffic to the site goes to Chowhound, not, any linkage has to be a good thing for Chow. It would be great if this info could be preserved.

        1. Another question: Not to get too far ahead of ourselves, but if Chow does introduce an improved restaurant page feature, is the downloaded info in a format that can be readily imported into the next-generation venue records? When that time comes, it'll streamline the process if we can return these files to Chow so that site staff can build the new database without having to start from square one. (Or, even better, Chow will have stashed its own copies of all the files it has made available through this tool.)

          Seems only fair for Chow to shoulder the burden of any database do-over. Given the fate of the first version, you couldn't blame users if they declined to volunteer their time to do the same work twice.

          1 Reply
          1. re: squid kun

            So long as the site provides a tool that allows we "houndly contributors" to add and refine existing records I am sure to contribute in the future (no matter how pissed off I am about the deletion of the current restaurant database).