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Author Topic: Is there a station limit using price search? Back to Topics
DoctorV

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Detroit

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Message Posted: Apr 23, 2013 1:41:38 PM

I notice when I search for gas prices using the advanced search menu, I get different results depending on the area I specify. If I select a station brand and search for prices in a certain city or metro area, some of those results are not included when I search for the same brand statewide. Is there a limit to how many stations will be returned during a search?
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CampKohler
Champion Author Sacramento

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Message Posted: Apr 27, 2013 2:25:54 PM

You are right about the SS! Although it may not ruffle GB's feathers, this is not intuitive and there are no instructions that this is the intended operation, so I am reporting it here.
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DoctorV
Champion Author Detroit

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Message Posted: Apr 26, 2013 10:31:58 PM

Tonight I've been getting a maximum of 100 results. I also had a Marathon thrown in when I did a BP only search.

I discovered something else that might be part of the problem, but I have to try it more before I'm sure. I saved each of the searches with a name:

BP_Detroit_4 (all Detroit area BPs in the last 4 hours) and
BP_Michigan_4 (all Michigan BPs in the last 4 hours)

When selecting the search criteria for Michigan, I select:

STATE = MICHIGAN
STATIONS = BP
AREAS = ALL AREAS
PRICES = LAST 4 HOURS

This search gives me BPs throughout the state, including Detroit. However, once it's saved, and I select the saved search, the results exclude Detroit stations. It just gives me Michigan stations outside of the Detroit metro area. If I want the Detroit stations included, I have to reselect all the criteria and run the search again. So, the saved search function is remembering that I selected ALL AREAS when I do a Michigan search.


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DoctorV
Champion Author Detroit

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Message Posted: Apr 26, 2013 6:37:34 PM

Thanks CampKohler. I'll play with it some more and see what I get. I was wondering if the price poster's comments had an effect on the number of returned stations. I don't why it would, but some users add a bit of commentary when they post a price. Thanks for the tip on the time.
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CampKohler
Champion Author Sacramento

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Message Posted: Apr 26, 2013 6:28:53 PM

I did a bunch of testing today and never got more than 100 stations in a list (both Detroit and MI), which reconfirms the maximum I observed previously. I don't understand how you 106 or 110. Perhaps that is a problem in itself.

Today, many major brands in MI, even at 4 hours, yielded a minimum of 100 prices. I was only able to find one (Sunoco) with less than 100 state-wide that would qualify for testing this problem, and it was OK. Thus I was not able to duplicate the problem. I think the thing to do when you see it, Doc, is to work fast and do screenshots (about 24!) of all portions of both lists when you encounter the problem. Then MS Paint can be used to assemble the shots into the two lists. (That's a fair amount of work, but it's either that or save the page source for each search and distribute that to those who want to see it.) It's very vexing not to be able to reproduce it at will. You can only count to 100 a certain number of times before the thrill of the chase wears off.

----

FYI: When quoting a post time of a forum msg, it will be wrong for all but one time zone (the author's), because GB converts all times to local for all readers. One could quote all the proper times for each zone, but that would be tedious. However, if you intentionally edit a message, causing the edit timestamp to be added, it will be EST for all readers, thus giving a uniform reference time good for everyone.

----

While testing, I found a Marathon in amongst the Beacon & Bridge Market prices. I bring this up separately here.



[Edited by: CampKohler at 4/26/2013 6:29:59 PM EST]
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kwzh
Champion Author San Jose

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Message Posted: Apr 25, 2013 11:17:09 PM

It definitely used to be 100, though I haven't tested it lately.
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DoctorV
Champion Author Detroit

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Message Posted: Apr 25, 2013 4:19:12 PM

CampKohler and Scrapheap both thought the limit was 100.
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scoutmaster
Champion Author Pittsburgh

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Message Posted: Apr 25, 2013 4:13:06 PM

"Supposedly it's 100. But occasionally I get more than 100."

Who told you it's 100?
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DoctorV
Champion Author Detroit

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Message Posted: Apr 25, 2013 2:55:06 PM

Supposedly it's 100. But occasionally I get more than 100.
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scoutmaster
Champion Author Pittsburgh

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Message Posted: Apr 25, 2013 1:50:04 PM

DoctorV,

What is the maximum? I did a search in Pittsburgh and had 92 stations on the list.
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DoctorV
Champion Author Detroit

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Message Posted: Apr 25, 2013 11:19:53 AM

Scoutmaster, you missed the point. The search is giving me less than the maximum allowed even though there are current prices for more stations.

Today I did a search and it returned 106 results.

A search I did on April 17 (I saved it to a spreadsheet) gave me 110 results.
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scoutmaster
Champion Author Pittsburgh

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Message Posted: Apr 25, 2013 7:00:30 AM

It is entirely possible there BP's that don't have a current price posted. A station will not show when you search if there is no price posted for it.
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DoctorV
Champion Author Detroit

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Message Posted: Apr 24, 2013 9:32:05 PM

That's what I was trying to convey. My post on the 23rd at 3:40 PM is the best example.

I search for BP prices in the last 4 hours in Detroit-All Areas and get around 70-80 results. I know there are more than 200 BP stations in Detroit, but maybe only 70 have prices current within the last 4 hours. No problem.

I then search for BP prices in the last 4 hours for the entire state of Michigan, including Detroit. So I should get all 70 of Detroit's BPs plus any outside of Detroit that have prices current within the last 4 hours. I would expect to get at least 100 results but I don't - I get less than 100. Okay, so maybe outside of Detroit there weren't an additional 30 BP stations with current prices. But here's how I know the results are incomplete: the higher priced Detroit stations were not included even though the limit of 100 stations wasn't reached.
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CampKohler
Champion Author Sacramento

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Message Posted: Apr 24, 2013 5:16:28 PM

Now this is new information. You say that the search results was less than 100, but you are still missing some stations that should show up? I'm interested how that could happen. Could you give an example?
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DoctorV
Champion Author Detroit

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Message Posted: Apr 24, 2013 10:39:09 AM

Yes, I think you're correct. I've done a few searches of multiple brands that would definitely result in more than 100 stations being returned, and the limit was always 100.

Still doesn't explain why my original problem exists: With a statewide search of a particular brand, less than 100 results are shown when it's obvious more could be displayed. Must be a fluke in how the database handles search requests.
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Scrapheap
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Apr 24, 2013 5:02:10 AM

I believe the list is truncated at 100 stations.
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jrsva
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Apr 24, 2013 12:16:20 AM

“At the top of the results is the phrase ‘Lowest Regular Gas Prices in the Last 4 hours.’ That's what made me think it isn't showing me All the BP prices in the last 4 hours, just the lowest . . .”

That phrase appears in some form with every search. I think it is because the lowest prices are always listed at the top, not necessarily that the list is truncated.

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DoctorV
Champion Author Detroit

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Message Posted: Apr 23, 2013 3:40:57 PM

Weird. A BP-Detroit-All area-4 hour search returned 79 stations. (It also threw in one Marathon station in the results.) A BP-Michigan-All area-4 hour search returned 73 stations.

I tried a Michigan Sunoco search to see what happens; that gave me 97 stations.

Marathon gave me 100, and there has to be at least 400 Marathons in Michigan.
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DoctorV
Champion Author Detroit

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Message Posted: Apr 23, 2013 3:15:27 PM

Thanks. I'll have to do a count, but I assume that's what's happening. I'm trying to compare average prices in different areas but something looked off, then I realized I wasn't getting all of the data.
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CampKohler
Champion Author Sacramento

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Message Posted: Apr 23, 2013 3:12:41 PM

There seems to be a limit of 100 in any search. If the actual number of stations that should appear in a search results is greater than 100, some of the missing stations might be those from the metro-area, depending on the prices at those stations.

When the state search results is less than 100, all of the metro-area stations that I have tried do appear in the state results.
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DoctorV
Champion Author Detroit

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Message Posted: Apr 23, 2013 3:11:41 PM

I just did both searches again. The Michigan all-area search results include lots of Detroit area BP stations. The highest price listed is $3.77.

The Detroit all-area search of BP stations shows at least two-dozen stations with prices above $3.77.
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DoctorV
Champion Author Detroit

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Message Posted: Apr 23, 2013 3:05:02 PM

Yes. For instance, I searched for BP prices for all of the Detroit metro area in the last four hours (I selected Detroit, BP, All Areas). Then I searched for BP prices in all of Michigan in the last four hours (Michigan, BP, All Areas). The Michigan search left out some of the Detroit stations that were listed in the Detroit search results. I didn't count how many were listed but I thought maybe there was an upper limit to the number of stations returned.

At the top of the results is the phrase "Lowest Regular Gas Prices in the Last 4 hours." That's what made me think it isn't showing me All the BP prices in the last 4 hours, just the lowest (50, 80, 100?) BP prices in the last four hours.
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Gas_Buddy
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Message Posted: Apr 23, 2013 2:22:42 PM

Just for clarification, are you saying that do a search clicking on the Detroit option and then do a search clicking on the State (Michigan) option? Or are you saying that you additionally identify Detroit (for example) as a specific search area?

Unless you're specifically identifying the search area (i.e., Detroit as the overall search area and Detroit as the specific area), you'll get "metro area" results.

I've just tried multiple searches using the advanced search menu for the Detroit Gas Buddy site for various gas station brands and again for multiple brands, in individual areas and for multiple areas, and using both the Detroit and the State (indicating Michigan) options. , clicking on the Detroit button and then on the state (Michigan) button and I've essentially gotten the same number of results for each comparison set of searches. (The caveat, several times there have been a one additional or one fewer result, which I assume is due to the the time limit having been reached and/or an additional station being posted (same brand). The difference in search results was inconsequential from what I'e seen since this thread was started.
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