My family and I moved two weeks ago today from Newtown Borough to Northampton Township, Pennsylvania. Both of these municipalities are in Bucks County, on the eastern border of Pennsylvania. They are very close to each other.
The logistics of moving were so onerous that it was impossible for me to keep writing the RinkAtlas News Blog and to keep commenting on current events impacting North American ice arenas and park rinks.
In some respects, the timing of this move was unfortunate because a great deal happened to change the newly established routines that have been forced upon the hockey and figure skating communities by COVID-19. But in some ways, the timing was fortuitous because I was able to focus on something that mattered a great deal to my family and its future.
We will pick up with coverage of our form of hockey news from this weekend. I look forward to bringing some context to the events surrounding the hockey community. –Dave Aiello
We’re pleased to announce a new page called Arena Photos from Outside of North America. This is where we will keep photos that contributors send us of arenas that don’t currently exist in the RinkAtlas arena directory.
The first two photos on this page are from The SSE Arena in Belfast, Northern Ireland. They were taken by Erik Holvig, who is one of the top photo contributors to RinkAtlas. Thanks for sharing these photos with us Erik!
I’m pleased to announce that we just restored the list of nearby restaurants, bars, coffee places, and gas stations to almost 4,700 arena information pages on RinkAtlas. This capability is one of the signature features of RinkAtlas, and something that we tweak constantly in order to provide the best possible information to our users across North America.
If you have questions or concerns about our nearby business searches, please let us know by tweeting us @RinkAtlas or commenting on our Facebook page.
Mission accomplished! RinkAtlas now contains every arena in Canada to go along with our comprehensive directory of American rinks.
The journey to this point began about one year ago. I want to thank my family who gave me the opportunity to focus, my friends who funded the RinkAtlas Kickstarter Project, the friends who shared arena photos from the Alaskan Arctic to South Florida, and everyone who asked me how things were going in person or online. Your support has made this achievement possible.
There is much more to come in the quest to build a directory of the most useful information about North American ice arenas. But getting to the point where all of the states, provinces, and territories were equally represented was Job One.
We’re pleased to announce that we’ve added information to the directory entries for arenas in the French-speaking areas of Canada to allow RinkAtlas users to search according to the city and arena names as they are typically spelled in either French or English.
This means that arenas like “Aréna de Bernières Saint-Rédempteur” in Saint-Rédempteur, Québec can be searched for by typing any of the following:
Aréna de Bernières Saint-Rédempteur
Arena de Bernieres Saint Redempteur
Arena de Bernieres St. Redempteur
We also created alternative city names, so that arenas in Montréal, for example, can be found by searching:
Arenas in Quebec City, which is referred to simply as “Québec” in French, can be found by searching:
Quebec City, QC
We hope that this solves a number of issues with arena and city searches that relate to the bilingual nature of RinkAtlas’ arena directory. We hope to eventually fully localize the RinkAtlas application to support French as well as English.
The reason we did this was because the database underlying RinkAtlas is aware of all international characters and it considers “é” to be a different letter than “e”. At one point in the development of our directory, we listed the arena’s name both ways, so English speakers would be able to find the arena without first figuring out how to type “é”.
We solved this problem by creating additional metadata that you cannot see which shows any possible alternate spellings for the name of the arena. We’ve gone back through the database and made the displayed name for the arena the name of the arena in the primary language of the area.
We hope that this clarifies the way we are managing arena names currently within RinkAtlas.
We completed the arena directory for Nova Scotia today. There are 77 arenas in Nova Scotia and 3 closed arenas that some websites still show as if they are open.
Our goal with RinkAtlas is to provide the most accurate directory of currently operating North American hockey arenas possible, so where it was necessary, we confirmed the status of arenas which might have closed.
We’re now moving on to work on the directory for the New Brunswick.
Today I’m relaunching the RinkAtlas blog on our new website. This blog actually launched July 24, 2006, but has been on hiatus since I relaunched the main RinkAtlas website.
Adding a blog to RinkAtlas gives us the opportunity to write articles about arenas that deserve more attention, and current events that are important to the hockey community. I’m working on ways to directly integrate blog posts into the directory, so you can see articles related to each arena.