In a powerfully argued post at GovLoop back in January, Canadian open data advisor David Eaves offered a solution for saving millions in public health costs: create data standards around restaurant healthfulness inspection scores and incorporate them into consumer-oriented websites like Yelp and OpenTable.
Last night on Gov 2.0 Radio, Allison Hornery of CivicTEC in Sydney pointed to a new app by New York University computer science student Max Stoller that mashes up NY health inspection data with Foursquare, and provides a text message warning if the restaurant isn’t making the grade. It’s called DontEat.At.
I’d really like to see Yelp, OpenTable and Facebook step up to the plate and take on this important public health goal in San Francisco. We’ve got the data, and SFScores.com is already using it in a user-friendly map. Incorporating it into restaurant sites and apps would make this data more accessible, and more likely to reduce public health risks.
While we’re waiting for Yelp and OpenTable, I’d love to see Max bring his app here.
Max, if you’re reading, here’s the raw data.