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Posts tagged ‘open data’

Fruit trees lining the streets of Vancouver mapped thanks to open data

Fruit trees on the boulevards in the City of Vancouver.

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Our Progress During The Open Food Hack Day

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.

Better Food Through Open Data Standards (Vote for our SxSW Panel!)

One of the initiatives we committed to early on was the effort to create an open standard for reporting and sharing information about food via web and mobile technologies. One of the biggest challenges to rapid innovation in the food space is the tendency for distinct projects to treat similar information differently, causing interoperability issues and unnecessary difficulties for apps and systems that need to communicate.

On a very basic level, it’s an effort to call apples “apples” and oranges “oranges“.

On a deeper level, this is an effort to bring together a community of diverse people who are solving a myriad set of problems around the food system to collaborate on the language we’re all using to represent food. It’s an effort to take that critical piece of the equation out of the private domain and to democratize it.

We Need Your Votes!

(Don’t worry, it only takes ten seconds.)

Next year at South by Southwest, the largest multi-media conference in North America, a panel of experts from unique backgrounds around the food/technology field will host a discussion to present an initial framework for an open food information standard.

Our CEO Anthony is excited to be a part of it, and we’d very much appreciate your vote to include this panel in the event. The voting process determines a shortlist of potential panels, out of the 3600+ that applied.

There is an explosion in the number of services created to help people make better choices about how we produce, consume, and interact with food. Challenges related to the accuracy and completeness of data hamper the rate of innovation. A panel of leading food, data and technology doers shares their initial framework for an open standard for reporting, recording and sharing food information. Hear how recipe sites, restaurant menu wranglers, open government developers, urban agronomists, provenance geeks and food policy activists are collaborating on an interoperable standard. Panelists will share their unique perspectives and invite new collaborators to expand, refine, and put into practice an open standard. The open food data standard describes all aspects of food, in a way that allows technologists to support and enhance the success of the local food economy. Come find out how you can take part in the generation of an open data standard for food that reflects the values we place in food.

You can lend your support here! Voting ends September 1st, so please share this with any friends or family who care about food!