Yelp will add health inspection info for restaurants around the country - Technical.ly Baltimore

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Jul. 24, 2018 10:36 am

Yelp will add health inspection info for restaurants around the country

Baltimore-based HDScores is helping to provide data from local jurisdictions.
HDScores founder Matthew Eierman presenting at Baltimore TechBreakfast in November 2012.

HDScores founder Matthew Eierman presenting at Baltimore TechBreakfast in November 2012.

(Photo by Andrew Zaleski)

Updated at 10:45 a.m. on 7/24/18.

Yelp is expanding its use of restaurant hygiene scores around the country.

According to a blog post issued Tuesday, the crowdsourced review platform is expanding a program to include info from health inspection reports within its listings for restaurants.

“Today we have added health inspection data to Yelp for more restaurants in New York, California, Texas, Illinois and Washington, DC, and will continue to roll out updates state-by-state in the coming months,” wrote Yelp SVP for Public Policy Luther Lowe.

For the effort, the San Francisco–based company is also broadening a partnership HDScores, a Baltimore-based startup that has a database of inspection info from local governments.

“Over the last five years, we have been able to add health inspection information to more than 200,000 business pages, both in partnership with local governments and by working with HDScores, which maintains a nationwide database of health inspection reports,” Lowe wrote. “Now, that number will more than triple as we work to incorporate more of the HDScores database, which covers three quarters of the U.S. population across 42 states.”

A screenshot of a Yelp review with HDScores restaurant info in DC. (Courtesy photo)

A screenshot of a Yelp review with HDScores restaurant inspection info in DC. (Courtesy photo)

Yelp started working on bringing restaurant health info to listings in 2013, as its team sought to bring the scores to a commonly-used online resource.

In 2016, HDScores began working on a pilot with Yelp in San Diego. Through the partnership, HDScores converts data from local reports into Yelp’s format, which is called LIVES, said HDScores Founder Matthew Eierman. The company offers an explanation for its calculations here.

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Baltimore will not be among the cities where the feature will be added since its website is not currently “friendly” to HDScores’ collection system. However, Eierman said, “We would love to begin collecting Baltimore’s inspection data.”

HDScores’ data management platform now features an automated extraction layer to convert data. The platform maintains the raw data in the original format for other work and clients, Eierman said.

Companies: HDScores, Yelp
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