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Our Progress During The Open Food Hack Day

Fresh peppers in Vancouver

This weekend Foodtree hosted Vancouver’s Open Data Hack Day event; thanks to everyone who attended throughout the day.

A number of projects took place and a number of datasets were hacked on. Everything from garbage pick up times to bicycle accident statistics were given attention, and thanks to the culinary skills of Sarah we were all treated to a delicious Indian lunch and a slow-cooked pulled pork sandwich dinner feast. It was a Gourmet Hack Day, if you will.

Open Food Data

Our team and a large group of food lovers hacked on food data together, making some great progress in the movement to get an international open food data effort under way.

The technical group spent the day focused on shipping a working API tailored to developers who want to leverage large food datasets.  We’d collected some sample datasets prior to the event, and more were added throughout the day.

You can see the preliminary API and datasets here. Feel free to contribute!

The non-technical attendees spent the day working on user stories, with the intent of prioritizing common themes among the ways real people might get value out of an open data standard and its affect on food applications.

A set of questions and problem statements was developed, and from there we identified the elements that are involved in answering them. We further prioritized a short list of those elements that were the most prevalent:

cost to purchase – pricing information
allergenic properties
nutrient list/makeup
supply chain insights
where are you – location relevance
certification bodies and their standards
popularity/social data – how do my friends feel about this food?
origin details (who/what/when)
production methods

You can see all of this work in the Open Food Wiki.

A Growing Community

A huge thanks go out to everyone who pitched in; in all we had about 20 people working on food throughout the day. We’d love for more food advocates and developers to join the effort, so if you’re interested you should join the Open Food Google Group to see the ongoing discussion of progress, priorities, and events.

Photo by Kp on Foodtree.

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  1. Open Food Hack-a-Thon » Karen Whistler

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