Wednesday, February 7, 2024

Why does it take so long to add new area pages to the Tokyo Stroll web supplement?

 Why does it take so long to add new area pages to the Tokyo Stroll web supplement?


While the chapters in my book Tokyo Stroll covered areas in close proximity that were dense with interesting locations. These were often not in the same ku, for example the Yanesen chapter is mainly in Taito ku, but also has items in Bunkyo ku, and Arakawa ku. However the areas I am now adding are for specific administrative zones, not only in the 23 ku part of Tokyo but also in the Tama Area, and tend to be spread out.


The way I do this is find the borders of an administrative zones, then look for what it in it. For example with Kita ku I started with 4 or 5 items to write up and ended up with finding over 40 possible locations. From those 40 I selected many that would form the foundation of the page, other locations will be added over time. Each item on the page requires I find reliable information, much of what you find on the web lacks that reliability. So I look if the item has it's own web page, or if there is a description on one by the local government, merchants association, in books, or in news sources, etc. Once I have enough information I put it together into a description. Then I identify if the item is listed in Google Maps and Open Street Map. If it is not, or it is incomplete, or even a wrong location I see to it that additions and corrections are made. So far I have done this with for over 600 items in Google Maps and also over 600 items in Open Street Maps.

As for priorities I tend to go with the types of things people I know and interact with show interest in. Topics that are first searched for include temples, shrines, museums, older buildings, interesting architecture, shopping districts, landmarks, historical locations, and archaeological sites. I then check to see what is nearby and add them to the list of items to consider writing about. This has worked rather well for me when planning trips to Tokyo and the notes from previous trips became the foundation for writing Tokyo Stroll. 


On top of gathering information and doing the writing  I have to deal with personal matters etc.


This means new pages take time to make. I still have to produce four remaining pages in the 23 ku in Tokyo, then I'll dive into the towns and villages of the Tama Area, on top of that I'll be adding single items to existing pages. All of this means that the web supplement will continue to grow, likely for years.


So it takes time, but my goal is to provide a resource for travelers who don't want to be limited to the big sights in conventional guidebooks.

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