Travel wiki! May 6, 2011 9:13 AM   Subscribe

Hey! Have you taken a look at the MeFi Wiki travel guides lately? As lots of MeFites of the Northern Hemispheric persuasion are gearing up for summer vacations, it would be great to have folks contributing again to the travel wiki by updating with travel AskMe threads. (Previously).
posted by liketitanic to MetaFilter-Related at 9:13 AM (16 comments total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: Poster's Request -- frimble

Several years ago we built a subsite called Travel which I described here recently. As part of that site we added some location data to a thousand or so Ask MetaFilter questions in the travel category. The site didn't work out for a number of reasons, but we still have that location info sitting around and I thought I'd just put it out there as a spreadsheet: Ask MetaFilter Travel Questions Locations (2005-2007). The data isn't super clean, but if you're looking for questions about a specific location for the wiki this might help you find some older questions quickly. Looks like we launched Travel around June 2007 because that's the newest question with location info.
posted by pb (staff) at 10:19 AM on May 6, 2011 [1 favorite]

I for one mourn the loss of the Travel subsite.

It leads me to a pony request, though (sorry to hijack, liketitanic). What if upon asking a travel question in AskMe, the user was prompted to choose the location on a map (like in IRL or jobs)? Then we could display a world map that was linked to various AskMe questions. Zoom in on Chicago, get all the questions associated with that city. Presumably the code exists if you're using it in IRL and Jobs.

Taking that one step further, users could opt-in to notifications, so if someone asks a travel question about your area, you are prompted for answers, much as IRL sends you an email if there's a local event.
posted by desjardins at 10:44 AM on May 6, 2011 [2 favorites]

That's exactly what we wanted to do with Travel. At the time we felt like it needed to be its own site. Part of what makes Ask MeFi so useful is its simplicity. Adding a bunch of bells and whistles could complicate things too much. The maps on IRL and jobs work fine, but they add complexity to the process. What happens when a question spans several locations, for example? There were enough issues like these that we did want to tackle, but not within Ask.

When I asked Matt about releasing this info today he mentioned rethinking some ways we could incorporate location into Ask, so we will probably sit down and think carefully about ways to do it without hurting the current simplicity of the site.
posted by pb (staff) at 10:51 AM on May 6, 2011

I notice that Greenland is missing - I was there for two weeks last year ( south point and west coast ) and would be happy to share trip beta with anyone who needs it.
Same for Iceland and Norway ( 2 weeks in each ) but these countries are already covered.
posted by seawallrunner at 11:33 AM on May 6, 2011

pb: " The site didn't work out for a number of reasons, but we still have that location info sitting around and I thought I'd just put it out there as a spreadsheet: Ask MetaFilter Travel Questions Locations (2005-2007). "

Thank you, pb.

Do you happen to know if these questions are already on the wiki page? If not, I'll put adding them in to my ever-lengthening wiki to-do list.
posted by zarq at 11:39 AM on May 6, 2011

No, I don't know if any of the questions in the spreadsheet are already at the wiki. And I don't know if it makes sense to put all of the questions in the spreadsheet directly into the wiki. The nice thing about the wiki is that there's some editorial discretion from contributors and the spreadsheet is more of a data dump.
posted by pb (staff) at 11:46 AM on May 6, 2011

I was envisioning this:

Category: [pick a category]

(user picks travel & transportation)

(text field magically appears)

Where are you going? e.g. "Montreal" or "Iceland" (optional) ____________

Yes, there are some questions like "I'm biking from Alaska to Patagonia and stopping in these billion places in between, what should I do in each one?" but I think far more common are the type "Where should I eat in Paris?" So the Alaska-Patagonia person either has to pick his/her most important place, or leave it blank.

There's probably a way that locations can be stripped from tags, too (say, matching them up to a database of geographic place names) but that's a bit beyond my capabilities.

If I was still unemployed I'd totally map the shit out of this. We'll see how my summer goes.
posted by desjardins at 11:56 AM on May 6, 2011 [2 favorites]

Thank you, pb.

I'll put it on my to-do list of things to process for the wiki. Will review each post and if it seems worth adding, I'll do so. Am already doing that for a couple of other pages, anyway.
posted by zarq at 12:33 PM on May 6, 2011

This is great! I will be travelling this summer and would have missed a few valuable posts if you had not pointed this out. Thanks to all involved!
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 12:43 PM on May 6, 2011

Personally, I think Ask MeFi is a pretty good travel resource as-is, just between tags and Google searches.
posted by smackfu at 12:44 PM on May 6, 2011

I had a pair pertaining to Africa. [1] [2]
posted by mykescipark at 2:53 PM on May 6, 2011

Pony request for the wiki: aside from the links to travel questions, could we maybe have a section listing MeFites who consider themselves knowledgeable about the area and would be happy to elaborate on such things?

I realize that if, say, I wanted to go to Boston I could look up people's profiles near X zip code, but a) many people in Boston don't list their location, b) many people who ARE in Boston might not feel knowledgeable and/or don't want to chat, c) many people who have BEEN to Boston, or lived there in the past, or even stopped there overnight while on their around-the-world unicycle rides, might have some great recs that aren't covered in the existing thread.

This would be a self-selecting thing. Example: I live in Madison, WI and love to give ideas for places to visit and see, but I'd also volunteer for the Cedar Rapids/Iowa City corridor in Iowa and anywhere in Delaware.

(Yes, my childhood vacations were thrilling. Two words: Warther Museum.)
posted by Madamina at 3:36 PM on May 6, 2011

I'll update more of the SF Bay Area ones. It's a better use of my time than getting irritated at yet another vague question about what to do in San Francisco on holiday.
posted by gingerbeer at 7:00 PM on May 6, 2011 [1 favorite]

That page is starting to get scary large. Should we maybe break it over several pages? Buy continent maybe?
posted by Mitheral at 7:18 PM on May 6, 2011

So are people going into the Wiki and individually adding relevant AskMe content? (I think that's what you all are saying and doing. Right?)

That's a great idea. I've asked and answered lotsa travel questions and will see if I have some time to help out.

The Portland section alone would be huge.
posted by bluedaisy at 9:48 AM on May 7, 2011

Here's what I've done for the California section (mostly Bay Area -- someone from LA should work on that section) -- pull up AskMe's tagged with "sanfrancisco" or related tags; see which ones generated substantial answers; and add them to the wiki, with a description of the question. I don't put in everything, just the ones with good answers. That's where the judgment part comes in. I've added a few categories based on what I thought would be most useful, but it's a group wiki, so that's up for other people to revise if they think it needs it.
posted by gingerbeer at 12:49 PM on May 7, 2011

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