Why does the Squash Players App insist on venues being listed on Google Maps?

July 17, 2021

When you try to add a missing venue to our Squash Players App database, at first it can feel a bit weird that you can’t just type the name, address, telephone, etc. of the venue.

No, you have to first perform a search for that venue inside the app, and then make your selection from the list that appears.

Furthermore, we don’t allow you to edit the name of the venue, the address, the telephone, etc. in the app. Crazy, right?

But there’s method in our madness. Read on…

We love the power of crowdsourcing.

We love that logged-in members of our app can quickly and easy add and edit ANY squash court venue data on the planet, and can even recommend venues for deletion (archiving).

Like Wikipedia, it’s great to know that in a world where sometimes one person wants to do the wrong thing with data, there are 99 people who want to do the right thing.

Our claim is that we’ve got the biggest, most accurate, most up-to-date, constantly improving database of squash venues on the planet.

Quality is extremely important to us. Indeed, we manually check ALL venues that are recommended by members to be added or deleted.

Google Maps contains by far the largest, most up-to-date repository of “Place” data on the planet. This data is also, in part, updated thanks to crowdsourcing, i.e. Google Local Guides. Me (Ross), I’m a Google Local Guide Level 8. Bragging rights!

Google Place data contains all the obvious basics about a place, some required*, most not, such as:

  • Name*
  • Address*
  • Website
  • Phone
  • Opening Hours
  • Photos
  • Reviews
  • etc.

So why would we attempt to duplicate already-existing Google Places data, when it’s already so good, and is being constantly improved? Why not piggy-back off this awesomeness… and then add a lot of squash-specific value on top? Sounds like a great plan! Which is why this is our plan.

When someone is kind enough to add a missing venue to our database, the search results in our app only displays venues (places) that are already listed on Google Maps. If you can find the venue on Google Maps… you can’t find it in our app, by design.

If a venue ISN’T listed on Google Maps…. WHY NOT?! We can’t think of any good reason why a squash venue WOULDN’T want to be found on Google Maps… with the possible exception of a super-secret spy base. It’s a bit like the 101 of Digital Marketing:

  • Do you have a domain name and a corresponding website?
  • Do you have any social media accounts?
  • Is your Google Maps listing present and up-to-date?

When we find a squash venue that isn’t listed on Google Maps, we’re doing ourselves AND the venue owners a favour when we make efforts to add that venue to Google Maps. You’re welcome!

It’s actually very quick and easy, and click on here for instructions from Google on how to Add a missing Place to Google Maps.

Google Local Guide Level 8 edits
Google doesn’t always or instantly accept your request to add a missing place. To increase your chances of acceptance, the following normally helps:

.

When Google decides to accept or reject your changes to Google Maps, they’ll send an email to your inbox to let you know.

If you’d like to see a history of all the updates you’ve suggested over time:

  1. Visit Google Maps
  2. Click on the hamburger menu, top left. That’s those the horizontal lines.
  3. Click on “Your contributions”
  4. Click on “Edits”

Then you should see something like the screenshot (right).

Finally, it’s worth pointing out that we regularly return to Google Maps to look for updated Place information. For example, we will automatically delete/archive a squash venue in our database after we auto-detect that the matching venue on Google Maps has been marked as “permanently closed”.

In summary, the quality and quantity of Squash Players App venue data benefits greatly from both the initial and the ongoing association with, and population by, Google Maps.

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About players.app

Players.App is a product of Itomic Pty Ltd, the Web/App Specialists www.itomic.com.au