Jump to content

Interactive Dining Guide Map


Recommended Posts

Does anyone else think it would be really helpful to create a clickable map that would identify every DR.com reviewed restaurant in a half mile radius (or whatever distance the user inputs) from any point selected. So, if I am going to the Studio Theater, I would click on that location and see (a list of?) all the nearby restaurants that have been reviewed on DR.com with a link to the discussions of each restaurant. Does anyone have any idea how hard it would be to implement such a crazy idea? I am guessing that there might be a solution of sorts lurking about over at Google Maps somewhere, but my IT skills pretty much tap out at sending e-mails and posting on here, so I really do not know where to look. Just an idea.....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Does anyone else think it would be really helpful to create a clickable map that would identify every DR.com reviewed restaurant in a half mile radius (or whatever distance the user inputs) from any point selected. So, if I am going to the Studio Theater, I would click on that location and see (a list of?) all the nearby restaurants that have been reviewed on DR.com with a link to the discussions of each restaurant. Does anyone have any idea how hard it would be to implement such a crazy idea? I am guessing that there might be a solution of sorts lurking about over at Google Maps somewhere, but my IT skills pretty much tap out at sending e-mails and posting on here, so I really do not know where to look. Just an idea.....

Hear hear!

I've always thought the existing dining guide wasn't as helpful as it could be, because you can go to a neighborhood and find a reasonable list, but if anything in that neighborhood was in the dreaded "multiple location" category, you wouldn't see it. Like, not finding Zeffirelli's in Herndon or Delia's in Springfield because they have some other location that nobody knows about, cares about or goes to. DCS's idea would be a reasonable way to get to the right result -- a clickable map of restaurants. That would be useful.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hear hear!

I've always thought the existing dining guide wasn't as helpful as it could be, because you can go to a neighborhood and find a reasonable list, but if anything in that neighborhood was in the dreaded "multiple location" category, you wouldn't see it. Like, not finding Zeffirelli's in Herndon or Delia's in Springfield because they have some other location that nobody knows about, cares about or goes to. DCS's idea would be a reasonable way to get to the right result -- a clickable map of restaurants. That would be useful.

I totally agree. The multiple locations issue bothers me as well.

I love the idea of a map. Didn't a former DR member have a blog with a feature like this? Eric - the home brewer/photographer. Right? It has been a few years...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nashman1975 first brought this mapping idea up to me a few years ago, and I'd love for it to happen; I lack the technical expertise to do it myself, but I wonder if Google technology has improved to the point where something like this wouldn't be anything more than an exercise in data entry. Also, I'm never been quite comfortable with the Multiple Locations section either, but it's not done out of spite - I know what I can and can't handle, and (from an expertise perspective) I can't tackle ranking multiple locations of the same chain, and (from a sanity perspective) I can't work with seeing the same restaurant scattered all over the place - either in the forum, or in the dining guide. Summary: if we could make the maps happen, I'd be all for it, and would redouble my efforts to get the guides up-to-the-minute current.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've just spent a few minutes fiddling around in Google Maps, and it does seem like technologically it would be easy enough to do there. Initial data entry would be time-consuming - consisting of finding the google map "pin" for each restaurant, adding it to a custom map, and linking it to the DR.com page would take a couple of minutes per entry - but I would happily sign on to a team effort to get it done. Google Maps seems to allow "collaboration" on a map like that, to share the effort of data entry. I think it would have to be a publicly-accessible map, if that causes any concern.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I love the idea of a map. Didn't a former DR member have a blog with a feature like this? Eric - the home brewer/photographer. Right? It has been a few years...

Yes, "Eric Eats Lunch" was a great blog. I don't think he's kept it up since moving West.

I've greatly enjoyed the Chicago-based LTHForum.com Google Map and their "Great Neigborhood Restaurants" awardee list [it used to be a printable wallet card, but now its spare info list is mobile friendly].

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've just spent a few minutes fiddling around in Google Maps, and it does seem like technologically it would be easy enough to do there. Initial data entry would be time-consuming - consisting of finding the google map "pin" for each restaurant, adding it to a custom map, and linking it to the DR.com page would take a couple of minutes per entry - but I would happily sign on to a team effort to get it done. Google Maps seems to allow "collaboration" on a map like that, to share the effort of data entry. I think it would have to be a publicly-accessible map, if that causes any concern.

If someone is willing to do the data entry, Google Maps are easy to use and customize. You'd be able to color-code entries, as well as add notes and link directly to DR threads. For example here is one I made for a trip to Chicago I took last year. Note that in most cases I could pull in data that Google already had about the business (address, etc.), plus I added personal notes and links where necessary. Plus you can crowd source this work by adding multiple collaborators for the map or even go wild and make it totally open for public editing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If someone is willing to do the data entry, Google Maps are easy to use and customize. You'd be able to color-code entries, as well as add notes and link directly to DR threads. For example here is one I made for a trip to Chicago I took last year. Note that in most cases I could pull in data that Google already had about the business (address, etc.), plus I added personal notes and links where necessary. Plus you can crowd source this work by adding multiple collaborators for the map or even go wild and make it totally open for public editing.

Would it be any easier to do this on dcdining.com? Or maybe some hybrid of dr.com and dcdining.com?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Okay, assuming this is going to happen, I'm really going to start making an effort to groom the dining guides - I need to get the first part of Virginia restored and re-updated (I have about 20 hours of work to do on it, and will get on the ball). Other than combing through Virginia, I'll be very careful about changing URLs at this point.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Since I started this, I am of course willing to help. Once the Dining Guide is updated and we can develop a standard protocol, style, and format on how to do it, with sufficient numbers of folks helping maybe it would not take too long to accomplish.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Count me in too, in whatever limited capacity I can provide.

I would love to be able to get multiple views....like, a map of restaurants in a specific neighborhood or suburb area, and then maybe a view of all Middle Eastern (or Korean or Thai or Seafood or Deli) restaurants in the area....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It isn't "on" either of those -- it's really pretty much on Google, full stop. So it's not easier either place.

You can definitely *embed* the map on DCDining.com, not sure about DR.com. The map is built and exists in Google Maps but added to a site after the fact (sorta like a youtube video). This video shows the process; it's ridiculously simple. The only cons I can think of for this is that it does require someone to use their Google account to be the creator of the map and then that person would have that map tied to their account for eternity. But you could also just create a DR Google account...

I believe there *is* a way to build a Google map directly on a website using Google API, which has two benefits: it wouldn't require the use of a Google account and it allows for really sophisticated customiziation as in the case of the Eater example above. It can look really sleek and nice. But it also has the con of requiring some hand coding, therefore making it harder to update. It should probably be saved for when DR.com incorporates and can hire a full time staff (although I'd be happy to play around with the concept to see how feasible it is since I love that kind of stuff).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here's what I did back in Spring of 2009. I started fooling around on Google Maps because I had similar ideas to folks up above. I wanted a way to be able to search via map and other indicators (cuisine, washingtonian rating, etc). I realized very quickly that I didn't have the chops or patience to load it all into Google Maps. So I went to eLance and wrote a statement of work (I will paste below). I put it out to bid and because of how eLance works, the bid ranges were $50 to $500 so all of the bids were at the $500 range, which I thought was a bit much. I was hoping it could be done on the cheap in Bulgaria or something. I got about 10 proposals and some of them pretty cool. It was based off a simple Excel DB. Here's the SOW. My old computer died so I'm not sure I have the Excel DB anymore. This has some feedback as well from one of the proposers

1. Map information uploaded from CSV file in the format of 2009_Washingtonian_list.xlsx. Subsequent uploads overwrite previous uploads. Upload page will be password protected using an .htaccess file and will be a simple submit form with a file field.

2. Map should have the following as a filter along the left-hand side of the page:

a. State: will be a pulldown with the choices of VA, MD, DC. Default All

b. Neighborhood: will be dynamically altered by the Javascript depending on which State the user chooses. Pulldown. Choices for each state will be dynamically determined by database. ex. Georgetown, Dupont Circle, etc.

c. Price range as dictated by database: Choices will be a pulldown dynamically by the db. ex: Very Expensive, Expensive, etc. Default All

d. Cuisine: Pulldown determined by db. May be multiple cuisines per restaurant. Will be filtered by substring search. ex. American, French, Modern, etc. Default All

e. Washington's Top 100: Checkbox Default: Unchecked (ie. show all)

3. Filtered results will show on the map to the right using the standard Google map marker in a blue color with shadows.

4. Map pop-ups (Infowindows) will contain the following information. All information comes from the DB an is on one-line per item unless otherwise noted:

a. Restaurants name in bold

b. Streetview picture: I don't see this in the CSV upload. I need to know what you want here.

c. Restaurant address: (street on one row, city, state, zip on another)

d. Restaurant phone number

e. Website link of restaurant

f. Donrockwell.com link I need to make sure I know how to generate this.

g. Washingtonian.com link

h. Washingtonian Top 100 rank (where applicablea??if none, use a??N/Aa??)

i. Link to OpenTable. I need to know how to generate this.

5. The pop-up (Info-Window) will pop up on mouseover not on click.

6. You will own all rights to the map.

7. Map will work on IE8 and FF3.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

And miraculously, I still can log into eLance and see all of the proposals that were out there. I received around 5-6 presentations and such for ideas. I'm not sure how to download/upload so that folks could see, but if I can paste PPT and PDF's here, I could probably download and upload. Here was one pic from one proposal.

Here was another proposal:

I have good experience with Google Maps API and I already have done many projects in Google Map API. I am very confident that i can do this job with ease.

here are my recent work samples on Google maps.

http://www.fnfg.com/locations/index.asp?county=Erie

http://www.dartinc.net/googlemap2/

http://www.dartinc.net/googlemap/

http://www.alicehohl.com/kidsandnature/user/

http://www.subwaynw.com/map.asp

http://www.azurelive.org/map/googlemap.php

http://www.myrtlebeachrentalsource.com/gmap/

http://chinesefoodmap.com/

http://www.brandonvw.com/contact-us.php

These all above projects have fully dynamic functionality. Because every thing on the Google Map is controlled through the administration panel. Like adding new locations and their information. Updating location information. changing marker and its shadow image and some other things.

I have good knowledge of how to calculate the distance from radius points (latitude,longitude) and getting the latitude and longitude from an address.

In addition you can also test my skills by giving me a short task i will not charge for it. I have good profile of Google Map projects on the other outsourcing platform. Please also review my portfolio of Google map API projects.

post-544-0-73260200-1319070703_thumb.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

And miraculously, I still can log into eLance and see all of the proposals that were out there. I received around 5-6 presentations and such for ideas. I'm not sure how to download/upload so that folks could see, but if I can paste PPT and PDF's here, I could probably download and upload. Here was one pic from one proposal.

Here was another proposal:

I have good experience with Google Maps API and I already have done many projects in Google Map API. I am very confident that i can do this job with ease.

here are my recent work samples on Google maps.

http://www.fnfg.com/locations/index.asp?county=Erie

http://www.dartinc.net/googlemap2/

http://www.dartinc.net/googlemap/

http://www.alicehohl.com/kidsandnature/user/

http://www.subwaynw.com/map.asp

http://www.azurelive.org/map/googlemap.php

http://www.myrtlebeachrentalsource.com/gmap/

http://chinesefoodmap.com/

http://www.brandonvw.com/contact-us.php

These all above projects have fully dynamic functionality. Because every thing on the Google Map is controlled through the administration panel. Like adding new locations and their information. Updating location information. changing marker and its shadow image and some other things.

I have good knowledge of how to calculate the distance from radius points (latitude,longitude) and getting the latitude and longitude from an address.

In addition you can also test my skills by giving me a short task i will not charge for it. I have good profile of Google Map projects on the other outsourcing platform. Please also review my portfolio of Google map API projects.

Would you really need to calculate distances? If you got to google maps right now you can type in "restaurants near DuPont Circle DC" and it will present a map of places that it knows. This app would just have to filter based on the dr.com list. The list is already online and it would be easy to read it and auto-generate the location database.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...