Critiki: Big Critiki Maps Improvement, Little-Known Features Revealed

Critiki Maps view of San Francisco
Critiki Maps view of San Francisco

I rolled out Critiki Maps a year ago this week — it was cool, but it didn’t work in many browsers, and it was slooooow. Now, I’ve just about completely re-coded it, and integrated the latest Google Maps API, and the improvement is stunning. It works across multiple browsers, and it’s much, much faster. If Critiki Maps haven’t worked for you in the past, give it a try again — it’s much more likely to work for you now.

Nearly 90% of the locations in Critiki are on the Critiki Maps; the few that are missing are the ones that I haven’t found accurate latitude & longitude information for (these are almost exclusively the ones that are out of business). Critiki Maps let you see all the tiki locations in an area, all on one map. Like Google Maps, you can drag the window around, and you can zoom in and out. Look for the “View on Critiki Map” link under the address on each location’s Critiki profile.

There are a whole slew of other little features in Critiki that you probably don’t know about…

Critiki's Book of Tiki listing for Bai Hai, San Diego
Critiki’s Book of Tiki
listing for Bai Hai,
San Diego

Book of Tiki Index
Did you ever wish the Book of Tiki had an index? Yeah, me too. That’s why I made one. With the blessing of BOT author Sven Kirsten, Critiki locations have an “In the Book of Tiki” section, detailing which pages of the BOT have references to that location. For instance, Critiki’s Book of Tiki information for the Bali Hai in San Diego can be seen at the right.

Tiki Central Search
Have you ever tried to search for “Kon Tiki” on Tiki Central? You’ll get a whole ton of information, but you might have to dig through talk about Thor Heyerdahl’s trip, or Stephen Crane’s Kon Tiki chain, or the Kon Tiki Hotel in Phoenix, or the Kon Tiki Lounge in Tucson, or the other couple of dozen uses of the phrase “Kon Tiki.” For another angle, try going to the Critiki page for the location you want to know more about, and click “View discussions about this location at Tiki Central” to see a list of topics talking about that location. These links are lovingly hand-curated by Tiki Central moderator Tiki Wahine and myself, so you can be sure that each topic really has discussion about that location.

RSS Feed
The latest updates to Critiki can be viewed on one handy-dandy webpage — and thanks to lots of folks adding their own images to Critiki, updates are happening very frequently these days. If you’d like to keep abreast of the latest updates to Critiki, but don’t want to keep checking the page, you can subscribe to the Latest Updates RSS feed in your favorite RSS reader.

Browse by Rating
Which tiki bars have the best drinks? The worst food? The best music? The worst service? You can see it all under Browse by Rating.

Home Tiki Bars
Want to share your home tiki bar with the world? Or document it for posterity? There are a number of great home tiki bars in Critiki, and I’ll gladly add yours, too. Just send an email to letting me know your bar’s name, and what city it’s in.

Nearby Geocaches
This last one is an Easter Egg of sorts. Go to a location — any location — that has latitude & longitude information. You’ll find the latitude & longitude under the location’s address. Float your cursor in the teeny space between the latitude and the longitude — you’ll see there’s a link hidden there. If you click it, it will take you to a page on showing the closest geocaches to that tiki location.

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