Apr 21 2012 · Random
Old, dirty, and one-third of them don’t work…
Jan 29 2011 · Web Technologies
It’s a very simple app for quickly finding restaurants by cusine + location. For each resturaunt, it shows the restaurant inspection grade, to give you an idea of how clean and safe the food at the establishment is, and also pulls the Yelp star rating to give you and idea of how good the food is.
Search by cuisine and location (specifically, neighborhood) I felt was really important. Searching by name is, of course, much simpler, but when it comes to finding a new restaurant your likely not to know the name beforehand. Even if you have been to the restaurant before, unless it’s a regular spot for you, you’d likely still has issues remembering the name given the number of places to eat in New York City.
That said, this was far more difficult than I anticipated and I’m sad to say the current implementation is far from ideal. Here’s why:
My second choice was geocoder.us, but it had issues geocoding locations outside of Manhattan. So I put aside the idea of doing a geocode.
… the Geocoding API may only be used in conjunction with a Google map; geocoding results without displaying them on a map is prohibited. For complete details on allowed usage, consult the Maps API Terms of Service License Restrictions.
My big disappointment is how restrictive and inaccessible all of this geographic data is, and the lack of such data severely compromises the effectiveness of the search.
Another, somewhat major issue with the raw data set is how restaurants are categorized. I’m noticing tons of establishments are simply identified with the cuisine type of “American.” For example, B Cup is a café in the East Village. If I was looking for it, I would search for “Café/Coffee/Tea” not “American.”
In fact, I think “American” is way to generic to describe any sort of cuisine.
In any case, NYC yum yum still works pretty well and does hit of the target of being able to find good, clean places to eat at, quick and easily. I’ll likely be working on improvements to it in the near future.
Edit: mixed up geocoding and reverse geocoding