PHXfoodnerds Geographical Index?

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Skillet Doux
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6 years ago

I was reminded this morning of something I've been wanting to add to the board for a while, so I thought I'd throw it out there for input before doing so.

I'm thinking it would be nice to have some sort of geographical index that lists restaurant threads by the general part of the city in which they reside, both for visitors who are trying to find eats in a certain area, and also because it's always nice to have something to trigger an "Oh, yeah, that's in the neighborhood where I'll be today" reminder for more regular users. I have two ideas for how to go about doing this -- we might do one or the other or both -- and I'd welcome alternate suggestions as well.

The first option is to put up a sticky topic that, very simply, has bold headings for different large sections of town (as a still semi-recent import, I'd need some help in figuring out the most logical groupings) and a subheading that names a few neighborhoods in that part of town, followed by a linked listing of topic titles featuring restaurants in that area (perhaps alphabetized by restaurant name to make it easier).

The second option would be to simply set up a Google map (hopefully embedded) and every time somebody starts a new topic on a restaurant, I'll drop a pin with a link to that thread.

I think they both have their benefits. Being able to look on a map makes it really easy to say "I'm here, what's nearby?" But it's also very convenient to be able to scan down a list of restaurants without having to click on individual pins, so perhaps doing both would make sense. Unless anybody has another idea that would work better.

Thoughts?
Dominic Armato
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exit2lef
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6 years ago

I like the idea of a map. It's less subjective than a list of regions and neighborhoods with borders that have to be debated and enforced. As an example, here's the map I've created for my blog. Click on the placemark for each restaurant, and there's a brief excerpt from my post and a link to the full review. Maybe you could do something similar with links to threads on this site.

http://goo.gl/maps/iee4T
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MyLifeOnVacatio
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6 years ago

I love the map since I know the city by the streets, highways, and intersections but not really neighborhood names.
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ScottofStrand
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6 years ago

Definitely would be super helpful to have a map! I'm down to go back through and pin some places in.
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Dapuma
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6 years ago

+1 Map
M_L
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6 years ago

Funny I was just thinking about how easy it would be to create a PFN map of the various locations people go to. I am all for this and they are fairly easy to build in Google Earth software.
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Mike Todd
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6 years ago

I'm a fan of the "both" option, but then I'm not the one who will be doing the work. ;)

If both options are pursued, I'd say do the map first, and let the neighborhood list sit on the back burner while we hash out area boundaries and labels.
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Skillet Doux
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6 years ago

Okay... I entered in the first page's worth of Valley Eats topics to get a sense of how it might work:

PHXfoodnerds Geographical Index

Thoughts?
Dominic Armato
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ScottofStrand
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6 years ago

Superawesome. Its great that it links back to the forum thread. I think this could be a great tool to get non-PFNers to read the board. It's a lot more relevant for most people to look at a map and see what's convenient than to plan their dinner's ahead.

I haven't made a google map, so i'm not sure it's limitations. Ideally, it would be great if there were some more information on the tags without having to click around, and even possibly a way to filter by categories, but even as is it's a super useful tool that I know I will use.
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Skillet Doux
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6 years ago

Yeah, I'm kind of learning myself. It's easy enough to drop in more info like a website, phone number, etc. etc... but my thought was to try to keep it basic. I think the address is important since, y'know, it's a map. But it'll be a big enough job to update with new threads that I'm reluctant to add the job of maintaining the information on the restaurants themselves.

It would be nice if there were some way to tag and filter. I'll look into it.
Dominic Armato
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M_L
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6 years ago

You can tag and filter. Or at least you can with the GEarth versions I have made.
I think it would be best to keep the amount of information on the map somewhat limited for clarity.
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exit2lef
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6 years ago

Skillet Doux wrote:Okay... I entered in the first page's worth of Valley Eats topics to get a sense of how it might work:

PHXfoodnerds Geographical Index

Thoughts?
Did you manually enter the address for each place? If so, you can save effort by just searching for the restaurant name in Google Maps. If you find it listed, click on the placemark and then "save to map." You can then save Google's default placemark, including address information, to any custom map you've built. Once saved there, you can edit the instance of the placemark on your map with links to threads here or any other information you'd like. On the map I shared earlier in this thread, that's how I do things -- except in the rare instances in which Google has no listing for the restaurant. Only then do I manually enter the address.
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MyLifeOnVacatio
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6 years ago

Looks fantastic!
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Skillet Doux
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6 years ago

For my own unreasonable and borderline clinically obsessive reasons, I like to enter them myself :-)

M_L, it looks like there are more features in Google Earth, but unless I'm mistaken, reading a Google Earth map requires a download, correct? I think we're better off sticking with a regular Google map because of that.
Dominic Armato
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M_L
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6 years ago

I honestly cannot remember. I believe you have various options to save the map, it is been 3 years since I really spent any amount of time in it.
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exit2lef
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6 years ago

Skillet Doux wrote:For my own unreasonable and borderline clinically obsessive reasons, I like to enter them myself :-)
Okay. I also have plenty of "my own unreasonable and borderline clinically obsessive reasons" for doing things, so I understand. I just wanted to make sure you knew the options, and it's clear you do.
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Skillet Doux
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6 years ago

I'm sorry, I think that response came off brusque, and I didn't mean it that way at all. I very much appreciate the help and suggestion, and if not for deep-seated personal organization issues, I'd totally do it that way :-)
Dominic Armato
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exit2lef
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6 years ago

Skillet Doux wrote:I'm sorry, I think that response came off brusque, and I didn't mean it that way at all. I very much appreciate the help and suggestion, and if not for deep-seated personal organization issues, I'd totally do it that way :-)
Your tone was fine; no worries. I'm just glad to see more people doing creative things with Google Maps.
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Skillet Doux
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6 years ago

*PHEW*

It is done.

Now I just have to maintain it :-)

I'll post it as a sticky on the Valley Eats board. Perhaps there's a better place for it, but that seems like a good spot, at least for now.

If anybody catches any errors or bad links of whatever, do let me know.
Dominic Armato
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Skillet Doux
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6 years ago

Incidentally, holy crap, have we checked out a lot of restaurants over the past nine months. Well done, folks.
Dominic Armato
Dining Critic
Arizona Republic | azcentral.com
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