Yelp has partnered with the local governments in San Francisco and New York to put health inspection scores on the pages of the cities' restaurants. It's part of a bigger open data initiative, however, that Yelp hopes will enable other cities around the country to follow suit.
Participating restaurants' health scores will be displayed alongside the other business information like hours, price range, etc. If a user hovers over the score, Yelp will display an info box that tells them what it is they're looking at.
"Yelp works with local governments to show health inspection scores, ranked on a scale of 0-100," it says.
You can click on through to access a more detailed report, which includes a list of the specific violations, the date in which the inspection occurred, and whether it was a routine inspection or another kind. You can also look at all of that information for previous inspections (but only in San Francisco currently).
This new metric is enabled through Yelp's new "open data standard" called the "Local INspector Value-entry Specification," or LIVES for short. They say that LIVES was developed with the encouragement of the White House.
"Public/private partnerships like this don't necessarily provide a direct contribution to Yelp’s bottom line, but evidence suggests the LIVES open data standard will have a positive impact on society," says Yelp.
In the future, LIVES could be used by other city governments to follow suit with the inspection ratings on the site - if they so choose. Of course, governments are not always keen on opening up their data to the public.
"We hope other cities will join San Francisco in fully embracing this new open data standard," says Yelp.
The first two cities to partner with Yelp in the venture are San Francisco and New York, but Yelp expects more to roll out in the coming months.[Photo courtesy Don McCullough, Flickr]