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"Lowes" OR "Home Depot" reveals just Home depot on the map (< 1 mile)

"Lowes" AND "Home Depot" reveals Lowe's on the map (< 2 miles)

"Lowes" + "Home Depot" reveals Lowe's on the map (<2 miles)

seems like the nearby search isn't consistent...
I don't think "AND" works, nor would you want it for this search -- you're constructing a test to see if a given business matches what you are trying to find. If the result of the expression is true, then the business is a match. I don't think you are going to find many establishments that are both a Lowe's AND a Home Depot :)

"OR" is the only keyword I've seen documented, though Google's documentation seems a bit haphazard. In any case, OmniFocus hands off the search to Google and displays what comes back as the closest hit. If you've got a Lowe's 2 miles from your location and a Home Depot 1 mile from your location, a search for Lowe's OR "Home Depot" will return the Home Depot because it is the closest of the candidates. Get in your car and drive to a spot closer to the Lowe's than the Home Depot and the answer will change accordingly.

You can test out your searches in the Maps application. If you don't get the results you expect, likely reasons are that your search query doesn't mean what you think it does ("AND", no " around multiple-word items, etc.) or sometimes Google has the wrong information. Also, the "closest" location appears to be determined by straight-line distance, not the route that you would actually have to travel.
Originally Posted by whpalmer4 View Post
Why not just use the Maps application, then? You can type in your search, click on a red pin selected from the results, click a button to add it to your contacts, then update your location context with that contact.

OK. This sounds so simple. How does one create a location using a contact address?

HELP! I'm trying to do this every which way but right would be SO useful!
It's pretty straightforward to use a contact's address in this fashion. I'll assume you've already created a context, and a contact whose address you want to use.

Tap the Contact button, and locate your contact by scrolling or searching.

Now tap the address:

Your location is all set.
Of course as soon as I figured it out it started crashing left right and center...thanks iphone 3.1!
The Business Search: "Lowes" OR "Home Depot" OR hardware -"Restoration Hardware" was from me; cool to see it used in the start of a thread! :)

Regarding that specific criteria, I was on a bike ride and, while viewing the aforementioned hardware context, came up with "Gordon Biersch" (a local brewery/restaurant). I went to Google and found a reference of "Restoration Hardware" on a Gordon Biersch page (mentioning that RH was in the same building) -- but I have a "-" before "Restoration Hardware". Ideas on why it came up? I realize there are probably multiple possible explanations. I mean the idea of visiting Gordon Biersh did sound a bit enticing at the time. ;)


Last edited by omnibob; 2009-10-11 at 08:20 PM..
Can users edit their own locational information? For example if you a visiting a city you can map the areas you intend to visit but also use them as central points to find local businesses?
Yea, I've been trying various searches to get this to work and it still seems... broken.

Merlin Mann talks about using this feature ALL THE TIME on various podcasts and posts, but between Google's searches and the implementation in OF it just doesn't work.

MM gives an example of traveling a lot, utilizing a location-based context example of "steak". There's NO WAY this works as he discusses (finding him a restaurant via the map view that serves steaks) without including places that sell steak knives, a butcher shop, etc. Hell, we can't even get a search for hardware stores to work!

Example Search: Lowe's OR "Home Depot" OR "Ace Hardware" OR hardware -"Restoration Hardware"

Kicks back an Advance Auto Parts store. Then I try to cull the search results down but in the end you end up with something that looks like this:

"home depot" OR "Lowes" OR "Ace Hardware" OR hardware -"Restoration Hardware" -lumber -plumbing -"advance auto parts" -timber -food -computer

And now we're gaming the game and it just doesn't work.

Suggestions? I'd really like to use these for "anywhere contexts" that automagically update via Google searches (new stores, old stores removed, traveling, etc) - but instead it looks like I'm going to just create local-based searches with known address to stores that I frequent (but even then, currently, parent contexts do not share all addresses associated with child contexts!).

Help appreciated!
The Google service we were using stopped working a couple monhts ago, so we've switched to a new one. We're aware that the new search results are often disappointing. We need this sort of feedback to work on tuning our queries to this service or evaluating alternative services.

Please email us these specifics and your general neighborhood, because I assume you'd rather not post your location on the forums.

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