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Author Topic: Map history of where i reported pries Back to Topics
gtptyler

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Fargo

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Message Posted: Aug 26, 2013 12:39:26 PM

Would be nice to see a map or even a list of the places I reported history at. Would be kinda fun
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Retired-Coastie
Champion Author Arkansas

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Message Posted: Sep 6, 2013 9:09:01 AM

I would not want to "tie up this thread" as I have been accused of by some verbose windbag champion author. I think the op may be interested working on there explorer award, so knowing the stations you've already reported on would be helpful. Akin to geocaching's found icon.
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Don
Moderator
Message Posted: Sep 4, 2013 4:50:37 PM

I think gtpyler, who appears to be more of a member that frequents the mobile application, might be more leaning toward having a visualization of where they reported prices each day, as a record that could be used to help maintain Top Spotters.

If this being suggested as a profile feature, one major concern that would need to be addressed is there are members that do not want others to have a visual display of where their routine visits are (for self-security purposes).

We collect GPS data from the apps to validate mobile app prices, and for more of our own abuse recognition tools (one of which has been used to recognize "armchair" reporters and vacationers). That specific tool isn't something we would make a user accessible feature.

-Don
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Gas_Buddy
Champion Author Maryland

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Message Posted: Sep 4, 2013 1:11:11 PM

GoGoGoodyear wrote:
"One way this could be implemented is by different size graphics on the map which correspond to how recent a station has been updated. For example on the full website map, the prices could be a bit larger for stations updated more recently, getting smaller as the update ages, but instead of eventually disappearing (as they do now) f or prices that are too old, the price could be replaced by "---"."

scoutmaster followed up with:
"This is actually a good idea. Or they could be color coded. Re being current and black being aged."

Consider me as disagreeing with those two suggestions. First, I think the more simple the viewing is, the commonality of graphics or icons, the easier it is to see and relate to/respond to, especially with small-screen mobile devices.

Second, how distinct can/will you make the "older price" icons, and will they be significantly different enough that people will be size-conscious enough to determine the difference. Full size is less than three hours old? Eighty percent sized would identify prices six to three hours old? Half sized identify... You get the idea.

As for color-coding, I doubt that many people really know the difference in the icon colors for their points standings or what vehicle icons they have, let alone can can identify the other icons, I don't see that members, especially casual members, will quickly memorize the colors to determine the age of the price post. It might be one thing if people spent time viewing the website, but it's another thing when the majority of members (in my opinion) simply want to see what's there.

To me, the more simple the layout, the more simple the graphic display, the easier it is to use the site, especially on mobile devices, and more so if the member is him/herself mobile at the time of using the website.
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TxJeans
Champion Author Tampa

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Message Posted: Sep 4, 2013 8:16:39 AM

GoGo said "One way this could be implemented is by different size graphics on the map which correspond to how recent a station has been updated. For example on the full website map, the prices could be a bit larger for stations updated more recently, getting smaller as the update ages, but instead of eventually disappearing (as they do now) for prices that are too old, the price could be replaced by "---"."

The only problem with that --- don't they have branded flags for GB Direct ? -- if all stations had the same pins except color coding by age group-- because I would bet the GB would stay large just as they remain at the at the top of their price class on the website main price board.
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scoutmaster
Champion Author Pittsburgh

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Message Posted: Sep 4, 2013 6:19:47 AM

"One way this could be implemented is by different size graphics on the map which correspond to how recent a station has been updated. For example on the full website map, the prices could be a bit larger for stations updated more recently, getting smaller as the update ages, but instead of eventually disappearing (as they do now) for prices that are too old, the price could be replaced by "---"."

This is actually a good idea. Or they could be color coded. Re being current and black being aged.
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GoGoGoodyear
Champion Author Los Angeles

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Message Posted: Sep 4, 2013 1:10:06 AM


One way this could be implemented is by different size graphics on the map which correspond to how recent a station has been updated. For example on the full website map, the prices could be a bit larger for stations updated more recently, getting smaller as the update ages, but instead of eventually disappearing (as they do now) for prices that are too old, the price could be replaced by "---".

That being said, although this might help drivers decide which station they will go to for a fillup (the one with the more recent update is likely to still have that price, esp. when prices are rising) but I don't think most members would take a different route or go out of their way just to update a station that hasn't had a recent update.

As TxJeans pointed out, most under-reported stations are so for a reason, and it's asking too much of volunteers to drive out of their way to get those prices. If an out of the way station does have competitive prices, maybe they should be encouraged to join GB-Direct and update their own prices to attract more business.

As to the OP's suggestion, other than allowing a member to see (for their own amusement) where they have posted updates, I don't see how it adds value to the site. It would be similar to the app awards.
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TxJeans
Champion Author Tampa

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Message Posted: Aug 31, 2013 11:55:11 PM

Larry, if you are driving through a corner with four stations, you first off shouldn't be posting while actually driving. If stopped at the light and only time to post one, you won't have time to check the tracks to see which one was less frequently posted.

And, yes, I meant you can post as many prices as you see but only get points according to the current point allocation rules.
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LarryMarg
Champion Author New York

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Message Posted: Aug 31, 2013 7:01:31 PM

"So, why would anyone have to make a choice of reporting multiple stations - why not report them all?"

If I'm driving through an intersection with 4 gas stations, and I'm not stopping, there's no way (in general) I can record all the prices.

"There is no limit to the stations you can report, only a limit on prices."

I think you meant to write "only a limit on (points toward) prizes".
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scoutmaster
Champion Author Pittsburgh

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Message Posted: Aug 31, 2013 8:26:40 AM

I see this idea as total fluff. To me, it's about the poster not the prices when it should be the other way around.
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kwzh
Champion Author San Jose

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Message Posted: Aug 31, 2013 5:00:39 AM

Could be; I don't have a strong opinion either way. I'm just pointing out a way in which it could used to benefit the site, if it were to be implemented.
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TxJeans
Champion Author Tampa

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Message Posted: Aug 30, 2013 6:53:07 AM

kwzh,
I really bet that would not be used that often.

Most people are pretty busy, and for daily routes of equivalent time and distance they probably already know which stations are on those routes.
If traveling off my daily route, I am usually on a "mission" to get some where, and would be more interested in finding the best "cheap" gas than the route where I can update more "under reported" stations. Most under reported stations are under reported for a reason.

I would rather see an improvement in the trip calculator where I can put in my route and see the best pricing along the route and not have to play with the "fill" level. For instance I make a trip that I can make (if I have to and am willing to go down to under 1/2 tank) on one tank. I have to keep playing with the slider to see where to fill up before I get home, because when I leave for work, there are no stations on my route into work.

I don't see how it would be "fun" and I would expect that it's novelty would wear off quickly.

That is MY opinion, and I have just as much right to express my opinion against an idea as a certain other poster has to express opinions for an idea and likes to complain about others that don't agree.

I don't like the IDEA, not the person.
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kwzh
Champion Author San Jose

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Message Posted: Aug 30, 2013 1:09:47 AM

TxJeans, an example of such a scenario would be if I'm making a choice between two routes that are about pretty close to equivalent in terms of time and/or distance. If one of them has a gas station that's less likely to be reported by someone else, then that fact could serve as encouragement to take that route.
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maxstar
Champion Author Chicago

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Message Posted: Aug 29, 2013 8:13:14 PM

CampKohler your idea belongs in its own topic. The suggestion is about individuals being able to track their updates. Along the lines of "Show topics that I participated in". The suggestion was not for a map of where all GasBuddies have traveled to update stations. I would argue that the current maps show the activity just fine.
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Scrapheap
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Aug 29, 2013 9:46:02 AM

GOBUTLER - How does this suggestion help you keep track of consecutive days?
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Retired-Coastie
Champion Author Arkansas

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Message Posted: Aug 29, 2013 9:39:10 AM

GB already has a database of every station and its location that you have reported, that's how your tracked for your in app rewards (that no one sees, but you). It would be nice if just a color change feature was added so you could say" I've already recorded prices at THAT station."
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GOBUTLER
Champion Author Indianapolis

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Message Posted: Aug 29, 2013 7:36:32 AM

I like this idea. I've had a problem with keeping track of consecutive days. It sometimes resets, or doesn't keep track, and I go back to zero.
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TxJeans
Champion Author Tampa

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Message Posted: Aug 29, 2013 7:23:34 AM

"Quoting from FAQ #13 (text originally written by me, I believe): "If you really have to make a choice [of multiple stations when you can't report all of them], then try to report on a station that nobody else in your neighborhood is covering." A group history would help decide which stations are good candidates for that. "

So, why would anyone have to make a choice of reporting multiple stations - why not report them all? There is no limit to the stations you can report, only a limit on prices.

I don't think most folks reporting will drive a route that is not their normal route, that is less convenient or longer in miles or time just to find stations that others apparently don't care about to report those prices. They are not being reported for a reason.

The only reason I can see for someone to chose "what" stations to report out of a group would be memory or time and and they will not be taking the time to look at the four corners and the map to see which one is the oldest.

Oh, yes, ideally for GB it would be good if we reported all stations high and low in the same frequency to get better numbers, but it will never truly happen based on user submissions because we tend to report stations more often on routes where people most often travel and I think it is a lot to ask of volunteers to use their own time and gas to drive where they weren't planning on going to get a gas price in a neighborhood where GB members don't seem to bother traveling to or reporting.
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kwzh
Champion Author San Jose

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Message Posted: Aug 29, 2013 5:22:35 AM

Quoting from FAQ #13 (text originally written by me, I believe): "If you really have to make a choice [of multiple stations when you can't report all of them], then try to report on a station that nobody else in your neighborhood is covering." A group history would help decide which stations are good candidates for that.
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scoutmaster
Champion Author Pittsburgh

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Message Posted: Aug 29, 2013 5:10:46 AM

"You can't really see what the member traffic flow is from the occasional OLD."

Who cares? What benefit is this? How will this enhance the site?
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TxJeans
Champion Author Tampa

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Message Posted: Aug 28, 2013 10:28:55 PM

CK "You can't really see what the member traffic flow is from the occasional OLD. If there are two ways to reach a destination, it would increase coverage if a member could see the less-traveled path and selected it instead of the heavily-traveled path. That's the theory, anyway. "

So what? Why do I care about tracking member traffic flow? To see a less heavily-traveled path? I have plenty of traffic reports to do that.
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CampKohler
Champion Author Sacramento

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Message Posted: Aug 28, 2013 9:52:31 PM

You can't really see what the member traffic flow is from the occasional OLD. If there are two ways to reach a destination, it would increase coverage if a member could see the less-traveled path and selected it instead of the heavily-traveled path. That's the theory, anyway.
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Gas_Buddy
Champion Author Maryland

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Message Posted: Aug 28, 2013 8:40:45 PM

"...a map of where all GasBuddies have traveled to see which stations are well-reported and which are not."

Is that really necessary, to see which stations are more reported than others? If stations aren't being reported, there's generally a simple reason, either there aren't members in those areas or the members in those areas simply aren't reporting all the prices they can. But those members already know that.

It's not, if people see that some stations are more reported than others or that some stations are less reported, as if people will go out of their way to report under-reported areas/under-reported gas stations, is it? If yes, why should people go out of their way to report prices (using gas, time, and money) to post prices for others that don't have enough interest or initiative to post those prices them selves (considering it's their area)?

Maybe I just don't understand the idea we need to let people know what areas are under-reported so they'll go out of their way to report for areas they normally wouldn't be going to/going through.
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maxstar
Champion Author Chicago

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Message Posted: Aug 28, 2013 8:09:21 PM

Isn't that information already available? Those stations that are not well-reported show up as "old" on the map.
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CampKohler
Champion Author Sacramento

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Message Posted: Aug 28, 2013 6:46:01 PM

Not a route of where you traveled, but a map of where all GasBuddies have traveled to see which stations are well-reported and which are not.
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Gas_Buddy
Champion Author Maryland

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Message Posted: Aug 28, 2013 5:24:03 PM

Sorry, CampKohler, but your most recent post makes it seem even more confusing. I still don't understand why anyone would want a route of where the travelled (let alone based on gas prices).
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TxJeans
Champion Author Tampa

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Message Posted: Aug 28, 2013 7:29:53 AM

I already know where I go, and what stations I post to and suspect most folks do as well, except maybe some retirees that spend their time moto-homing.

What benefit does this give? Why would you even want it?

I can see my route showing me going in loop-d-loops when reporting stations at all 4 corners and some side streets while riding as a passenger. ;-)

I can think of a lot more fun to do with my SM or PC...
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scoutmaster
Champion Author Pittsburgh

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Message Posted: Aug 28, 2013 6:33:33 AM

"If you report Stations A, B, C, etc. by the app, that is a route,"

What if they are written down an reported from a PC? Is that still a route?

"The FSL would not be so amenable, because the order of stations is determined by how the member sets up his list"

Your FSL can be set up in "routes" if you so desire.

What is T.S.?
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CampKohler
Champion Author Sacramento

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Message Posted: Aug 28, 2013 1:38:21 AM

Max: If you report Stations A, B, C, etc. by the app, that is a route, (whether you want it to be or not). The FSL would not be so amenable, because the order of stations is determined by how the member sets up his list and the T.S. is not granular enough to allow time to be used to compensate (although the member could construct his FSL strictly along "routeular" lines if he chose to do so, but he would have to so state. You would end up with something like those county maps that have roads depicted with line widths based on traffic flow, except here it would be based on member traffic flow only; you would instantly see which stations are on heavily-travelled paths and which are under reported and need attention.

GB: No GPS is necessary, because the system knows where all the stations are located.

[Edited by: CampKohler at 8/28/2013 1:43:55 AM EST]
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Gas_Buddy
Champion Author Maryland

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Message Posted: Aug 27, 2013 8:18:59 PM

"...a map could be drawn of all the routes taken."

CampKohler:
Are you suggesting that Gas Buddy implement a GPS tracking system so that it can track everywhere we drive, all our vehicle movements? It would be one thing (whether you agree with it or not) if the government monitored all our vehicle movements, but you think Gas Buddy should do it?

Maybe Scrapheap's correct, that there would be little involved to implement the original suggestion, but from what little I know trying to map every location that was reported, for every member, would be a considerable undertaking. I guess a list would be easier to develop but maybe I don't understand what "kinda fun" that there would be if Gas Buddy implements the suggestion, seeing all the gas stations that the member (and every other member of Gas Buddy) ever reported.

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maxstar
Champion Author Chicago

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Message Posted: Aug 27, 2013 7:37:17 PM

"a map could be drawn of all the routes taken."

What routes taken are you talking about?
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CampKohler
Champion Author Sacramento

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Message Posted: Aug 27, 2013 7:14:34 PM

Scrap: There seems to be an excessive amount of worry about anything that might somehow be considered a psychological reward for contributing to the site. If abuse is so rampant that it colors every aspect of this site, why not remove a larger source of abuse, namely the display of points. Why do points need to be displayed at all as long as GBO keeps track of them internally for prize drawings? If nothing else, that would remove the "you-aren't-contributing-enough-to-suit-my-taste" arrow from the quivers of forum snipers.

In addition to all the stations reported, by keeping track of the order of said stations, a map could be drawn of all the routes taken. That would be interesting to see, especially if all members were displayed at once, as it would show coverage of a site's area, and more importantly, a lack of coverage.

[Edited by: CampKohler at 8/27/2013 7:21:10 PM EST]
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CampKohler
Champion Author Sacramento

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Message Posted: Aug 27, 2013 7:00:11 PM

This suggestion has been added to the Suggestion Tracking List as a new subject.
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scoutmaster
Champion Author Pittsburgh

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Message Posted: Aug 27, 2013 6:51:01 AM

Yup. Anything that would add to bogus price be reported is a detriment to this site and hurts the site credibility.
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TxJeans
Champion Author Tampa

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Message Posted: Aug 27, 2013 6:08:03 AM

" the abuse brought about by the app awards gives me pause regarding anything like this. "
Agreed.

R0C12012
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Scrapheap
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Aug 27, 2013 3:40:36 AM

I think that maintaining a list of stations you reported would not be difficult or bandwidth intensive. That said, while I have wanted something like that for some time, the abuse brought about by the app awards gives me pause regarding anything like this.
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Byte_Doctor
Champion Author Akron

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Message Posted: Aug 26, 2013 9:07:57 PM

Now, before I get started, I would like to say that I want GB to do a number of other things to improve the website and apps before doing something like this, but it honestly wouldn't be nearly as bad as what some of you are making it out to be.

The amount of coding would be trivial as long as GB stores the stations for which you've posted prices (and if you don't mind a bit of cheating). If they don't store the stations, it isn't possible anyway so I'll proceed as if they do (which seems likely).

Each station has a GPS coordinate so all you have to do is query the database records for a specific individual with a filter to drop duplicate stations and (here's the cheating that makes it easy) loop through the result set and hand it off to Google Maps API to plot the points. Do it on-demand the first time in a day that a member wants to see the map, and cache it so that each member only generates one map per day. Probably a couple dozen lines of GB server-side code tops.

Now, here's the part that makes that approach essentially unworkable - Google Maps restricts the number of points that a site can submit through the mapping API during any given day without paying for it so it would never happen - too expensive in real money.

Still, a fun mental exercise - and honestly it wouldn't be that much harder to use the mapping resources that GB already has & uses to do the same thing on their own. Probably a hundred lines of code tops for that approach, maybe significantly less depending on how GB's mapping routines are structured. In this approach it becomes very computationally expensive. You would be able to reduce the load on any given server by having each local GB server handle their own members, but that would still be a lot of server load if it were a popular feature.

Fortunately, the amount of data being transmitted wouldn't be much - pre-render the map and transmit it to the browser (or app) and it wouldn't be any more than what is sent for a given page-load with a map on it like is already available. To make it zoomable, just transmit the station IDs that are currently visible on the browser or app screen and use the existing mapping functions - actually, that would probably be the better approach since it would both reduce the data transmitted and reduce the server computation expense, but it would require more coding effort (and would require new app versions if it were to be available on the apps) but still probably less than a couple days programming effort, maybe a week with QA and related overhead.

It would make for an interesting resource that I bet a lot of members would get a kick out of and it would certainly be in line with the types of features GB has added recently that folks here have likened to "gamification" of GB.

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TxJeans
Champion Author Tampa

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Message Posted: Aug 26, 2013 7:40:55 PM

Seriously? It might be small amount of data to map your posts but many that have posted as many points and you have done so in a month rather than a year.
It would be a waste of coding hours for idle curiosity...especially when we have some many more pressing issues we would like to see implemented.
That said, you will almost assuredly see it added to CK's list. It is his list as a regular member keeping his own wiki list and he has very little if any filter of what goes on the list.
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scoutmaster
Champion Author Pittsburgh

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Message Posted: Aug 26, 2013 4:07:00 PM

Fun? How would this be fun? And the amount of programming that would go into this would be enormous! There are more important things on this site the programmers could be working on.
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Gas_Buddy
Champion Author Maryland

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Message Posted: Aug 26, 2013 1:57:25 PM

I'm not sure how much "fun" it would be kinda to see a map of the gas stations for which you posted prices, but I would think that it would take a lot of computer coding and space to "map" or "station list" just for the 20,000 or so members that regularly take part in the weekly poll, let alone for all the millions of registered users that use the website.

For a perspective of how immense a project this would be, first, there are millions of Gas Buddy members across the United States and Canada. There were, I believe, approximately 5 million app downloads as of mid-2001, with an average (at that time) 50,000 downloads daily. There is an average

100,000 gas price posts daily, and millions (according to Gas Buddy management) millions of unique daily visitors to the GasBuddy Network.

Trying to incorporate all that information (either incorporating or cross checking each member's list or map to ensure that the information your'e asking for isn't already available) seems as if it would be a lot of effort just so you could see it for "kinda fun".

Not trying to be cynical and dismiss the suggestion without reason, but during your membership, you've posted something under 200 gas prices (I imagine that many of the prices are for the same gas stations), roughly one post every other day. It would seem that, if a list would simply "be kinda fun" to see, why not simply open start a word processing document and add station stations as you post them, and do a simple alphabetical sort to keep track of the stations (to see where they are and if you have/have not posted prices for that station before. You could include the station name, location, price, and date you posted the price. That wouldn't seem to take that much time. (It might be different if you were posting tens or more prices every day).

That would seem to be easier to do Gas Buddy trying to provide that type of informtion for several million members. Especially if all it would be used for is for "nice to see..." and "kinda fun."

But that's just my opinion.
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