Tuesday, 24 November


Site Improvements

Improving the database

Ben Lepesant

We have received many, much appreciated, reports of errors in the database, and members who would like to moderate crags. A big thanks to everyone who has offered their help, and apologies for underestimating the time it would take us to provide the moderators access.

We have today added a new functionality, which allows you to report a spelling mistake of a route. This is a first step to (finally) involve all 8a members, while we wait for the moderator access to be ready. The button is on the top right on every route page. The suggestions will end up in the database, and if it gets approved, it will go live within approx. two weeks. When in one crag, two routes have the same name and the same grade, we merge them as well. Thus, this is a fairly quick way of cleaning up a crag, and getting rid of spelling errors in your logbook without having to create a new route. Once the individual crags have fewer duplicates, our algorithms are prepared to catch duplicate crags and merge them.

If we get spelling suggestions that we cannot decide on, I will post them in the forum to get more opinions, or directly email members who have offered to moderate the relevant area.

Our priority with regards to the database until now has been on two things: facilitate as much as possible adding ascents and searching routes, to avoid further creation of duplicates, and fixing "obvious" duplicates using algorithms. The fewer duplicates there are, the easier it gets, so we tried to start with the low-hanging fruit. In doing so, over 280'000 duplicates have been removed since the relaunch. If identifying and removing a duplicate takes a human even just 10 seconds, that is more than 750 hours of manual work. Time we all would like to spend climbing :)

The duplicates that remain have for one reason or another been considered too risky to be a false positive for us too merge, so now receiving spelling mistake reports will help us carry on with improvements.

Thanks a lot to everyone who has been in touch with feedback and comments, it’s appreciated. 

If you have any comments on the spelling suggestions feature, please get in touch with me directly (ben@vertical-life.info) or write here.