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I'm just starting to use the OF for iPhone, and recently tried out the location aware contexts for a simple one: 'grocery store'.

Unfortunately the grocery store it pointed me to was a little-known and not very well stocked one that, in the six months I've lived here never heard of nor found! The two major chains that are nearly the same distance didn't show up at all.

Is there a way to update this database? What are the specifics of it's construction? I.e. where does the data come from? Is there a way to add custom location contexts?

Cheers,
- Steve
 
The information comes from the same source that supplies the Maps application -- Google. If you don't like the answers, the only recourse you have at the moment is to ask different questions. Usually "-name" added to the end of the search string will remove "name" from the matches, but sometimes it also has unwanted effects on the results. My grocery store context search string has the names of all of the chains and individual stores where I'm willing to shop, joined by "OR" between the names, and with a couple of big chains tossed in at the end to make it more likely that it will tell me about some grocery store if I'm far from my usual haunts. I may not discover the fabulous yuppie supermarket just around the corner from my hotel unless I cross-check with the Maps app, but so it goes -- I'm most interested in making the usual case work well for me.

There have been requests to have the nearby feature return multiple choices instead of just the nearest hit. Use Send Feedback or email omnifocus-iphone@omnigroup.com to add your vote if you think that change would help you.
 
Ah, well that gives me information to manipulate the searches, but unfortunately Google's accuracy for that sort of things isn't all that great in some parts of the world.

One suggestion to fix this would be to have user entered data, centrally available. I have a diet / 'calorie counter' program that works this way. When a user enters data on a new food or brand, that is transmitted to a central server and included in new search results.

With OF members actually entering data about locations, we could quickly build up an accurate database of stores, in addition to the ones provided by Google maps.

Even if not centralised, it would be helpful to be able to share such databases with others.
 
Given their reluctance to provide their own server for syncing purposes, I bet this would be an even tougher sell to the powers that be at Omni, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't try. Help->Send Feedback is your friend...
 
Probably. Perhaps offering the ability to sync or subscribe to other databases is the way to go then. That way Omni doesn't have to get into the business of hosting and if enough users in, say, London want to put together their own database they could do so on a third party service. Feedback has been sent.
 
 


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