Long time no post, but at last I am in the final stages of what has been a kind of obsession; to make a website which shows WHEN you can get food in Helsinki, and WHERE. (Too many hungry late nights drove me to this)
It's basically a time-based map, where dots change color according to whether or not a restaurant is open. You can mouseover or click on a dot for more info. It's also in English, and you can add comments/vote on the restaurants you like, so finally there can also be a local English database of what's good where. Comments/votes in English also show up on the Finnish pages, and vice versa, so everybody gets a say. (yay!)
I'm still working on a way of tallying up the votes(and other improvements), so in the future you will be able to search by most popular, etc.
If you feel like contributing to this endeavor by adding your comments about your favorite restaurants, or letting me know what you think is still missing, or what I could improve, etc, go have a look at:
Thats cool Tina..
You seem have done a hell of lot of work.
Listing all Helsinki eating places plus locations on amap plus phone nmbers ..etc etc..
For those who struggle with Finnish..
About the kitchen open thing, restaurants can login and update their own info, and on those pages I've asked them to please list their closing time as the time their KITCHEN closes, as this is an eating site only, not a bar site. (I think there are plenty of those) I've tried going through and making sure this is the case, but I'm sure I've missed some.
Maybe I'll let them list "bar still open" separately...I'm still trying to figure out a good solution that doesn't slow down load times.
Ah, OK. But yes, its a bit confusing as usually restaurants are 'open' and 'kitchen open' or 'food available'.... and a restaurant won't want to say they're 'closed'... its a bit 50-60 as matti would say maybe if you had "Keittiö Auki" to emphasise the "eating" part? Then there would be no ambiguity in that sense.
I interprete "auki" and "ruokaa saatavana" as 2 different things
But yeah, the site rocks! And the map works fine. The loading time... hmmm... hmmm.... what are you running it on?
Last edited by Hank W. on Tue Apr 11, 2006 12:43 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Cheers, Hank W. sitting here like a lemon looking for a gin.
It's a great idea, I hope you get those adwords to payback really soon
How difficult would it be to have a more interactive map - are you using image maps? I was thinking of something along the lines of Igglo (http://www.igglo.fi/map/), is it the buzzed Ajax? with navigation, pics, info and perhaps even commentary for the restaurants.
korppu: I got tired of trying to find restaurants from sites that list them alphabetically, and since I tend to forget to eat until all the supermarkets are closed and my fridge is empty, I decided that what is most important for me is not "What is Helsinki's best Michelin-rated restaurant?" but "Who will feed me now and how far do I have to walk?" and yes, the bitter disappointment of calling ahead only to find that "open" means "we still have some beer nuts". (ergo Hank's idea is a very good one, must figure out best execution/terms)
I've also noticed that my Finnish friends tend to see restaurants more as a place you go for a special event, not just to eat. I spent so much time in the US that for me restaurant=I'm too lazy to cook tonight. Though prices are a touch higher here...
adjas: The Igglo map is really nice, but at the beginning of this project I thought I'd start simple and slowly improve it bit by bit. My experience with Java/Flash maps has not been so nice (hate waiting for load times/plugin requests, and they always seem to cover such a small area--wanted one view to show all of Helsinki at once so you can see all the 8 places open at 4am ) so this is the start, but I might update it later to a Java map if there's enough interest and if it doesn't slow the site down.
At the moment, you can click the map to zoom into a section once, and you can click on the dots for more info/comments. Some restaurants have already added pictures/descriptions/menus, etc.
I forgot you were on this forum too! All this info didn't get on this site all by itself, you know. A big massive thankyou goes to SGaudreau and some other fabulous friends of mine, who spent many a night cursing missing opening times and matching addresses to map locations... I would have gotten NO sleep without them. And my fiancé would have been long gone...
Unfortunately Firefox will not render line-breaks in the title field of
the hotspots when you mouseover, it also truncates the text, don't
know 'bout IE. You could replace these with a floating div containing
the formatted restaraunt info and attach it to a mouseover event to
make it a bit more presentable.
Suprised you're offering the service free to restaraunts? Do Google ads
pay that well?
Will you be maintaining a strict selection policy for restaraunts, i.e.
no kebab chains or MacDonald's? I'd image the map might become quite
If I **want** food* at 04 am on a sunday, I don't mind if it is a truckstop... *food* *eat* *kill* *food* *eat* you never done installs and run out of pot noodles after 4 days on Jolt Cola? kautreau, hjelp mii !
BTW didn't check, does it have the fast-food kiosks and truckstops???
The D-category of also "places that deliver" as a suggestion!?
Like "deliver Chinese food" ??? and when-til-when/where... (apart from gastronautti)
Cheers, Hank W. sitting here like a lemon looking for a gin.
Hank/Richard: A system of subcategories is in the works, after which I'll add more of the smaller places, including truck stops, if they have at least pastries and such--candy alone is not enough, I think...? There are some snägärit listed already, but information about them is surprisingly difficult to find.
Basically if you know of anything you really think should be included, click on the "Add a missing restaurant" button at the bottom right of the page, fill out as much info as you can, and I'll add it as soon as I can. I'll add burger chains, delivery places, WiFi hotspots, etc when subcategories are done, so they don't clutter the map.
posseidon: Google ads don't pay much, but at least it's something, and I've been trying to set this up so it will mostly run itself (restaurants updating their own info, visitors adding comments and reporting wrong or missing info) after the initial huge job of getting it going. Maybe I can get some sponsors later... I didn't want to charge restaurants anything because then the information will never be complete--there will always be some who don't want to pay, and then quality of content suffers. (I want a real resource, not a marketing channel for those who have the cash) So basically I'm hoping that if the site is useful enough, it will become a self-supporting institution through the activity of its users, will get more people going out, will give the good obscure restaurants more customers so they can stay in business, and make the restaurant scene in Helsinki more colourful. So tiny fabulous restaurant A can be off the main drag but still get customers because it's got such incredible reviews on the site and stays open later than the others in an area not full of restaurants already. That's the long, long, long term potential goal, I suppose.
The Firefox issue is frustrating, because I love Firefox. It's the only browser that truncates the tooltips. Waah! Will look into the floating divs, good idea, do you think they'll affect load times, or fail in dreaded IE?