Song of the day: Joe Jackson – Steppin’ Out

In the 1980s and 90s this song would always be ranked in the top spot whenever I submitted a top 3/5/10 of all time favorites. Nowadays it’s down to number 2 – ever since Eels started releasing albums.

Part of the enchanting magic of Steppin’ Out is the fade in from the previous song on the album Night & Day, which you can unfortunately not experience in this clip. So, if you ever have the opportunity: do listen to the entire album.

Local Guide Best Practice: Submit changes one by one

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

Sometimes you come across a point of interest where several pieces of information are missing or wrong. Then you click ‘Suggest an edit’, make all the changes and click ‘Submit’, right? Well, my advice is not to do this, but instead submit the changes one by one. Admittedly, it’s a few extra clicks, but I have experienced that if you submit several changes at the same time and for some or other reason one of the suggested changes is not applied, none of the changes get applied.

And for those who are eager to score as much local guide points as possible there is another reason as well: the counter that shows you how many points you have earned always only counts to 5 when clicking submit, no matter how many suggested changes you submitted – just one single or 2, 3 or 4. Compare this to what happens when you post a review for a point of interest: the counter then does produce a different result if you submit a review that is over 200 characters long, as it takes into account the 10 extra points for a long review. So, my interpretation is that ‘Suggest an edit’ brings 5 point per time you run the module, not always 5 points per changed piece of information – unless you submit them one by one.

The original article can be found here

 

Disclaimer: the practices described here as best practice are my personal interpretation, and I don’t claim any level of official endorsement.

Local Guide Best Practice: Choosing a more specific category

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

Selecting the correct category for a point of interest (POI) can be challenging. Sometimes there simply is no category label available that perfectly describes the main characteristics of the POI. An example from my own experience is a particular type of vending machine that you find all over the place in Belgium: one where you can buy bread. Some types of vending machines have their own category (such as coffee vending machine and beauty products vending machine), but not this one (probably also because you don’t really find these in any other country) – and neither is there a category label for vending machine in general.

In other cases the difficulty is that different category labels are available for what basically is the same type of POI. So far, no one has been able to explain to me the difference between a DIY-store and a home improvement store. Feel free to leave a comment if you can shed light into the darkness on this one!

Image by stratman² (2 many pix!) on flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

The issue I want to point in this post, however, is that quite a few points of interest have a category which is not incorrect as such, but also not the best possible one. In almost all cases, the POI then has a general category, where a more specific one is available. Let me give you 2 examples:
* car dealerships: those often have the general car dealer or even garage, but for most popular brands there is a specific category: Ford-dealer, Volkswagen-dealer, Toyota-dealer, etc. (Google doesn’t seem to like French cars, though: Peugeot-dealer and Citroën-dealer are not available)
* sports clubs: these often have the general label sports club, but several popular sports have their own label: football club, tennis club, karate club, etc.

Adding a missing category or replacing the existing one with a more relevant one will bring you 5 points, so you should definitely take this into account when collecting local guides points.

The original article can be found here

 

Disclaimer: the practices described here as best practice are my personal interpretation, and I don’t claim any level of official endorsement.

Just asking… #5 – Is your next boss a robot?

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

Some people are worried that in some not so distant future robots will take their jobs away, and that in whatever jobs are still left, humans will be bossed around by algorithms and machines. Personally I think those people hugely underestimate human resourcefulness, but still I’d like to pass on a thought to those more worrying-natured: why on earth do you think this will only happen in the future? It is already happening right here, right now! Just look around: every day your smartphone sends you (with a unrelenting sequence of notifications and sounds) on a hunt for power to recharge it. When you have done that and then sit down to enjoy a movie, the dishwasher starts squeaking – until you get up and push a button to stop it. And when you have just settled down again and hit the play-button, there is the dryer informing you that you need to get up again and fold some laundry…

So, is your next boss a machine? Or is it your current one? Just asking…

Local Guide Best Practice: Correcting pin location

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

Photo by Joey Csunyo on Unsplash

On Google maps, the placement of most pins, that indicate where exactly a point of interest (POI) is located, is correct. But there is also a considerable amount of pins which are not placed at best possible location. This can be:
* just a little off (in the middle of the road instead of on the building)
* somewhere more or less near to the POI (a bit further down the street, or at an intersection nearby – this is often the case when no house number was entered, or when the house numbers are quite different on either side of the road, e.g. when house number 100 is across house number 77, with 101 being further down the road)
* completely wrong (can be because a business has moved and the pin location was not adapted, or because a common street name, say Main Street, was used with a wrong ZIP code)

As you might imagine correcting the first type is quite easy, the last one quite hard – the ‘worst case’ I’ve seen myself was over 100 km off.

The best approach (when working in the mobile version) is to open Google maps in satellite view and zoom in until pins start popping up. If you Continue reading