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capsai

Illogical search results when searching for a city on the map

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Hi to all,

 

i'm not sure if this behavior is a bug or volitional.

 

It's about the City of Braunschweig (Germany, see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Braunschweig)

 

If you enter "Braunschweig" in the search field, the map shows a place in South Africa (see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Braunschweig,_Eastern_Cape)

and not the german town. If you enter the english name for Braunschweig "Brunswick", the map shows then the german city.

 

If you enter names like Berlin, Frankfurt, Hamburg etc. it shows the german citys and not tiny villages with the same name somewhere in the world.

 

Is it possible to change it, that entering "Braunschweig" shows the german city?

 

Thank you.

 

Edited by capsai

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34 minutes ago, capsai said:

If you enter names like Berlin, Frankfurt, Hamburg etc. it shows the german citys and not tiny villages with the same name somewhere in the world.

 

If you enter "Braunschweig, Deutschland"... you will get the desired result.

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37 minutes ago, capsai said:

If you enter names like Berlin, Frankfurt, Hamburg etc. it shows the german citys and not tiny villages with the same name somewhere in the world.

 

That's odd, when I enter Braunschweig,  I get it only in Germany.  But I usually type in the country if I know the town's the same elsewhere.

The drop downs usually give an options on location, if a few are similar.  Normally easy to pick which one.

 

When I enter Hamburg, I'd like it to be near me, preferring  Hamburg, PA (US) to a cache in Hamburg, Germany (a town I haven't been to since the '70s). 

I'd like the name to be within the country I'm searching in, not a name that "should" be elsewhere.  That just doesn't always happen.   :)

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31 minutes ago, cerberus1 said:

That's odd, when I enter Braunschweig,  I get it only in Germany.

Same here. I was expecting to type that in and have it provide two suggestions for the Germany and South Africa locations, but it only gave me "Braunschweig, Lower Saxony".

 

I don't know if it's still the case, but it used to be that HQ would cycle through various third-party geocoders (which convert place names to coordinates) in order to get around free usage limits. Maybe capsai did a search when it was using one geocoder, and cerberus1 and I got a different geocoder which gave different results?

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15 hours ago, The A-Team said:

Same here. I was expecting to type that in and have it provide two suggestions for the Germany and South Africa locations, but it only gave me "Braunschweig, Lower Saxony".

 

I don't know if it's still the case, but it used to be that HQ would cycle through various third-party geocoders (which convert place names to coordinates) in order to get around free usage limits. Maybe capsai did a search when it was using one geocoder, and cerberus1 and I got a different geocoder which gave different results?

 

I also get  "Braunschweig, Lower Saxony" as the first suggestion.  There are a lot of place names that are ambiguous, and anytime there's more than one match the system is going to present suggestion which allow the user to choose which one they want.  The system could guess based on other criteria but it's often going to be wrong. 

 

The closest Hamburg to me is Hamburg, NY a small town south of Buffalo.  I've never been to Hamburg, NY (or Hamburg, PA) but I spent a week in Hamburg, Germany and did some geocaching there.  I've also geocached in Rome, Italy several times but have only driven near Rome, NY a few times.  

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Are you all searching on the MAP? That was what the OP was talking about - not the search page.

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3 hours ago, TriciaG said:

Are you all searching on the MAP? That was what the OP was talking about - not the search page.

It really isn't clear if that's what they were talking about. If you do a search from the separate search tool, a map is underlaid behind the search field, so "If you enter "Braunschweig" in the search field, the map shows a place" could apply to either searching method.

 

That being said, if I do the search from both places, I do get different results. I still get Lower Saxony in the search tool, but I get South Africa when searching from the map. That implies that the two searches use different geocoders. I would have expected them to use the same search system, but I guess that isn't the case.

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13 hours ago, TriciaG said:

Are you all searching on the MAP? That was what the OP was talking about - not the search page.

 

Yup.

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On 8/11/2018 at 7:50 AM, NYPaddleCacher said:

 

I also get  "Braunschweig, Lower Saxony" as the first suggestion.  There are a lot of place names that are ambiguous, and anytime there's more than one match the system is going to present suggestion which allow the user to choose which one they want.  The system could guess based on other criteria but it's often going to be wrong. 

 

The closest Hamburg to me is Hamburg, NY a small town south of Buffalo.  I've never been to Hamburg, NY (or Hamburg, PA) but I spent a week in Hamburg, Germany and did some geocaching there.  I've also geocached in Rome, Italy several times but have only driven near Rome, NY a few times.  

There's a few pretty neat caches in Hamburg, NY and the surrounding areas, plus the Eternal Flame EarthCache only a few minutes away.  But I've never been to Hamburg, Germany.

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1 hour ago, GO Geiger said:

There's a few pretty neat caches in Hamburg, NY and the surrounding areas, plus the Eternal Flame EarthCache only a few minutes away.  But I've never been to Hamburg, Germany.

 

I get to Buffalo fairly often (my wife was born there) but just haven't gone much further south than Orchard Park.  As it turns out, after a couple of back channel messages with someone else I think I *have* been to Hamburg, PA, or at least driven through it.   I enjoyed geocaching in Hamburg, Germany.  There's one that's in a tunnel under the river Elbe that was pretty cool. 

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It would be great that when you enter the name of a city in the map page it default to your country/state and not somewhere thousand of km from your home that you don't care about.

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The maps appears to preference the USA.

Australia appears to be at the bottom of the list. When I put in an Australian place name, if that name also exists elsewhere in the world, no matter how remote, how small, the non Australian place will appear; not the Australian.

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On 8/16/2018 at 11:39 AM, Goldenwattle said:

The maps appears to preference the USA.

Australia appears to be at the bottom of the list. When I put in an Australian place name, if that name also exists elsewhere in the world, no matter how remote, how small, the non Australian place will appear; not the Australian.

 

Although it's possible to weight suggested locations based on certain criteria I find it hard to believe that a developer would intentionally order the results so that Australian place names are at the bottom.  One possible weighting factor could be population (assuming that data is available in the dataset) and the results might show a place name before another place with the same name higher if it had a larger population.

 

More likely it probably boils down to the quality of the data.   GS doesn't create the list of place names.   They're using third party geocoding services and even those services may be using data acquired elsewhere.  If, whoever collects that data can't get robust information about locations in Australia then you're not going to see Australian place names in the results.  

 

A friend of mine used to use the following example in presentations on the use of open data.  I would search for his name using Google and show the results.  The results would include lots of hits for sites which had his name but were for someone else before a page which mentioned him.  Then he added "biology" to the search criteria (he has a PhD in biology) and his web page popped up to the top of the results.   The same thing goes for place name searches.  The mores specific you're search criteria,  the more likely the results are going to be what you're looking for.    Type "Rome" and the system can only guess which Rome you actually mean.   Type "Rome Italy" and it's going to show you the city of Rome in Italy and you won't even see anything about Rome, NY or Rome, Georgia.

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9 minutes ago, NYPaddleCacher said:

 

Although it's possible to weight suggested locations based on certain criteria I find it hard to believe that a developer would intentionally order the results so that Australian place names are at the bottom.  One possible weighting factor could be population (assuming that data is available in the dataset) and the results might show a place name before another place with the same name higher if it had a larger population.

 

More likely it probably boils down to the quality of the data.   GS doesn't create the list of place names.   They're using third party geocoding services and even those services may be using data acquired elsewhere.  If, whoever collects that data can't get robust information about locations in Australia then you're not going to see Australian place names in the results.  

 

A friend of mine used to use the following example in presentations on the use of open data.  I would search for his name using Google and show the results.  The results would include lots of hits for sites which had his name but were for someone else before a page which mentioned him.  Then he added "biology" to the search criteria (he has a PhD in biology) and his web page popped up to the top of the results.   The same thing goes for place name searches.  The mores specific you're search criteria,  the more likely the results are going to be what you're looking for.    Type "Rome" and the system can only guess which Rome you actually mean.   Type "Rome Italy" and it's going to show you the city of Rome in Italy and you won't even see anything about Rome, NY or Rome, Georgia.

Yes, of course I have learnt to put extra information, such as a state/territory or country; otherwise if that name exists elsewhere in the world it will likely go there every time.

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