Connecting state and local government leaders
Partnership with Socrata will make it easier for local governments to connect Yelp users with their public health information.
Love it or hate it, Yelp is becoming more and more part of civic digital infrastructure across the nation, especially as a way to easily access local government data on health inspections for businesses.
The company that made its name crowdsourcing user reviews of local businesses has previously partnered with New York City and San Francisco to integrate health inspection data into its deep well of business reviews. Other jurisdictions have embraced Yelp in similar ways, too, like Evanston, Illinois; Louisville, Kentucky; Wake County, North Carolina; and Los Angeles County.
But Yelp’s integration with local governments is poised to get a lot bigger.
This week, Seattle-based Socrata announced a new strategic partnership with San Francisco-based Yelp that will make it easier for Socrata’s government clients to publish their restaurant inspection data on Yelp’s platform, boosting the power of consumers to make more informed decisions about their restaurant choices.
According to Socrata’s announcement, released Wednesday morning:
Extracting restaurant inspections data from government databases is not always easy. Additionally, the majority of cities throughout the United States are not yet publishing their restaurant inspection information in a format that can be consumed by “business-to-consumer” solutions such as Yelp. The strategic partnership between Socrata and Yelp, as well as their new solution, is a first in that it helps governments unlock this data while normalizing and presenting it to everyday consumers in a way that is easy to understand and in a context with which they are familiar.
“We are very excited to launch this partnership with Yelp, the global leader in crowd-sourced reviews for local businesses,” said Kevin Merritt, the CEO and Founder of Socrata. “With this behind-the-scenes data integration, millions of people will be able to benefit from better health information, which will ultimately improve their lives.”
The joint effort with Socrata, a privately held software company that helps public-sector organizations improve transparency, public services and data-driven decisionmaking, will utilize Yelp’s Local Inspector Value Entry Specification open data standard, which is used to accurately publish local government health inspection data on Yelp’s platform.
In early December, Socrata announced it had closed a $30 million Series C round of financing led by Sapphire Ventures, formerly SAP Ventures.
Editor's Note: This post has been updated to correct the day of Socrata's announcement, which was Wednesday.