It's been a while since I've been here, but I've had a bit of a hard time of it these last few years.
A recent project has got me back at doing Google Maps again, so I thought I would pass along the data I've acquired and get our Maps back in shape again.
The first scan has revealed more than 150 duplicates/triplicates/quadruplicate items. Ordinarily, you would just delete the oldest ones, but in some cases an older record will have more complete location information and we want to keep that. I'd also like to keep the original poster names. So, then, how to essentially collapse duplicates into a single record?
I've also found more than 50 locations that are permanently closed. There's got to be a way we can indicate locations that are closed without them being counted or displayed in the active list, yet come up in a search that will then tell the user this location is closed.
I myself use a location_status field in my own database, where:
0 = unconfirmed location,
1 = confirmed and active location,
2 = permanently closed location.
4 = location that is not only closed but the whole building where it was is gone as well (like the Home Plate Pub in Auburn, WA, USA, which burned to the ground last year and is now a huge gravel pit),
... and nine others ...
Only locations with a status of 1 are counted and displayed on the general map.
Just because a location is permanently closed doesn't mean the location is dead. I've found more than thirty instances already where an apparent duplicate was actually the location's previous and current DBA. In many cases where the location is a bar, this doesn't change the games located inside. I have a location_aka field so that old names can still be searched for and point to the current name. This solves a number of potential headaches.
(Ex: The Westy in Seattle, WA, USA used to be the 418 Public House and Pies & Pints before that. All these DBAs had pinball. 418 Public House and Pies & Pints would be entries in the locations_aka table that would point to The Westy.)
On the other hand, if I find a location replaced with something that has no games, I just mark the location as closed.
How do we change a location's country? Pretty sure there's no Leicester in Andorra. In fact, ALL of the Andorra locations are UK/London addresses. There's no way to change the country without destroying the record.
OK, that's pretty good for starters. I'll keep you posted about what's where as I find things out.