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How Does TripAdvisor Maintain Its Database?

US
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5 posts
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How Does TripAdvisor Maintain Its Database?

I'm beginning to wonder whether the information provided by TripAdvisor is accurate. After searching for possible accommodations in San Jose I focused on one very highly rated place and spent considerable (wasted) time reading the many reviews only to find out afterwards that the facility wasn't in the city of San Jose at all but in a suburb. If I had wanted to stay in a suburb that's what I would have looked for in the first place. However, I wasn't familiar with the area and apparently the TripAdvisor staff isn't either. In any case, it seems to make much better sense to organize and search for hotels, inns, etc by something like distance from a major airport or from the center of a major city instead of some arbitrary and possibly incorrect address. I don't know how many errors like this there are in the TripAdvisor database, but wasting an hour of my time because of inaccurate information is unacceptable. In the future I will probably look for other sources of such information. Frankly, I am beginning to wonder if even the reviews are all legitimate.

Corpus Christi
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71 posts
1 review
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1. Re: How Does TripAdvisor Maintain Its Database?

A bit more specific information about the accomidations you were looking at might make it easier to get your answer. But it you doubt the information on TripAdvisor no one will force you to read it

US
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5 posts
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2. Re: How Does TripAdvisor Maintain Its Database?

Simple. The accommodations are listed under hotels in the city of San Jose. However, the facility is in a place called Escazu which it seems actually is a suburb of San Jose and is in the province of San Jose, not the city of San Jose. It would be as if I were looking for a hotel in New York City and TripAdvisor listed a place in Yonkers. Same state, wrong city. And yes, I don't have to waste my time being misled by TripAdvisor because of a faulty search algorithm.

Winnipeg, Canada
Destination Expert
for Costa Rica
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7,275 posts
28 reviews
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3. Re: How Does TripAdvisor Maintain Its Database?

SAR,

I understand your issue.

Interestingly enough a similar thing - actually related to CR even - but from the owner's side came up in the TA Support Forum. But I agree with you, things should be listed where they actually are. Sorry you feel you wasted your time.

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g1-i12105-k2690571…

To get a proper reply to your query or to express your unhappiness, you would have to contact Tripadvisor directly as anyone here can just speculate on the inner workings of TA. But they do realize they make mistakes. They have a piont in their "Help centre" related to the issue.

tripadvisor.com/help/how_to_alert_us_when_a_…

And on the issue of bogus reviews, in some cases, this is a real problem. Again there are many threads and ideas in both the TA support and feedback forums.

Pura Vida,

raquel

Pensacola, Florida
Level Contributor
12,945 posts
55 reviews
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4. Re: How Does TripAdvisor Maintain Its Database?

Escazu is the best suburb of SJ overlooking the city.

Considered a part of SJ no diferent than San Pedro.

By your analagy more like NY midtown to NY downtown.

Where all the embassies and best hotels are

Similar again to NY midtown...

Far better than dodgy downtown for me.

All booking engines list location/distances...

You just did not look...

Frequently the fault lies not with TA

but with ourselves for failure to do research.

US
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5 posts
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5. Re: How Does TripAdvisor Maintain Its Database?

Frankly I don't care who "considers" Escazu part of San Jose. Google Earth tells me they are 5 miles apart from center to center. And your preference for it over the city proper is irrelevant to me. I did a search for accommodations in the city of San Jose and that's what I wanted. If I were looking for a suburb of San Jose, I would have searched for that. The fact remains that the primary search algorithm is apparently flawed. Beyond that, if I didn't know about Escazu or San Pedro I wouldn't be able to search for those either. It seems to me that the only really useful and comprehensive search methodology is by distance from a reference point, be it the center of a city or an airport, for example. If I want something within 5 miles of San Jose center I don't care what the name of the town or suburb is. I only care about how far it is from where I want to be. Which raises the question - how many places did I miss that were closer to my destination because they aren't listed in San Jose city proper?

As for "doing the research", I can assure you there are plenty of resources out there besides TripAdvisor if one has the time. In this instance it was an unexpected, quick turnaround business trip, and the last thing I needed was to waste my time by being misdirected thanks to a poor search system. Hopefully someone can generate viable competition and force TripAdvisor to improve the accuracy of their methodology. Why someone feels the need to defend an inferior product like TripAdvisor escapes me.

Corpus Christi
Level Contributor
71 posts
1 review
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6. Re: How Does TripAdvisor Maintain Its Database?

I think it might be "what's in a name". Five miles is not much in most places.

Nowhere
Destination Expert
for Playa Samara
Level Contributor
3,985 posts
80 reviews
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7. Re: How Does TripAdvisor Maintain Its Database?

Oh, I just can't get myself to care. So you don't like the way TA categorizes locations of hotels. Look elsewhere - it's that simple. You've learned your lesson, TA is not for you, so complain to them by following the link raquel posted. Sometimes you need to make a negative experience for learning to occur. None of us is responsible for this.

Every single one of the people responding to you here is a fellow traveler - we come here to help others. We are not representatives of TA. If somebody tries to explain to you that Escazu is a nicer place than Downtown, he or she is giving you advice, aimed at making your experience/vacation/stay better by sharing personal experience. That person truly does not deserve the kind of crappy attitude you seem to have, especially since they are only trying to help you out by offering some insights. This person cannot possibly answer your questions about the algorithm TA uses - none of us can, only TA can.

Stop whining and talk to the people who are actually responsible for setting up this website - I am sure they did the best job they could. Must really suck if the world just refuses to be perfect..

Alas, TA is a free service for you - it offers you advice and services for free. You are entitled to absolutely nothing - imagine that. If you don't like it, don't come back.

Good Bye.

smalltown
Level Contributor
16 posts
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8. Re: How Does TripAdvisor Maintain Its Database?

Sar,

Strangely you joined Trip Advisor in 2004, but only now are adding any contributions? I say strangely because Trip Advisor is not just about listings or reviews, but these forums help with connecting the dots in a complicated global travel community.

Trip Advisor is dependant on it's members adding helpful info on places they have visited and opinions. You want to simply read reviews and have all of the geography answered for you?

You could save yourself time and obvious needless aggravation by simply asking a question in the Costa Rica Forum. If you posed a question such as "I will be in the downtown area of San Jose at a business meeting and am interested in a nearby hotel with _attributes. Please help." I'm certain many people would be happy to give you relevant advice. I, for one, would tell you that you'd be better off 5 minutes away in Escazu!

All countries are different and the cities are set up differently. Some cities are large and you can still be in the city but 30 minutes from where you really want to be. As opposed to San Jose, Costa Rica where the actual downtown area of San Jose is very close to other areas in the Province of San Jose. Even those that live in Costa Rica refer to Escazu and surrounding areas as San Jose. It really is only 5 minutes and a couple of bucks taxi ride away. Again, it does depend on which part of "down town" San Jose you are in.

It seems you are just not properly using the forum. It's quite simple to figure out the truth of info and reviews by using all parts of this site. Reviews only tell part of the story.

smalltown
Level Contributor
16 posts
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9. Re: How Does TripAdvisor Maintain Its Database?

Framptonian-It seems as though we were responding at the same exact time! Ditto on your comments as well!

US
Level Contributor
5 posts
1 review
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10. Re: How Does TripAdvisor Maintain Its Database?

I guess when it's free, you really do get what you pay for. And apparently some contributors to this forum don't actually bother to understand the issue. I looked for specific recommendations in the city of San Jose and was directed to an accommodation outside of the city itself. I consider that a red flag about the accuracy of the system. Why I chose the city proper is my business and my choice. From that, I get opinions about why Escazu is nicer than San Jose and chastised for not investigating further. Again, if people had paid attention they would see that I clearly stated this was a time-constrained trip with no opportunity for exploring the myriad options available. I wanted a direct response to my particular search and I got something else. Not knowing the area I did not realize the place identified was not where I wanted, and only after wasting an hour reading all the reviews. If you can't see that as an issue, it's your problem, not mine. And I guess if demanding accuracy and professionalism constitutes an attitude, then so be it.