Restrict search to a country, to avoid postcode mismatch

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This topic contains 8 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Cici 2 months, 3 weeks ago.

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  • #42912

    Marco
    Participant

    Hi all,

    my search for locations concerns only Norway, which does not have a very unique postcode (ZIP) system, being just 4 numbers. This has the unfortunate consequence of having the Store Locator search results shown for another country in case no locations are found nearby the area of the ZIP code.

    For example, if I type 1359 as ZIP, because there are no locations nearby, instead of showing this Norwegian area:

    https://www.google.com/search?q=1359+norway&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-b-ab

    the Store Locator goes by default to Czech Republic (!):

    https://www.google.com/maps/place/1359,+%C3%9Astra%C5%A1ice,+Czech+Republic/@49.3355485,14.6436377,13z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x470cbb444b55452d:0x676e71f6aa778d0c!8m2!3d49.3355485!4d14.6786566

    So, how can I make sure that the search is ALWAYS performed in Norway, and a Norwegian map is ALWAYS shown regardless we have locations matches or not? I did not find any setting that allows me to specify where to search…

    Thanks in advance for your kind help.

    M

     

    #42947

    Cici
    Keymaster

    You can Append the search with the country name so it will always search Norway,

    that is part of the Discrete search (see newer documentation ) and Experience Add-on.

    or you can try to  set the Google Map domain to Norway (no guarantees they will actually use that domain to restrict queries but you might have a better chance )

    There is also a cool feature as part of Premier that shows the google guesses as to what you mean if you type in 1359 and it will come back with options. Or you can turn on Boundary Influenced Guesses, I have premier and this is what came back for me with those checked off and I had added a location in Oslo with 0791 zip

    (For a limited time, you can  request a coupon for one of these add-ons  by taking the hosting survey)

     

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    #42950

    Cici
    Keymaster

    Here is some more info  describing how the above works with Premier additional features.

    #42951

    Cici
    Keymaster

    One more screenshot, So I APPENDED my search with Norway (with Experience, Premier includes all the add-ons)  and I used the Country Influenced Guesses. Note I have no locations in 1359 , I also selected ignore radius.

    This is the screenshot and the message since I have no locations in this zip.

    I also tried it with JUST the Append check box using the Experience Add-on and it still showed me only places in Norway , I  tried the zip 3660, and it showed me Rjukan, etc

    (Sorry about the reindeer)  :-{

     

    • This reply was modified 3 months ago by  Cici.
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    #42960

    Marco
    Participant

    Hi Cici,

    first of all thanks a million for your extremely thorough reply, I really appreciate the time and effort.

    I actually had already the Map Domain set at Norway, and to be honest, that should be enough to have the results ALWAYS shown a Norwegian location, regardless whether I have results or not. I tried to append ‘Norway’ to the ZIP code, and if there are no results the map is still in Norway (an improvement), but it shows the initial location as per my settings (Oslo), which is truly bad usability.

    I do not believe I should spend money for some Premium stuff in order to have the basic functionality in place, that is:

    1) fully follow my setting about the map domain

    2) if no results, show the map location associated with the entered ZIP code without any location markers, NOT Oslo or whatever the initial location is

    The above two are just basic functionality that should be part of the default plugin, not of some 200$ premium service.

    Will look into other solutions, since I cannot expect Joe User to be happy to see puzzling world-wide maps when he has no locations nearby his postcode, or understand why suddenly his postcode is associated with Oslo…

    TY

    M

    #43042

    Cici
    Keymaster

    as explained,

    Store Locator Plus (and no other WP Locator we know of , …we would love to use optional maps service like Bing)  Do not go out and search  multiple  Map services, They use google…

    we do not determine where your query goes other than, it goes to the   Google MAP domain server, that you have named, in your case Norway.  Google determines where in the world that zip code or query is,not us

    Your issue is with Google and unfortunately your issue is not unique. This is why the developer spent countless developer coding hours to provide as many cheats to get the right coordinates and locations to come back. Developers for any WordPress Plug-in have PAID premium add-ons. If they did not have to re-create the wheel it would be one thing. But this is not a hobby. Those developers abandon their plugins.  You are welcome to write some javascript and code to get around your issue…it is open source after all.

    In short, SLP does not :Break” the search query or returns” , but since Google sucks at accuracy in  returning correct results  add-ons were developed to compensate.

    If you find another free Locator plug in that works better , please let us know so we can look at their coding and see how they are compensating…after all, it is open source.

    You can report your specific  issue to the Google Developers , they seem to like to send people to Czech as a default, maybe that is the middle of the world using their mathematical algorithms…who knows,

    Looking in the Google Developers support threads for instance, one developer reports that entering  and using the  map domain for CR (costa rica) lands them in Czech as well.

    Another that uses NL map domain which is Netherlands, sends them to ZA, South Africa.

    Feel free to contact Google and/or  see if your issue is listed in the links provided below and add your complaint to the list

     

     

    support threads and bugs reported under the Google developers console about the Google MAP API about

    returning incorrect locations. You can click on any of the support threads and see that some of the bugs were reported to Google over a year ago….they choose not to fix them or say “Need more info”

    We happen to know that Google uses  miscommunication of  locations on purpose for the  API  , They  use different algorithms (they told us it was proprietary) from their commercial Google MAPS (that have ads galore and preferred lisitngs)  than what they allow for use by developers  MAPS API

     

     

    • This reply was modified 2 months, 3 weeks ago by  Cici.
    #43047

    Marco
    Participant

    Hi Cici,

    thanks for reply, understand all of your points. I tried this locator plugin:

    Home

    and it provided the “stay in Norway” feature I needed, even in the absence of results (or at least it did seem to do so based on the tests we run). So we switched to that ;-(

    Thanks again

    M

    #43052

    Cici
    Keymaster

    Thanks for letting us know so the developer can see what they are doing to get around the restrictions!

    #43054

    Cici
    Keymaster

    I am looking at their demo, and they are using the autocomplete generated by Googls map  location sensor which is  based  on where your visitor is physically  located.  For instance , all my results are coming back with guesses around my location or in my country only ,  not by zip code , so anyone not in your local area will not get the right response . I typed in your example of a postal code  1359 and it showed me Canton Ohio. If I type in 1359 Norway, I get addresses with 1359 Norway in their street names in US. eventually I get one in the country of Norway.

    The SLP  Autocomplete Google “influenced guesses” is  based on what is actually in your databases for starters and other options as tertiary.  The Append feature doesn’t care where the person is physically located it will always go to the country you appended . if all your site visitors are going to be physically located in Norway then it might work out for you after all. WP locator makes you pay for yearly licenses and support.  They are  just taking a different approach. and if your site is not too complex it should work

    best of luck. And you are always welcome to come back, or try the new MYSLP which can be used on any platform not just WP.

    CiCi

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