Author Archives: Jan Van Haver

Local Guide ‎Best Practice: Get rid of legal names

[This is one of a series of articles originally published on Local Guides Connect]

Google Maps has been around much longer than there have been local guides, so I think it safe to assume that most of the points of interest (POI) did not appear on the map because a local guide added it. My best guess is that there has been some kind of original import to populate the map with POIs. And it would then make sense that, for a lot of countries, this was an import of databases coming from official government or chamber of commerce listings.

That would explain the fact that so many businesses are listed on the map with a name that looks like it comes from such a database. One clue pointing in this direction is the addition of legal terms as part of the business name: ‘LLC’ in English, ‘GmbH’ in German, etc. The format of the name can be another telltale sign, which is something you typically Continue reading

Song of the day: AIR – All I Need

If Versailles makes you think of Louis XIV and nothing else, let me introduce you to AIR, a French band from that very city near Paris. They have released quite a few albums since the late 90’s, but my favorite is still their debut album Moon Safari, which also contains All I Need.

Should you decide to check out other songs by AIR, make sure to also catch Playground Love, from the soundtrack of Sofia Copolla’s film debut The Virgin Suicides.

How badly targeted “personalized” ads can be

Picture by geralt on Pixabay

One of the main reasons – and quite possibly thé main reason – why the big platform players, such as Facebook, Google and Amazon are collecting data by the bucket load on everyone (obviously including you, dear reader) using their platforms, product and services is the belief that this enables them to serve “better” a.k.a. “more personalized” ads, and thereby deliver you a better user experience.

An important element during this data collection effort is keeping track of all the websites you have visited, the underlying logic being “if you have visited that website, it is very likely that you Continue reading