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How to do a Simple Geography Based Search

This page covers how to do a geography based search. You can probably just look at the images and read the text on the images to figure it out (if you don't want all of the details).


The lessons learned here can be expanded into doing any kind of advanced search. Some examples of possible searches are:
  1. Find all mountains in Colorado that have the activity mountaineering, that were added to SP within the last 14 days, and order them by highest elevation first. View Solution
  2. Find all images of type "Rock Climbing" with the word "Peak" in the name or caption, that were taken within 100 miles of the zip code 80301 and order them by most recently posted. View Solution
  3. Find all routes within 50 miles of Tucson, Arizona between the difficulty levels of 5.6 and 5.10a (YDS), and show them on a map. View Solution

Section 1: The Incorrect Way to Search for Mountains in Missouri

This example will walk you through how to find all of the mountains in Missouri. Not the premier state in terms of mountains, but it will serve well for this example. NOTE: Searching for mountains or other objects in countries is essentially the same process.

Assume you start by performing a search on the term "Missouri." Seems like a logical place to start, right? To your surprise, you only get one result and it is the mountain in Colorado named "Missouri Mountain." What is going on here?

Well, you just performed a search to find all mountains with "Missouri" in the name. Not what you intended, right? So what do you do? This tutorial will give you the basics for performing a geography based search.

OK, so let's begin.

Figure 1: By searching for Missouri, you will only get mountains with Missouri in the name.


So this is your first attempt at finding the mountains of Missouri. At this point, you are probably thinking: "I do a search for Missouri, but I don't get any results in Missouri, just some mountain in Colorado"...Not what you expected, right? Not to worry, we will get it sorted out.


Section 2: A Step in the Right Direction -- The Advanced Search Link

Your first step to searching nirvana is to click on the little link labeled "Advanced" next to the "Go" button label. This baby will unlock the door to searches you never knew were possible. Virtually any search you can think of for a particular object type can be performed using this form.

Figure 2: By clicking on the advanced link, the advanced search form is shown.



Section 3: Finding Which Search Options You Want

Now, your initial reaction may be "Oh my goodness...what did I just do?" It may look overwhelming at first glance, but I assure you, there is nothing to be afraid of.

If you read down through the list of searchable characteristics, I am sure you will recognize most or all of them. If there is one you don't recognize, it can be helpful to click on the select box to look at the options.

In this example, we are looking for the Mountains of Missouri. We notice that US State is one of the search options available here, so let's make our way down to that select box labeled "US State." See below in Figure 3.
Figure 3: Locate the advanced search option or options that you wish to search by. In this example we are only searching by state.

It is important to note that the advanced search form changes depending on what type of object you are looking for. For example: Mountains & Rocks have different characteristics than do Routes. Mountains have the characteristics of elevation and activities, where as Routes have the attributes of difficulty and time required. This basics learned in this tutorial can be extrapolated to any of the object types.



Section 4: Selecting The Right Option

Alright, we are almost there now. We found the search characteristic that we want. Now we just have to select the proper option from the select menu. That's simple enough. See below.
Figure 4: Find the state in which you want to search for mountains.




Section 5: No search text is required

Now this may seem counterintuitive, but you are not required to put any search text in the main text box next to the "Go" button. If you want to make the search stricter and only search for mountains with a particular word in their name, you can add this word to the text box.

In this example I want ALL the mountains in Missouri, so I don't put any text in the search box to restrict my search.

The last step is to hit the "Go" button.
Figure 5: Select the state, clear out the text box (unless you know of a term you want to search for in addition to the state), and hit the "Go" button.




Section 6: The Results You Have Been Searching For

There they are! All the glorious mountains of Missouri...well...all 3 little rolling hills that have made their way into SPs search index so far that is. See below in Figure 6.
Figure 6: Viola! You have the list of all Missouri mountains listed on the site.



Section 7: Conclusion

Well, I hope that you have gained the knowledge necessary to find mountains or any other objects (Routes, Images, Areas, etc.) based on geography from this lesson.

For reference, here is a link to the search results generated by this tutorial.

It should be noted that I could have also selected "North America" for the continent and "United States" for the country along with the US State "Missouri" and the search results would have been identical.

I think that you will find our search engine here on SP will give you much more accurate results than the standard text based search engine. You have the ability to perform searches that produce very specific results that you could never get with a normal text based search engine like google or yahoo for example.

Here are some examples of what I mean:
  1. Find all mountains in Colorado that have the activity mountaineering, that were added to SP within the last 14 days, and order them by highest elevation first. View Solution
  2. Find all images of type "Rock Climbing" with the word "Peak" in the name or caption, that were taken within 100 miles of the zip code 80301 and order them by most recently posted. View Solution
  3. Find all routes within 50 miles of Tucson, Arizona between the difficulty levels of 5.6 and 5.10a (YDS), and show them on a map. View Solution


All of these searches and many, many more are just a few clicks away by using the advanced search form.