Down with Google Maps tyranny October 21, 2010 10:28 PM   Subscribe

Slight issue with IRL: what if the location isn't easily findable on Google Maps?

When I tried to move this event from 'proposed' to 'confirmed,' the site told me I had to provide a specific address which Google Maps would understand before it could be posted. However, the location we were meeting at doesn't really have an address, because it's in the middle of a park. So I couldn't figure out how to post the event.

It seems to me that this issue might come up a lot, especially for events in wilderness-y areas with no roads, or for events in countries without good Google Map coverage. Could the requirement to provide an exact location be made optional, in order to cover locations no in Google Maps?
posted by showbiz_liz to Feature Requests at 10:28 PM (9 comments total)

Previously: "We use Google to geocode locations, and most parks are in their system. If you're ever having trouble with an address, please contact us and we can take a look at it. We definitely want to support parks by typing in the park name. You shouldn't have to choose a nearby business."
posted by Rhaomi at 11:51 PM on October 21, 2010 [1 favorite]

Have you tried a lat/long like "39.914369,116.442"? You can enter that at google maps and it will take you to a marker there, so I assume the API should accept it.
posted by Rhomboid at 12:26 AM on October 22, 2010

Wasn't too easy to find on foot either despite having been there before, or to get out of once they'd locked the park gates! Will Mat do something about that, and the mass dancing going on by the west gate, too?
posted by Abiezer at 1:41 AM on October 22, 2010

He probably won't do anything if I can't even spell his name.
posted by Abiezer at 1:46 AM on October 22, 2010 [1 favorite]

If there's one place that's a great idea to meet strangers you met on the internet, it's a wilderness-y area with no roads.
posted by DU at 5:50 AM on October 22, 2010 [4 favorites]

I've done that in the wilds of Canada and the woods of Tennessee. Though, admittedly, they weren't Internet strangers so much as Internet people I talked to every day for years. I did think Jason Voorhees might show up at that cabin in Tennessee by a lake though...
posted by kmz at 6:12 AM on October 22, 2010

Our parks coverage used to be sort of less-great because of whichever data sets we were and were not able to access and I worked with pb specifically to get a location that was at a beach a little more postable. This sort of thing has come up a few times similarly and talking to pb directly [he's pretty easy to get ahold of and super duper friendly] is the way to resolve your specific issue. The Google map thing is useful/necessary because a lot of the other geoloc stuff depends on the data we get from there. See what pb can do.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:12 AM on October 22, 2010 [1 favorite]

Since the park you're looking for is in China, it's possible Google simply doesn't have it in their system. Their coverage isn't perfect across the globe, but we can usually come up with a way to make a location work. Send me a MeFi Mail with the location (a link to a Google Map with the spot would be great) and I'll add it for you.

When we started working with Japanese addresses I had to make some changes to make them work with the site because Google handles them differently behind the scenes. The same thing could be happening with Chinese addresses so that's something I can take a look at too.

We'd rather handle problem addresses on a case by case basis like this rather than abandoning the real-world location requirement altogether. We want to make sure people have a place to go to when they're going to a meetup.
posted by pb (staff) at 8:50 AM on October 22, 2010 [1 favorite]

what if the location isn't easily findable on Google Maps?

Then I suppose you'll have to bring flares.
posted by jonmc at 1:30 PM on October 22, 2010

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