Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Auckland City Nights

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  • Sacha, in reply to BenWilson,

    Which, incidentally is not marked on Google as having a pedestrian bridge, so if people wanted to use Navigation to get to them, they would be doing the old scenic route

    Yep, I verified that recently on Maps trying to send someone directions to the flash new Viaduct Events Centre. You'd think ensuring major map providers are updated might be part of any area upgrade project by now.

    Anyone who has gone to the trouble of making sure they're in Google is likely to be expensive

    It's in the (public funded) development agency's interests for key businesses to suceed.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19428 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Sacha,

    You'd think ensuring major map providers are updated might be part of any area upgrade project by now.

    To be fair on the council, it's not their job to fix up the maps of third party vendors, and it's not like major roading upgrades are a big secret. Google didn't have the new alternate motorway by Upper Harbor Highway, when I went there the other day, and insisted I was hurtling through farmland at 100km/h.

    It's quite fun navigating by Google. You never know what curveball they're going to give you. Very often, they're right. Sometimes, they're horribly wrong. I think their public transport search leaves a lot to be desired - when the top 3 routes suggest "walk 2.8 km to x bus stop (31 min)", you have to figure they haven't really grasped why people like to get on vehicles for longish trips. Yes, they're probably right that their route would be quicker, but they don't factor in that walking for half an hour wearing a suit and carrying a laptop is something most people don't want to do, particularly when there is a bus stop only 100m from their front door.

    ETA: I'll be the first to admit that good routing is hard software to write, having done a reasonable amount of it myself. There's a lot of little heuristics, which differ from purpose to purpose, and a lot of data to get right, and the potential to waste a lot of time/money for people by getting it wrong.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10504 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    Google didn't have the new alternate motorway by Upper Harbor Highway, when I went there the other day, and insisted I was hurtling through farmland at 100km/h.

    Better that than the other way around, I suppose.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to 3410,

    Had that too - it directed me down a country road to Stillwater, which turned out to be a private road in the middle. I could have just barreled through their fence and farmhouse driveway, to connect up with the other side of the road which did, indeed, go through, but the farmer had a big sign saying that trespassers would have the dogs set on them. I was tempted to jump out and go looking for mushrooms, but wimped out and went the long way.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10504 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to BenWilson,

    To be fair on the council, it's not their job to fix up the maps of third party vendors

    I believe said vendor's business model relies on being notified. And Auckland Transport in particular has been working with Google on some projects. Probably lack of integration with Waterfront Development Agency..

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19428 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg, in reply to Lucy Stewart,

    Besides, unless things have changed a lot in the past year, smartphones still aren't *that* common in NZ.

    I found them fairly common a few weeks back, but as Sacha says most visitors will have them - and hopefully have reasonable international roaming rates that mean that they don't have to pay NZ rates when the 30 minutes of wi-fi is up.

    Then, they'll probably be dragging themselves off the floor after being told how much a beer or restaurant glass of wine is in central Auckland these days and won't notice.

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3275 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to BenWilson,

    To be fair on the council, it’s not their job to fix up the maps of third party vendors, and it’s not like major roading upgrades are a big secret. Google didn’t have the new alternate motorway by Upper Harbor Highway, when I went there the other day, and insisted I was hurtling through farmland at 100km/h.

    The Maps app in iOS -- which uses Google data -- still doesn't show the extension to SH20 that was completed well over a year ago.

    But, as you say, this isn't unusual. When my sister and her family arrived at the airport from Australia recently, they decided to ignore my detailed directions to Pt Chev and follow their in-car GPS instead. It took them via Manukau City, SH1 and the Auckland CBD. They professed to enjoy the ride.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22293 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Simon Grigg,

    Then, they’ll probably be dragging themselves off the floor after being told how much a beer or restaurant glass of wine is in central Auckland these days and won’t notice.

    Advice for visitors: spend the $13 you would have spent on a glass of wine on a marked-down bottle of same wine at Countdown on Quay St. Take it back to your hotel room with delicious takeaways from a food hall.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22293 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Christopher Dempsey,

    Now how long is it going to take to run the tram all the way to Britomart?

    Tis a question on everyone’s lips. Answer: Not long (comparatively speaking in Auckland speak). Give it three years or so.

    Trams coming to Brit amongst other good ideas and they're affordable... ish

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Sacha,

    I believe said vendor's business model relies on being notified.

    Yes, Google is free for a reason.

    You would think, however, that some of their employees in NZ might notice the grosser deficiencies. Or are they all hipsters who live in apartments in the city and never drive anywhere?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10504 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Advice for visitors: spend the $13 you would have spent on a glass of wine on a marked-down bottle of same wine at Countdown on Quay St. Take it back to your hotel room with delicious takeaways from a food hall.

    Then watch all the games on the TV? You're thinking like a Kiwi.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10504 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart, in reply to BenWilson,

    Anyone who has gone to the trouble of making sure they’re in Google is likely to be expensive.

    Or they know they're going to get a lot of business that way - the proper international food shop closest to me with the good Indonesian noodles and the Asian Home Gourmet curry packets is very easy to find with Google Maps, because obviously they get a tonne of business from homesick international students who are likely to turn to the Internet. OTOH, when I tried to find a bakery, I couldn't find one for love or money (it kept sending me to bagel shops and cafes.) Its reliability is quite varied.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2105 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    On Q st the other day, walking in front of me was the city's volunteers. I suspect they will be down at the Quarter too. They are there to guide you and give advice and their clothing does indicate this (if one understands English.) So directions are surely one of their fortes. So smartphones, google maps, pah! Ask a volunteer, who are also supposed to be trained at trying to be really nice.:)

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to BenWilson,

    You would think, however, that some of their employees in NZ might notice the grosser deficiencies. Or are they all hipsters who live in apartments in the city and never drive anywhere?

    They are very quick to respond if you do advise them, and have dealt with us in renaming a country road in a not so easy location. Doubt they just took our word for it.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    Ask a volunteer, who are also supposed to be trained at trying to be really nice.:)

    At 3am? I suspect that'll be peak time for many wanting a packet of fags. Then again, the ability to focus on the phone's screen may well be gone as well by that time.

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3275 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Simon Grigg,

    Ok, so I said t’other day and possibly by my other post it might be noted I use goog maps etc and yes I do have a smartphone but, the combo will work surely and at 3 am everyones your friend anyway, or at least every one will be telling you where to go ;)
    And fags? Skip along to the Kaboom box ( is it still there) and Countdown is across the Quay St. Or make sure you got extras as often needed in Ak anyhow.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    Yes, the most sensible advice for smoking tourists is probably to buy a big carton of them duty free at the airport. Or give up.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10504 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to BenWilson,

    I went to a festival in Bruneii, once. There was no drinking as is their law. But there was much celebration. There were many things done differently, but my experience wasn't diminished by not having the western things we are used to. I know this is RWC and expectations are it should be Olympics standards but it isn't, and we are not a large country and really I think things look pretty good for a bunch of Rugby fans. and for any other tourists, we had them before, we will get them again and we will tweak and learn about what was sadly lacking. I think service should be better but my comparison is with the States because one does see great service from one who is relying on your tip. We don't have that here. Here, we complain via places like PAS, How many think," well I wont go there again" which is great but would you go up and complain to the establishment? A lot of our service industries don't think because sales are down, it could be bad service. Hell, people won't even use their car horn, which is my reasoning for such bad driving here. And if some one does (I use mine) it is an automatic finger salute. No question as to the appalling way on which they are sharing the road with others.
    So yeah, nice to have the changes, nice that Auckland stepped up to the mark.
    Nice we have a choice I guess.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Calder, in reply to Gareth Ward,

    Every person I know that has partaken in the hospitality offerings of North Wharf has had a terrible experience. Every one.

    Make that everyone plus one, Gareth. In two words: A. Palling

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 66 posts Report Reply

  • Martin Lindberg,

    I remember when it was possible to travel and get around without smartphones or gps.

    Stockholm • Since Jul 2009 • 802 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    There was no drinking as is their law.

    They have ways around that law. Teapots in restaurants that don't serve tea and so on. Plus Malaysia ain't that far from Bandar Seri.

    Nice mosque though.

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3275 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock,

    When my sister and her family arrived at the airport from Australia recently, they decided to ignore my detailed directions to Pt Chev and follow their in-car GPS instead. It took them via Manukau City, SH1 and the Auckland CBD. They professed to enjoy the ride.

    I remember when it was possible to travel and get around without smartphones or gps.

    When I went back to the UK last year, I borrowed a UK GPS to help us get around. It was novel and fun for about 20 minutes until it kept shouting 'lookout! Speed camera!' every 5 minutes when we were on the motorway (it kept picking up the ones on the side roads), and telling us to turn off the motorway as it might be the fastest way there, but it wasn't the shortest, and little miss GPS knew best.

    The owner was quite lucky to get it back in one piece. We ended up relying on the old-school A-Z and AA road atlas far more.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2708 posts Report Reply

  • uroskin, in reply to nzMM,

    It shouldn't be too difficult to remedy the view blocking screens on the K Rd bridge. Regards the no-protection aspects, the designers must have taken a leaf out of the monstrosity that has been gracing QEII Square. An awning too high up to be of any use: not against the rain, not against the wind and because it's transparent not against the sun either. What is it actually for?

    Waiheke Island • Since Feb 2007 • 178 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Simon Grigg,

    Aye, t'was a lovely birthday party for the Sultan. Wonderful service too, from the market place to the river ride through to strangers giving us a lift back to the hotel. The police were cool even. And yes, still have the pics, Mosque included, but Palm species and Spiritual places were my concentration of the day.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    I think service should be better but my comparison is with the States because one does see great service from one who is relying on your tip. We don’t have that here.

    If the cost of good service is putting people's ability to earn minimum wage on any given evening at the whim of the people they're assigned to serve, then it's too high. You get amazing service here, but it makes me a little sick every time.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2105 posts Report Reply

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