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search results for München

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WS Member Аватар пользователя WS Member
search results for München

Dear It-nerds of the website,

we purosely built an appartment for hosting in Munich. Therefore we like to host cyclists.

Requests are fading an I looked at the search results.

Now i  wonder how your search algorithm works.

1. When i type München (with a German Umlaut the correct spelling) the Town Münchsbern.., thuringia. appears but not "munich" or München

2. When i type Muenchen, the work around for German Umlaut, the it gets replaced by the correct München, Bavaria including Umlaut

3. When i type Munich, nothing happens but i get results

Coming to the search results

Result of 1 is a list mixing "avialabel and non available"

Result of 2 is a list starting wit "Availabler for.." a) persons without a locateion then b) Locatioon with starting at the citysquare assending by distance away from the city center, we are to be found on page 2 

Result of 3 is different from result 1, our location further down the list, I see no logic in the sorting

So .....

what is the algorithm? Why are hosts preferred which unintenionally live on the central city square - which is according to their profile not correct?

I remember that a year ago the sorting was by alphabet.

Please enlighten me, because we like to have more guests.

always tailwind



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WS Member Аватар пользователя WS Member
There are two different

There are two different search types on WS - the host city search which you are using and a more generalised search for keywords in members' profiles, emails and registered locations (this will include unavailable members also). What seems to happen is if you make a city search that is not recognised by the auto suggestions it falls back to the second general search type (this is what is happening in cases 1 & 3). For case 2 when the search term is recognised or an auto suggested city is selected you are given a list of available members only sorted by distance from city centre.

I have stated many times here why sorting hosts in this manner is a terrible idea. Members who sign up filling out the least amount of info possible will be given a location 0km from the city centre and go straight to the top of this list, this includes members who sign up not intending to host as all new members are marked as available to host by default - thus the least invested members many of whom don't even want to host will occupy the prime spots on a host city search wasting the time of many tourers looking for accommodation.

I don't recall city searches ever being sorted alphabetically (though the general search once was) certainly for many years it was sorted by total time as member of WS (the general search also seems to be sorted this way presently) this isn't the best way to sort either but at least the most experienced members would appear at the top of the list which is at least some kind of indicator of site activity but, as I have argued before, just about any sorting mechanism (even entirely random) would be better than what we currently have. What I think would be best (beyond a very basic option to sort by total requests/response rate/time as member/last login), is the top results of the search being reserved for a randomly sorted list of members that fall within a certain number of set criteria (response rate >50% or <3 requests, last login <1 month ...) followed by the remainder of the members sorted by last login. This would promote responsive members but without having the same names in the top 2 or 3 spots getting all the requests and also allow new members to have a chance at receiving requests.

As for the strange behaviour with the umlaut, I'm not really sure but there seems to be two databases not talking to each other very well, certainly it should resolve to München in either scenario.

WS Member Аватар пользователя WS Member
Dear Paul,

Dear Paul,

thanks for the enlightenment. Your proposals are supported by me (response rate >50% or <3 requests, last login <1 month ...).

What can I do to have them implemented? Put them on the wish-list in the forum?

The München and Munich to outoresolve to proper München should be tackled soon.

Kind regards


WS Member Аватар пользователя WS Member
You'll have to excuse my

You'll have to excuse my pessimism when I say I really don't know any more. I've been talking about this problem as it pertains to populated areas in particular for nearly 10 years on the forums and I think in all that time I've received 2 official responses; that the problem was intractable and that my proposed solutions 'wouldn't work' (with no argument as to why they wouldn't work, just stated as fact). I don't think I've ever started a thread of my own these are just dozens of posts where I've responded to members concerned about how hard it was to find active hosts or hosts not getting requests (you could search for them but unfortunately the forum search has not been functioning well for a number of years so many results probably wouldn't come up).

When it was announced that search filters were being implemented I thought we were finally beginning to see the problem addressed. Unfortunately rather than having filters for response rate, last login, time as member, amount of feedback etc to connect guests with active, willing hosts as had been requested by numerous people we got filters for lodging type (private room? private bath?) food (breakfast included? kitchen access?) other logistics (bike tools...) and local services (post office...) all completely secondary concerns (if you can't find a host that even responds to you what interest do you have in the availability of breakfast?). The only filter that provided a modicum of usefulness was for Maximum guests - but this really only concerns a minority of cases when people are travelling in large groups. Unfortunately this was an initiative of the WS board so I don't think they have much interest in admitting their error and looking for alternative solutions. Meanwhile the site response rate continues to slide for the 5th year running.

I guess you could write a proposal in your words and post it on wish list - unfortunately WS has outsourced its development to third parties (the details of the license are still unknown to the community) so the circle of people willing and able to do the coding is greatly reduced and posting a github issue and at least having something transparent and traceable is no longer possible. I still don't know how future upgrades and bug fixing will work, whether there are people within the organisation familiar with the code and permitted to continue development as they see fit or whether everything will continue to be outsourced by necessity or obligation.

Unfortunately the board has increasingly isolated itself from the WS community since around the time donations were introduced. Bug reports or suggestions rarely receive an official response, decisions of enormous consequence to the community are made without consulting the members (such as WS going closed source) so I don't really see much hope for a return to WS concerning itself primarily with facilitating connections between cycle tourers and people wanting to host them. Perhaps we need to wait for things to deteriorate sufficiently for some action to be taken, but this is hardly a course I would want to recommend. A change of culture (and probably personnel) at the board level is probably the only way I can see WS getting back on track.

WS Member Аватар пользователя WS Member
Dear Paul

Dear Paul


After reading ypur profile i send Greetings to your cat and wife from Elena who translated Boludo for me. She enjoyed reading that word because the stayed in Argentina in her youth.


WS Member Аватар пользователя WS Member
Saludos to Elena and yourself

Saludos to Elena and yourself from Buenos Aires.

Unregistered Аватар пользователя anon_user
I am suprised and even

I am suprised and even flabbergasted to see that a search for "Växjö" actually works! But I suppose most people would use the map interface.

For the rest, I totally agree with Paul's observations. I am concerned about the future of WarmShowers. 

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