Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A useful map from the NY Times

Update, March 7: Here's a link to Mayor Bloomberg's press conference and press release announcing the results of the first 18 months of grades: the percent of restaurants with A grades has increased to 72%. The incidence of salmonella in the city has decreased. Most of the key violations declined. You can get DOHMH's full report here as a pdf. Here's a screenshot of the trends reported salmonella graph:

Source: NYC DOHMH 
The focus on outcomes is refreshing and very useful. 

The NY Times has mapped New York City's restaurants, coding them according to their NYC Department of Health (and Mental Hygiene, to give its full title) cleanliness rating system. Here's a screenshot of our local restaurant row:


The blue dots are A grades; the green dots are B grades. When you roll your mouse over the dot, you get the restaurant's name grade, and the number of violations; you can click on the map and get details (perhaps more than you want). You can filter by grade, type of violation (vermin, insects, personal cleanliness, chemicals, or food temperature) and by type of cuisine. And, like any map, you can zoom. My only complaint is that once you have a location, you can't move by clicking on the edges of the map, you have to type a new location into the app. It's a great service - I wouldn't pick a restaurant using only this information, but it's a great way of presenting it.

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