In an effort to improve public health and data transparency, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee announced on Thursday, Jan. 17, a partnership with Yelp, a site that connects people with local businesses and restaurants. The goal? To link the city's restaurant health score data with the popular restaurant review website -- and to standardize health score data nationwide.
Yelp is currently doing a limited release, so some San Francisco restaurants already have their city health inspection score listed in their Yelp review. On Korean restaurant Cocobang's Yelp page, for instance, a government health score of 92 out of 100 from Nov. 12, 2012, is visible above the hours of operation, as is a link to the full restaurant inspection report.
And all San Francisco restaurants will have their health scores listed in the next couple of weeks, said Jay Nath, the city's Chief Innovation Officer. Data from New York City and Philadelphia also is expected in coming weeks, according to a press release from Lee's office.
"They want to make sure they do it right," Nath said, adding that the past year was spent getting the company comfortable with investing in the idea. "That sometimes take time, right? [Yelp] has a lot of different directions that they're thinking about, and for this to filter up and be embraced is a recognition on their part of how much impact it can make and how they can serve their customers better."
For Lee, this new partnership with Yelp is another significant step in the open data movement. “By making often hard-to-find government information more widely available to innovative companies like Yelp, we can make government more transparent and improve public health outcomes for our residents through the power of technology,” he said in a prepared statement.
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