App Chat: April 9, 2015

April 9, 2015 8:49 am PST | Data Apps & Visualization, Data as a Service

Here at Socrata, we believe in the power of open data to make our everyday lives easier. In our new blog series, App Chat, we will be presenting our favorite apps that do just that.

Do you ever wonder how clean a restaurant is before you order your meal? Or, would you like to know how the newly fallen snow will affect your commute to work, before even getting out of bed? Read on to find out how people around the world are adding convenience and transparency to industries from farming to education via open data.

1. Farm Canada

The combination of agriculture and technology has proven to harvest something efficient and profitable for farmers across Canada. Thanks to two brothers who know the farming lifestyle inside and out, the app Farm Canada was born. Farmers can use Farm Canada to browse historical data, receive the latest commodity prices, and maximize their resources by trading, buying, and selling equipment and land to other farmers in the area. The combination of these three data accessibility tools is a farmer’s ideal equation to a successful growing season.

Check out Farm Canada


How clean is your favorite diner? You don’t always know what’s happening behind the kitchen doors. provides users with x-ray vision. For those located in New York City, simply checking into a restaurant on Foursquare, will produce a text message informing them of any health code violations the restaurant has had. This information is pulled directly from a public restaurant inspection dataset and updated weekly. Now, New Yorkers can order from the hole-in-the-wall burger joint down the street, stress free!

Check out

3. ClearStreets

ClearStreets scrapes data from Chicago’s Plow Tracker and combines that data with an easy- to-use interface so citizens know when their streets will be clear of last night’s snow. Users input an address or intersection, and ClearStreets reports the status of that location. This data-driven app provides citizens with the transparency for their commute they need. Previously, we had the chance to catch up with Derek Eder, a civic developer and open data enthusiast. Eder shared how ClearStreets and data-driven citizens in Chicago generated change for an unplowed block. This story is just another example of how open data allows citizens to resolve civic problems, while government reaches its full potential.

Check out ClearStreets

4. College Affordability and Transparency Center (CATC)

As high school seniors prepare for college, tuition cost is a large part of the conversation. Tuition is hitting record highs, causing families around the nation to face the dreaded question — how will we pay for this? The CATC pulls data from the Department of Education – National Center For Education Statistics to allow citizens to easily compare college costs, tuition, net price, and a bundle of other characteristics, all in one place.

Check out CATC

5. FlyOnTime

It’s not always necessary to arrive at the airport two hours early. This can generally leave you perusing a newsstand for too long, or making an unnecessary stop at the airport massage table. FlyOnTime helps travelers live the dream of gliding through security lines at just the right time. By pulling data from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, in addition to user-generated content about airline security, this app combines all the potential delays and calculates them so you can arrive on time.

Check out Flyontime

Take these apps for a spin as you explore the world of open data and stay tuned for more App Chat!

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