NYC Health Ratings is growing

This site continues to grow and expand in ways I had never envisioned.  Initially this site was nothing more than a place holder and a bookmarklet that I wrote largely as a hack.  My initial motivation started out from boredom at work.  I wanted to find a side project to work on, so I decided to pick a New York City public dataset and see what I might be able to do with it.  A couple of months before this, the city had started a new system of restaurant health inspections where restaurants would be assigned a letter grade and forced to display it in their window.  I thought it was a great move by Mayor Bloomberg.  Personally I have had roaches and other insects inadvertently served to me along with my meal multiple times. I’ve witnessed mice running around and have even seen an employee smear cream cheese with his bare hands at one of the most esteemed bagel places in Manhattan.  So this project satisfied two urges.  One to work on something that was my own with whatever technology I wanted, and two to do something that was good for the city of New York, which I love dearly.  I grew up here and the idea of doing something that was good for other New Yorkers was quite awesome.

 

After I wrote the Health Bookmarklet, I decided to continue on, adding feature after feature.  Never satisfied I continued tweaking and people are beginning to take notice.  I’ve got about a dozen more enhancements in mind.  One principle I have in regards to the site is that everything should be shareable and linkable.  You’ll see that Most everything can be shared on facebook twitter and google plus either by clicking a button to share or just copying and pasting a link.  So on to the features. Continue reading

New Blog is live

I’ve finally got a blog integrated into my site.  I’ve researched many options and finally settled on WordPress.  Some of the blogs I looked at were movable type, refinery and monologue, jekyll and toto.  A couple of these aren’t actually blogs but blogging engines that integrate with ruby on rails applications.

 

WordPress was actually quite easy to set up and integrate into my site.  Modifying the default theme to look like my current site took just a few hours of css work.  The ease of integration, flexibility and extensibility really made it an easy choice.