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Can’t agree where to eat? Spin the WHEEL OF FOODLUNCH!!

My latest circular mash-up, The Wheel of Lunch, was suggested by a paper-version created by my friend & former coworker, Geoff Ombao. The ostensible purpose of the Wheel is to prevent wearisome discussions about where to eat lunch with your coworkers or family, but it’s also a good way to discover new places to eat.

I’ve used Yahoo! Local to power the wheel. Enter your zip code and a query string, such as lunch, steak or vegetarian and the Wheel will discover many of the local establishments that fit the bill. Grab the wheel with your mouse and give it a strong yank. Then follow it’s advice or spin it again. If you want more information about the restaurant, click the description on the upper left to visit the corresponding page at Yahoo! Local.

You can also search for things that aren’t necessarily restaurants, such as bars, clubs.

You can skip the input dialog by encoding the parameters directly in the URL, like this:

http://www.coverpop.com/wheeloflunch/?zip=90404&query=food&go=1

Legal Disclaimer: Ignore the advice of the wheel at your own peril. Do not taunt the wheel. The wheel knows where you live.

UPDATE: Having learned about a similarly themed piece of shareware, I’ve renamed the wheel. Formerly the “Wheel of Food”, it’s now the Wheel of LUNCH.

35 Responses to “Can’t agree where to eat? Spin the WHEEL OF FOODLUNCH!!”

  1. Jeff McNeill » Blog Archive » links for 2007-02-15 Says:

    […] KrazyDad » Can’t agree where to eat? Spin the WHEEL OF FOOD!! Wheel of food! (tags: mashups) […]

  2. Wheel of keyword spinner » Make You Go Hmm Says:

    […] Enter your Zip Code, keyword and spin the wheel of food to figure out where to eat locally this afternoon. Mashup developer Krazydad explains: I’ve used Yahoo! Local to power the wheel. Enter your zip code and a query string, such as lunch, steak or vegetarian and the Wheel will discover many of the local establishments that fit the bill. […]

  3. Yahoo! Cool thing of the Day » Blog Archive » A Pie Chart? Says:

    […] No, not that kind of wheel of food. KrazyDad, who seems like a totally awesome guy and apparently also recently joined Yahoo! Music (yay!), put together a Yahoo! Local + popular game show mashup entitled Wheel of Food. It’s kind of brilliant — enter your zip code and a search query, and it’ll grab results from the Yahoo! Local API and display them as spokes on a wheel. Spin the wheel, and bam! — no more lunch time indecision. Read more about it on the applicable blog post that I don’t feel like plagiarizing at the moment! […]

  4. parabola Says:

    Wow! Love the idea, but agree with being able to edit the selections. This would make a fantastic widget for MAC!! OR if editing the restaurant choices are too complicated then maybe changing to food categories (e.g., Thai, Japanese, south Italian, north Italian, Mexican, hangover food, junk food night ect…)

    ~Parabola

  5. anonymous Says:

    I saw your Wheel on the AOL Entertainment page under the “Seen and Heard box (Jaw-dropping discoveries from the vast blogostubenets)”. Firstly, great job!! I love how you came up with a solution to everyone’s problem! :) Secondly, I was hoping that since you’re using Yahoo Local to power the wheel, is there any way we can put more than just the zipcode, such as putting the whole address? When I entered my zipcode, it gave me restaurants that are pretty far for being in my zipcode. Just a suggestion! Anyways, love your idea! Great job!!

  6. jbum Says:

    The problem lies with the collection of data at Yahoo Local (or more accurately, the data that Yahoo Local obtains from 3rd parties). If your zipcode isn’t turning up anything, your address isn’t going to improve things. You can see what Yahoo Local actually has on file by visiting Yahoo local itself:

    http://local.yahoo.com

    Also try searching for other terms, such as ‘restaurant’.

  7. lneuma1 Says:

    I love the way you think! Yahoo has a goldmine in you. Parabola is right, this would make a great deksotp widget or gadget.

  8. swmpwtch Says:

    Would like to see “Viva Fresh” at 900 Riverside Dr. Burbank on your wheel. No Mexican restaurant in the area can beat it!

  9. jbum Says:

    Ah, another Burbank resident :) I live very close to there…

  10. marnejohnson Says:

    Last week when I checked there were different restaurant’s listed. under zipcoe 55356 it had The Red Rooster, now it doesn’t. Also, it currently has Billy’s Lighthouse — which has closed. How can this be updated?

  11. snass Says:

    WHEN WE USE THE ZIP CODE 71055….IT BRINGS UP BOSSIER CITY INSTEAD OF MINDEN, LOUISIANA

  12. jbum Says:

    marnejohnson: Try different search terms. Late last week I changed the default query from “food” to “lunch” – so that could be the cause of the different list you are seeing. Try “food”, “lunch”, “restaurant” etc and use the one that works best for you.

    snass: In general, problems with the listings are due to problems with the data at Yahoo Local (although I work for Yahoo, I work for Yahoo music). I would suggest going to the local.yahool.com website and giving them some feedback…

  13. kumquatkid Says:

    Love it! Would you consider licensing a version of it? Or at least creating a UK one? I have a hard time choosing where to eat here in London!

  14. jbum Says:

    For those, such as Kumquatkid, that are interested in using the Wheel of Lunch with a different source, I have prepared a new version that works with arbitrary RSS feeds. You can demo it here:

    http://www.coverpop.com/flowpop/lunchWheel.html

    If you copy the source code for the HTML, you’ll see there is a spot to plug-in the RSS feed. Feel free to use this wheel on your own website, with the RSS feed of your choice.

  15. ProgrammableWeb.com » Blog Archive » Best New Mashups: Food, Tickets and Classifieds Says:

    […] Wheel of Food: The most fun way to pick a restaurant near you. Enter your zip, enter a cuisine, and let the Wheel of Food determine where to eat today. Data via Yahoo! Local Search. Another inspired mashup from Jim Bumgardner, aka Krazy Dad. Read more on his blog. […]

  16. kumquatkid Says:

    Splendid, it works very well. Is there any way to point it at an RSS feed other than restaurants – eg a news feed? And can we edit the text in the centre?

  17. jbum Says:

    If you examine the source to this page:

    http://www.coverpop.com/flowpop/lunchWheelRSS.html

    You’ll see one way to specify the RSS feed. The text in the center is currently a static image that is embedded in the flash movie. I”ll be working on providing more flexibility over the coming days.

  18. kumquatkid Says:

    Awesome! Are you happy for people to do their own versions of this idea? I work for a commercial site, and I’d love to develop a version of it for our site. Is this something you’d allow? Mail me – bens.groups – at – gmail.com

  19. Wheel of Food Says:

    […] However, thanks to KrazzyDad and Yahoo, you can now pick a place without even having to think. The Wheel of Food allows you enter your zip code and what you are wanting to do. You can enter lunch, dinner, breakfast, bar, club, etc. Using the power of Yahoo Local, you then spin a wheel and it picks a place for you to go. […]

  20. » Ah, yes… Wheel of Food… Lunch… [keyword] Maybe… » Almost Exciting » Blog Archive Says:

    […] monk sent this to me – The Wheel of Lunch, by Krazydad, is a Yahoo! Local “mashup“. […]

  21. MadMontie Says:

    I know this is a food related program but, why is it that when I put in computers in the input field for my area all I get is Taco Bell? Is Taco Bell selling computers now?

  22. jbum Says:

    The search I’m doing on Yahoo local requires that I specify an overall category – so I’m using the ‘restaurant’ category. This is why you don’t get import shops when you specify “Chinese”.

  23. Ah, yes… Wheel of Food… Lunch… [keyword] Maybe… - Almost Exciting! Says:

    […] monk sent this to me – The Wheel of Lunch, by Krazydad, is a Yahoo! Local “mashup“. […]

  24. kr Says:

    great tool for indecisive decision makers. the next step in the wheel of lunch would be to spin for the menu items. very simple and cool

  25. DWQ Online » Wheel of Food Says:

    […] However, thanks to KrazzyDad and Yahoo, you can now pick a place without even having to think. The Wheel of Food allows you enter your zip code and what you are wanting to do. You can enter lunch, dinner, breakfast, bar, club, etc. Using the power of Yahoo Local, you then spin a wheel and it picks a place for you to go. […]

  26. Alan Says:

    Your wheel is great fun! here’s and update:
    Cafe Delite
    (909) 884-3411
    591 N D St, San Bernardino, CA 92401
    not open

  27. jbum Says:

    This would be a good time to point out that all the listings come from Yahoo! Local (and I don’t work at Yahoo). They have forms over there to report closed restaurants, add new listings etc.

  28. Mickey Says:

    Why does the zip code suddenly have to be in California? I have been using the wheel of food (now lunch) all over the place. I can’t afford to fly to california for lunch. Am I to starve in indecision?

  29. jbum Says:

    That was a bug. Whoops! Fixed.

  30. Mark Says:

    Update us for Sumter SC, Zip code 29150

    Rascals

  31. Rachel Says:

    In the 77550 area – my favorite, Star Drug Store (it is actually a restaurant – not a drug store) is not on your wheel – can you add it?

    Thanks

  32. Lisa Says:

    Your wheel is awesome, however for zip code 80601 you really need to add Santiago’s Restaurant, it’s soooo good! Thank you for creating the wheel though it has helped since I am a horrible decision maker!

  33. Brownies Says:

    I have a bar/grill, and I would love for it to be on this wheel. I am in area code 40222. My place is called Brownies “The Shed” Grille & Bar. Located at 237 Whittington Pkwy. 40222 Louisville, KY. If you have a space, then I would love to use it. You can email me back at jbrown0250@aol.com if you have any questions or if theres anything I need to do. Thank you and great idea.
    Owner

  34. jbum Says:

    Hi Brownies – The best way to get listed on the wheel is to make sure you are listed at Yahoo Local (where I pull the listings from).

    You can submit your restaurant to the local.yahool.com website. Make sure it’s listed under the right keywords (e.g. restaurant, lunch and not just bar).

  35. Niklas Says:

    Pretty neat little flash program.
    I’d love to be able to change where it pulls the data from to make it compatible for other countries. Like for example Sweden where I am now.
    Would also make an awesome android app.