State seeks help ironing out food websiteBy Gordon Dritschilo
Staff Writer | August 13,2012The Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing hopes to crowdsource some troubleshooting for its newest website.
The department, working with Vermont Agriculture and Culinary Tourism Council and the Vermont Fresh Network, recently debuted diginvt.com, a site designed to help visitors find places with interesting local food.
The site contains entries searchable by category and region with results displayed on an interactive map. The latter feature is where the site ran into some trouble, at least with Rutland County.
The map showed Mendon Mountain Orchards on South Main Street in Rutland, just north of Cold River Road, rather than on a mountain in Mendon. The Vermont Farmers’ Market appeared at the corner of North Main Street and Woodstock Avenue rather than in Depot Park.
The Mount Holly Farmers’ Market appeared on an empty hillside between Route 100 and Town Farm Road in Ludlow while the Otter Valley Winery, located in Brandon, shifted all the way to the southern end of Sunderland.
Notified of the problem last week, Vermont Fresh Network executive director Meghan Sheradin looked into it and said the mislocations were the result of Google Maps not recognizing some of the addresses that were fed into it. She also said some of the organizations that provided listings may have used mailing addresses that did not correspond to physical locations.
Farmers’ markets could be particularly problematic, she said, because they might not even have addresses, instead just being located “on the green.”
“It’s not perfect and I wish it was, but we’re glad to have people help us get it right,” she said. “If you’re looking at your community and it’s not mapping right, call me and we’ll fix it.”
Sheradin said such input was essential because the staff running the website did not have the geographical knowledge to recognize when entries were out of place in some parts of the state.
To appear on the site, a restaurant or food vendor must be a member of one of 13 contributing organizations, each of which selects entries using their own criteria.
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