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"Nearby" location-based contexts return incorrect results Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Case View Post
I'm not sure what's happening there either: I just changed one of my contexts to use a search similar to what you describe ("QFC store" OR "Safeway store") and it seems to be working fine for me: it's returning the nearby Safeway when my location is my house, and the nearby QFC when my location is Omni.

To dig into this further and figure out why it's not working for you, we'll probably need to get into specific details about exactly what business search you're entering, where you are when you do the search, what results you expected (i.e. what you see in Google Maps) and what incorrect results you're getting from OmniFocus. We may also need to add more diagnostics to a future build of OmniFocus, so it can enter a debugging mode where it reports more details about what it sends to Google's API and receives back. If you haven't already, could you start a dialog with our support ninjas about this? You can reach them at omnifocus-iphone@omnigroup.com.

Thanks!
Hi Ken,

Many thanks for taking the time out to respond. Here's an "example" and my "theory" as to what is wrong, although I freely admit that I'm technically illiterate, so your goodself, the Ninjas, whpalmer4, and any other members are free to shoot me down in flames!

Theory first. I believe that the OmniFocus App doesn't use the distance data that Google provides but simple uses whatever is shown first in Google's page ranking.

Here's my example.

I cleared out my iPhone (ouch!) and entered an Action named Buy Cream! I allocated a location-based context to it called Tesco which searches for Tesco, which I've shown in the first image.

I then entered a second Action called Buy Strawberries! (hey, it's almost Wimbledon fortnight!). I allocated a search to this Tesco OR Sainsburys, see second image.

The third and fourth images show what OmniFocus returns. It tells me to Buy Cream! at Tesco but Buy Strawberries! from Sainsburys.

The fifth image shows what happens when I change the search critera of Buy Strawberries! to also be Tesco OR Sainsburys, it ignores Tesco completely (which is closest) and tells me to go to Sainsburys for both items!

(continues next thread...)
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Last edited by endoftheQ; 2010-06-05 at 10:22 AM..
 
When I enter the search criteria in Google maps, it seems that OmniFocus is taking the page ranking (ie, the first item that Google returns, see sixth image - first image this thread)...

(continues next thread)
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Last edited by endoftheQ; 2010-06-05 at 09:31 AM..
 
... even though Google shows that the distance to Tesco is less than the distance to Sainsburys, see left hand column of seventh image (first image, this thread). Note that the first item in the list is Sainsburys at 0.3m but Tesco which is listed fourth is 0.2m.

Therefore, if I'm right (and, admittedly, it's a BIG "if"!) until the OmniFocus App uses the distance data instead of the ranking data, it seems to me that location-based contexts will always return unreliable results.

Does this make any sense? Thanks!
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Last edited by endoftheQ; 2010-07-09 at 06:15 AM..
 
It makes some sense, enough that I needed to build my own test case, but I'm not sure it is correct. I set up an analogous search between my two local grocery stores, assigned it to a context, and tried it out. OF correctly pointed at the nearer of the two grocery stores, even though it was not the first listed in the results from maps.google.com -- in fact, although the more distant store appeared in the results on the first page, the correct answer didn't appear in the results until the second page!
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by whpalmer4 View Post
It makes some sense, enough that I needed to build my own test case, but I'm not sure it is correct. I set up an analogous search between my two local grocery stores, assigned it to a context, and tried it out. OF correctly pointed at the nearer of the two grocery stores, even though it was not the first listed in the results from maps.google.com -- in fact, although the more distant store appeared in the results on the first page, the correct answer didn't appear in the results until the second page!
Thanks for checking my "theory" out, whpalmer4, appreciate it. As it's not that, then I haven't anything else to offer up, except that as you can see from my example, it doesn't work as expected. Last year, before I flagged this, I wanted to make sure that it wasn't just me so I got several of my team to check this problem out using different contexts from different locations, and they were all able to reproduce the problem. I first noticed this when it returned an error of over 2 miles, and having trudged to that store, was infuriated to learn that I was only 5 minutes away from the other store listed in the context, so I gave up on using 'OR' in search criteria! It's one of three different types of errors that I've noticed using this feature, another is where two stores share the same postcode (are physically adjacent) and cancel each other out (neither store shows up). As always, I email the Ninjas before posting, and then email them a copy of the post, so maybe at some point they'll come up with a solution. Thanks again.

Last edited by endoftheQ; 2010-06-06 at 02:50 AM..
 
Sorry, put this in the other thread - will repeat it here:

I see you are based in the UK... I'm not sure if the post code problem has been fixed yet, but (if it hasn't) if you enter a full post code the location will be off - sometimes by a km or so. Only the first half of the code is recognised correctly so avoid entering a full post code when typing in an address.

HTH
 
Thanks for the tip JKT, appreciate it!
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by FatalError View Post
Although this is not the solution to your problem I just wanted to add, that my experience with OF bug fixing has been quite good. I mentioned a german translation problem with calendar syncing to ical and they fixed that 1 1/2 months or so later with 1.6.5 for iPhone.

But I really had to stick to my point and posted several screenshots and explained why I thought something was wrong. And eventually they picked it up (as well as in the sneaky peaks of 1.8 as in the iphone version).

besides all that: keep in mind, that the whole mapping business and google maps / bing maps is still pretty new. they are just starting to implement great features and there is still a lot of work to do and a long way to go.
Thanks for your advice FatalError. Later today I'm going to download the Remember The Milk App (which also has a 'Nearby' feature) to see if it produces the same error as I've demonstrated above. If it doesn't then at least I'll be able to let the Ninja's know that it's probably got something to do with the way OmniFocus interprets Google's data.
 
endoftheq - just want to make sure you've emailed your info to the support ninjas.

I don't know enough about how the code works to provide any hard info, but I have seen a few results along those lines in my use of the nearby function - a destination that's farther away being returned, for example.

I have no idea if it's Google sending us weird results, us doing something weird with the results Google sends, or something else entirely. I've never been able to get it to happen consistently, but I have seen it on occasion. You're not crazy, though, and we'd love more info on this.

I spend a couple of weeks every year in the UK - mostly down in Brighton. So if I have to stand in a certain location to reproduce the problem you're seeing, it's not completely outside the realm of possibility. :-)
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian View Post
endoftheq - just want to make sure you've emailed your info to the support ninjas.

I don't know enough about how the code works to provide any hard info, but I have seen a few results along those lines in my use of the nearby function - a destination that's farther away being returned, for example.

I have no idea if it's Google sending us weird results, us doing something weird with the results Google sends, or something else entirely. I've never been able to get it to happen consistently, but I have seen it on occasion. You're not crazy, though, and we'd love more info on this.

I spend a couple of weeks every year in the UK - mostly down in Brighton. So if I have to stand in a certain location to reproduce the problem you're seeing, it's not completely outside the realm of possibility. :-)
Brian, I haven't forwarded this to the Ninjas yet. I've been holding out, hoping that other, more experienced users might have some idea of what was going wrong. However, thanks to your timely reminder, I'll package the text and pics and email them later today. Oh, and I'd be delighted to stand you lunch at FishyFishy (or whatever restaurant will be achingly fashionable!) the next time you're on the South Coast. You have my solemn promise that I won't discuss anything Omni!!
 
 


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