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Subject: Game Store Database: New & Improved rss

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Matthew Gray
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For 6+ years, I've run a game store database at my site. It's user interface was ugly, clunky, but functional. For a long time, I've been meaning to update this to a more modern interface, with Google Maps, better geocoding support, and things like that. Well, it's finally done.

Please check out http://GameStoreDB.com/

Please add stores that are not included, update information about existing stores, pass on bug reports, comments, praise and criticism.
 
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David G.
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Nice update, Matt. I see that a few zip codes fell off (or were never there) making the proximity searches not work. I've fixed a couple as I found them. Any plans to go back through the data and fill in the zips?
 
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David G.
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I liked the "all stores between two points" thing you used to have. Handy when planning side trips while on vacation.
 
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Matthew Gray
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Some stores in the old database had zip codes but no addresses beyond that. I'm going to wait a few days, hoping locals to those stores will see and update the stores missing addresses and if not, I'll either put in just their ZIP or do the legwork to track down the remaining ones.

The vast majority of stores have fully geocoded addresses (281/317).
 
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Dane Peacock
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Matthew, is there any way that you can get them to link to this valuable site under 'Bazaar' or something?
 
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Matthew Gray
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davebo wrote:
I liked the "all stores between two points" thing you used to have. Handy when planning side trips while on vacation.

It will be back :-)
 
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Allen Vailliencourt
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Very nice. Just added a comment for my FLGS.

~V
 
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Matthew Gray
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Sky Knight X wrote:
Matthew, is there any way that you can get them to link to this valuable site under 'Bazaar' or something?

I'll talk to Scott about it, but the final call is his. He's pretty busy today with upgrade stuff so it may be a while.
 
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Alex Eaton-Salners
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For some reason I am unable to change the address of stores in edit mode. I enter the changes, delete the lat/long, hit preview, and it reverts to the old info...shake

Trying to edit this page:
http://gamestoredb.com/?Game+Empire
using Firefox 1.5.0.6.
 
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Matthew Gray
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mitnachtKAUBO-I wrote:
For some reason I am unable to change the address of stores in edit mode. I enter the changes, delete the lat/long, hit preview, and it reverts to the old info...shake

Trying to edit this page:
http://gamestoredb.com/?Game+Empire
using Firefox 1.5.0.6.

It's possible that preview has a bug related to geocoding/address changes. Try just doing submit. I'll look into the bug.
 
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Alex Eaton-Salners
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Yup. It worked if I just hit save. laugh
 
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Boards & Bits
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mkgray wrote:
mitnachtKAUBO-I wrote:
For some reason I am unable to change the address of stores in edit mode. I enter the changes, delete the lat/long, hit preview, and it reverts to the old info...shake

Trying to edit this page:
http://gamestoredb.com/?Game+Empire
using Firefox 1.5.0.6.

It's possible that preview has a bug related to geocoding/address changes. Try just doing submit. I'll look into the bug.
It seemed that Preview just reverted back to all of the old data.

Also, the edit page says there are errors on the page:

Error: 'txtarea.parentNode' is null or not an object.

Hope that helps

Tom
 
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Jeff Michaud
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You are either getting a ton of hits, or it's a slow server

In any case, I tried adding a new entry, http://gamestoredb.com/?c=create but that page is messed up in Opera (8.5 on WinXP)... the form for it semi-covered by the form for searching... I still tried using it and could enter text into the text box for it, but then submit ("New") button for it didn't do anything. I ended up starting up firefox and was able to do the addition.

That's probably the only one I saw that was missing so no biggy.

Note to anyone else adding... you must check the "Game Store Page?" box (which is not checked by default) of the listing will not show up in distance based searches.
 
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Ray
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There's 13 Gamers Paradise's in Chicagoland that are already starting to get added in an ad hoc manner. Here's the URL for any brave soul who wants to take the time to add them all: http://www.gamesparadiseinc.com/locations.html

(oddly enough I have trouble finding motivation to do so without getting geekgold. Aldie spoils me!)
 
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Jeff Michaud
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Seeing Board&Bits and CardHaus in the database brings up a question... can we add other online game stores? I wasn't sure if:

Guide to adding stores
In general, feel free to add any store that could reasonably be called a "game store".


would include them. I have a list (some of which are also B&M's) at

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/984343#984343

which includes at least a zipcode for most of them.

Maybe it would be nice if any store that has online ordering could be flagged (another checkbox) so we can search for the closest online store, as this has come up at a couple times that I've seen (including the thread referenced above). Reason is some folks want to find an a place they can order from online that will in theory get them the games the fastest (and less shipping because of shorter distance, assuming of course not free shipping).
 
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Ray
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I was looking at adding the "Go! The game store" entries, but it turns out there are quite a few. http://www.calendarclub.com/stores/go.htm has a store locator that queries each state.

[edit] or do we consider them (although better stocked) in the same league as Barnes & Noble and ToysRUs and thus skip them?
 
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Lajos
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The world is bigger than just the US...
 
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Matthew Gray
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Lajos wrote:
The world is bigger than just the US...

Yes, and please add stores outside the US. The old system was keyed off zip code, so didn't work outside the US. The new version uses latitude/longitude so you can add stores anywhere in the world.

Unfortunately, the various geocoding services have mediocre to poor support for addresses outside the US, so you'll have to figure out the latitude and longitude yourself.

One easy way to do that is to find the point in google maps, click the "link to this page" link, and the lat/long will appear in the URL.
 
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Matthew Gray
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wtrollkin2000 wrote:
I was looking at adding the "Go! The game store" entries, but it turns out there are quite a few. http://www.calendarclub.com/stores/go.htm has a store locator that queries each state.

[edit] or do we consider them (although better stocked) in the same league as Barnes & Noble and ToysRUs and thus skip them?

The ones I've been in are well enough stocked to qualify. If the store is a seasonal only opening, that should be noted on the page.

My recommendation for including them in the database is to put the town name in parentheses and have the main "Go! The Game Store" page be a non-store page with a description of the chain and a list of the stores.

See the "Games By James" entry for an example.
 
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Matthew Gray
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JeffyJeff wrote:
You are either getting a ton of hits, or it's a slow server

It's a few things; It is getting a lot of hits. The hosting provider is having some issues which I will follow up with. The geocoding (performed whenever you search by location or add new stores) is just slow and out of my control.

Quote:

In any case, I tried adding a new entry, http://gamestoredb.com/?c=create but that page is messed up in Opera (8.5 on WinXP)... the form for it semi-covered by the form for searching... I still tried using it and could enter text into the text box for it, but then submit ("New") button for it didn't do anything. I ended up starting up firefox and was able to do the addition.

I'll try to look into it, but it may be a while.
 
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Mike Pranno
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I tried entering a game store that happened to have the same name as a store in another state. The first time, it gave me a "Store already exists", so I tried to modify the name to include the state. I don't think the next set of entered data saved.
 
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Matthew Gray
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JeffyJeff wrote:

Maybe it would be nice if any store that has online ordering could be flagged (another checkbox) so we can search for the closest online store, as this has come up at a couple times that I've seen (including the thread referenced above). Reason is some folks want to find an a place they can order from online that will in theory get them the games the fastest (and less shipping because of shorter distance, assuming of course not free shipping).

In the works. For now feel free to add them, and make sure the word "online" is in the description so I can easily find them when I add the flag.
 
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Matthew Gray
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Lajos wrote:
The world is bigger than just the US...

A couple further notes on this, related to searching.

The Google geocoding service successfully encodes some foreign cities (eg, "Paris, France") and fails with others (eg, "London, England"). In general it always fails with more precise addresses. So, if you're searching for stores near paris, just search for that.

For places where it can't geocode it, I've added the ability to enter a raw lat,long. This is a little annoying, but not much I can do about it currently. For example, to search near London, you'd enter 51.5,0.0 in the address box.

Currently, there is a single store outside of North America listed in the database. I hope this changes.

If someone knows of a good, free, fast, global geocoding service, I'm open to suggestions.
 
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Jeff Michaud
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Ok, I've added about 16 online stores (some do have B&M store fronts as well), including Playme.de (in Germany). The entries are all named with " (online)" following the name (I also added this to B&B and CardHaus that were already in there).

If anyone is interested, you can see these with the search:

http://gamestoredb.com/?key=%28online%29&comment=Go&c=search

By the way, I hope at the same time a new flag is added for the ones that you can order online from, maybe a separate field for the website? I originally tried putting that into the address field, above the address, but that prevented the site from looking up the geo data (the other problem using that field the site didn't create a hyperlink out of it when viewed).

Looking good!

Jeff
mkgray wrote:
JeffyJeff wrote:

Maybe it would be nice if any store that has online ordering could be flagged (another checkbox) so we can search for the closest online store, as this has come up at a couple times that I've seen (including the thread referenced above). Reason is some folks want to find an a place they can order from online that will in theory get them the games the fastest (and less shipping because of shorter distance, assuming of course not free shipping).

In the works. For now feel free to add them, and make sure the word "online" is in the description so I can easily find them when I add the flag.
 
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James Forsythe
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Very nice! I have a habit of checking out FLGS's whenever I travel, and you old site helped me on several occasions find a local store.
 
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