StoreNav Trip to the Stockyards

Today I went on a trip to the Stockyards area in Toronto to get more maps for StoreNav. There is a Rona, Home Depot, Canadian Tire and Future Shop in the same block, and a Walmart just a few blocks west. Most of the stores I visited had store maps posted and this will make it easy to make them available (until I come up with an automated system for this). However this was also the first time I was approached by store employees/ management, so I thought it was important to make this post to help other people collecting maps.


Rona

The first place I visited was Rona, a hardware/building materials store. They were one of the best to visit (along with the Home Depot) because they provided store maps and directories for people to take with them into the store. They were located on the customer service desk just to the right of the entrance. I will be posting one of these as soon as possible.

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Walmart

This is the Walmart located at 2525 St. Clair Av near Runnymede. Like the last Walmart I visited, there was a store map located near a fire extinguisher. However I continued to take pictures and notes to get more detailed information on where the items were. After taking about 8 pictures and noting the contents of the grocery aisle, I was approached by a man who appeared to be the manager. He asked me what I was doing and in particular why I was taking pictures of the ceiling. I explained StoreNav to him and showed him an existing map and he seemed satisfied. He said what I was doing looked suspicious on camera and I suspect he thought I was mapping the security cameras. So I will add this to the list of pointers for collecting maps: avoid taking pictures of the ceiling or of security cameras.

Home Depot

Another smooth trip. In fact, they go as far as having a stand with store directories by the entrance.
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Canadian Tire

Canadian Tire was a relatively quick stop. I couldn’t find a store map at first, so I started taking pictures. It was then that I spotted a map near the front. It was facing inward, so it wouldn’t be immediately obvious when entering the store, but it contained other useful information including a section directory, correction notices and a list of recalled items.

Future Shop

This was a smaller location than I expected, so I thought one panorama would give me all the information I needed (there was no map to be found).  As I was taking the panorama, I was approached by an employee and the conversation went as follows:
Employee: can I help you
Me: I’m working on an app called StoreNav which is a repository of store maps.
E: we don’t allow people to take photos here without permission.
Me: ok. I don’t actually need photos. Do you have an image of the store layout I could use.
E: you would have to go through head office for that.
That is when I left the store. I will contact their head office closer to the release date. In fact I will be contacting a lot of head offices once I get a format for the items database worked out. However don’t expect Future Shop to be first on the list.

All the maps I acquired today will be available in the next StoreNav update. I will also be putting together a guide for others to start collecting and submitting maps including lessons from today’s trip.

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