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Claybones

Rookie Author
Augusta

Posts:7
Points:9,315
Joined:Sep 2012
Message Posted: Sep 25, 2013 11:09:42 PM

I know that here in Augusta, GA we are a border town. North Augusta, SC is just across the Savannah River. Yet I have been told by Gas Buddy higher-ups not to post North Augusta prices with Augusta prices. To me, that makes this site less informative for those in the CSRA.

Also, if you look at the map used to show prices across our region, you will see that the map used to overlay the area is woefully outdated. I'm not sure what is involved with keeping maps current, but there are stations on roads that didn't even exist when that map was drawn up.

Free advice: Worth all that you pay for it.
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deckardabby
Rookie Author Florida

Posts:25
Points:78,435
Joined:May 2011
Message Posted: Sep 28, 2013 9:18:03 PM

the phone app. doesn't seem to respond quickly with the GPS on a regular basis
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CampKohler
Champion Author Sacramento

Posts:12,925
Points:2,051,725
Joined:May 2007
Message Posted: Sep 28, 2013 6:30:51 PM

Google has long had a method of reporting map problems. It requires some Philadelphia lawyering to both accurately describe a required change and make a convincing case for doing so, but I have been successful 95% of the time.

That text method (which is still available) has be superceded by Mapmaker, which allows users to actually modify the map by drafting and add detailed information, such as allowed uses for streets, etc. Again, the submitter has to make a convincing case (cite Streetview pix or Websites, link to one's own pix, etc. or simply sound like you know what you are talking about), but once it is approved by Google, the submission modifies the map. Locals obviously know more about local situations than the Googlites confined to the Bay Area, so it is a way to provide updates that no centralized system—even with access to city/county map data (that is sometimes wrong)—can hope to do.

There are thousands of Mapmaker users who provide data in the same fashion that Wikipedians and GasBuddies do. And, in the same manner, we watch our local areas to make sure that any new input is correct (you can comment on other's input).

There was a recent Bee article about a GPS in-car map service that routed drivers across the active runway of an airport to get to the terminal. It was indeed the shortest route, but obviously the locals knew best about the situation. Too bad that map wasn't community-maintained, because it took the officials quite a while to get it corrected (meaning not right away while the planes were taking off).

In summary, IMHO, a community-maintained map is not some unreliable toy that should be looked down upon. One who has that opinion should definitely not use Google.

[Edited by: CampKohler at 9/28/2013 6:34:13 PM EST]
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Gas_Buddy
Champion Author Maryland

Posts:29,840
Points:3,638,800
Joined:Aug 2004
Message Posted: Sep 27, 2013 8:04:47 PM

"That's just a guess, else why wouldn't they go with a user-correctable map that, if it is not up to date, it is entirelyy the user's fault."

Uh...isn't that like saying if gas prices aren't accurate, it is entirely the user's fault? And don't we have a lot of discussion about false prices, intentional as well as incidental (i.e., fat fingered)?

I agree maps should be updated regularly but that should be a programmer issue and/or a contract (with the map provider) issue, not something we should be depend on "Joe Member" doing.

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CampKohler
Champion Author Sacramento

Posts:12,925
Points:2,051,725
Joined:May 2007
Message Posted: Sep 27, 2013 2:21:24 PM

There may be some things the MGP map does that Google won't, e.g. interface functions that GBO uses to tie into it that are not available from Google. That's just a guess, else why wouldn't they go with a user-correctable map that, if it is not up to date, it is entirelyy the user's fault.
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jrsva
Champion Author Virginia

Posts:12,691
Points:2,218,875
Joined:Jan 2006
Message Posted: Sep 27, 2013 1:09:31 AM

Yes, it would be sensible for the Augusta, GA, metro area to include North Augusta, SC, just as it would make sense for the DC metro area to include nearby parts of Maryland and Virginia. There are many other palces where interstate metro areas would be good.

As for the base map, it is wildly obsolete. This has been discussed in other forum topics for the past several years. Since GB uses Google Maps for the MSL base map, I can see no excuse not to use Google for the MGP base map too.

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CampKohler
Champion Author Sacramento

Posts:12,925
Points:2,051,725
Joined:May 2007
Message Posted: Sep 26, 2013 3:36:52 PM

GB: Your D.C. discussion just goes to show what small minds can do if they work together. One almost wants to suggest that there be a Washington Area site that encompasses it as a whole IN ADDITION to the DC MD, and VA sites. The system could easily take the appropriate stations and duplicate them on such a site. That way the smaller-minded could have their provincial sites and the larger-minded could be a part of the greater area.

Along the same line of thought, other areas, such as that mentioned in the OP, could also have metro-area overlays. What about other "twin cities" areas in similar situations, e.g. Kansas City? Are they in the same situation as Claybones? There are no maps with site coverage boundaries, so one would have to do some detective work to see how it works now.
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Gas_Buddy
Champion Author Maryland

Posts:29,840
Points:3,638,800
Joined:Aug 2004
Message Posted: Sep 26, 2013 2:40:37 PM

The border issue was a significant concern here in the Washington DC metro area years ago. The DC metro area consists of northern Virginia, Maryland is and the District of Columbia (aka Washington, DC), the district essentially being a square area of land surrounded by the Washington Beltway.

Some background:
It's not unusual, in fact it's common that people living in Maryland, just outside the beltway, work in downtown Washington, and return home (and/or get gas and/or shop) in northern Virginia for traffic reasons. It's also not unusual for northern Virginia residents to work in D.C. or Maryland, and shop at major Maryland shopping centers. It's also not unusual for Marylanders or Virginians to attend Washington Nationals baseball games, Washingtonians and Virginians to attend Redskins football games at the Redskins stadium which is located in Maryland, or for Marylanders and Washingtonians to regularly visit Arlington National Cemetery. For that matter, it's not uncommon for West Virginians, northern Marylanders, and those coming form Baltimore and beyond to work in D.C.

As a result of this mixing of commuters and travelers, the Washington Metro site was vibrant and included price posting from outside the beltway, from Arlington and Alexandria Virginia, or from Rockville, Silver Spring, or Bethesda Maryland, as well as further out areas but fully within the regular commuting area, for the simple reason that the local people drove in all three areas regularly if not daily, and often went back and forth between the three areas during the same day.

It made sense to share gas prices among members from all three areas. However, some D.C. members wanted the Washington D.C. gas price site to be stand-alone, saying that it was Washington, and not Maryland or Virginia. Others took the obvious view that it was a commuting area and if you took away the names Maryland, Virginia and Washington, no one driving in the area would notice any difference; it was all one commuting area. The D.C. members refused, for the most part, to even consider including "anything inside the beltway", saying that "D.C. was D.C." and that "Maryland and Virginia, even if parts were inside the beltway, weren't in D.C." The D.C. members were persistent, and Gas Buddy accepted their rationale that "D.C." meant D.C. and D.C. alone, thus removing the commuting area (but outside D.C.) gas price listings. Maryland gas prices were to be in the Maryland site only, and the Virginia gas prices were to be in the Virginia site only; the metro area was essentially eliminated.

Side comment, because it was such a common area, with common issues, the discussions used to be vibrant among Washingtonians, Marylanders, and Virginians. The had the same common transportation, political, shopping, entertainment issues, and so on. It made sense to share the discussion. There was a topic recently created (by a California Gas Buddy member) concerning the recent Navy Yard shooting. Before that there wasn't a discussion post since March 2013. The next most recent topic wasn't discussed since January 2013, and the most recent topic before that hasn't been posted in since April 2012. So despite a very large populated metro area, there is virtually no interest in issues since the separation of areas.

All that is background and to tell you that if you believe that the North Augusta, South Carolina gas stations are essentially part of the Augusta, Georgia driving area, commuting area, metro area, or whatever you want to call it, that people go back and forth between the two areas daily and in significant numbers, that they may live in one area but work/shop in the next area, re-contact the moderators and make your case in a simple and logical way. That doesn't mean that they'll definitely agree with you and allow cross-Gas Buddy area price posting, but they may reconsider their reasoning and they may be more understanding than they were years ago concerning the D.C. metro area posting.

Just my lengthy opinion.
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