If I might be so bold, I would like to propose a project that could make tracking down great roadfood locations even easier than it is now with the help of all you wonderful roadfooders.
Google has recently expanded the capability of their MyPlaces on line mapping software. I had previously used MapMuse to track roadfood and other eating places and found it to be an extremely valuable resource. I know this site offers an upgrade to get access to the RF locations via map but it fails to capture all those places mentioned in the forums but not officially added as Roadfood spots. I cannot imagine what it would take to try to find ALL the places mentioned in the forums, say for example for my next trip to Boston, in order to choose the places I most want to visit and not discover when I return that I missed some fabulous place that I would have loved to visit.
With that in mind I would like to propose an RF crowd sourced project to give all RFer's access to a more easily accessible resource (see link at bottom of post). I've chosen to start with New Jersey hot dog sellers, but if this takes off there is no reason that we can't develop a whole series of maps on a range of topics (next I can add hot dog entries from all over the country, if this is deemed worthwhile). I chose NJ Hot Dogs as it seems to be one of the more active discussion areas here and because I thought it might be easier to gather a significant number of places in a mappable format. Thanks to John Fox's direction I was able to find John Sagi of thegourmetchilidog.com
who provided an excellent list of hot dog outlets including addresses and some phone numbers. My appreciation goes out to both the Johns for their assistance.
For those not familiar with the concept, crowd sourcing allows an entire community to contribute to a project with each making a small effort to produce a large result. I have set the map up so that it is editable by anyone with a Google account who wishes to make any changes, sort of like a wiki map. You will need to create a Google acct. Once you sign in to Google and open the map you will see an Edit button near the top of the left side frame. Once you are in edit mode you can search for the address, click on the blue balloon and drag it to the location, and then add the information. If you click on the icon inside the edit box and then 'My Icons" you can choose the hotdog icon. To change an existing entry click on the icon in edit mode and you can make the changes. Don't forget to save. (please limit it to just NJ spots for now).
I have already found that some locations are slightly off geographically from where the actual site is, probably because the locations are based on a little program that converts addresses to latitude/longitude settings. These can be corrected by simply picking up the marker and moving it to the correct location. You can also add pictures and other information to the listing.
I would just SUGGEST a few guidelines.
The current listings are formatted like this:
Address, City, State, Zip, Phone:
John's list did not include any other details but I have added the following to a few listings (see Papaya King in Clifton).
Web: Dog: Prep: Review: Review:... More Pics: More Pics:...
Following this format when adding or editing and entry, even when the info is left blank, will simplify finding wanted details.
The Review heading should be followed by a link to another web page where a review can be found. More pics should be followed by a link to just that, additional pictures.
Pictures can be added directly to the map location, but to avoid excessive busyness it might be better to limit the embeded pics to one of the location and one of the food, with additional pics linked to. Since editing is open to all please use discretion when adding or editing an entry
. Especially please be very careful about makeing a change(as oppopsed to an addition) in an existiing entry.
If this is successful, as I hope it will be, it could be just the beginning of a great new resource to discover more and more excellent road food locations.
I imagine there could be many questions about a project like this that i haven't thought of. Please be patient and positive and I will try to help us all work through the details over time.
Thanks for all and any contributions.
More to come.
The link: http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF&msa=0&msid=205477214443202174589.0004a8af0189768167b25
<message edited by WarmBeer on Mon, 07/25/11 6:15 PM>