With all the reports of malwebolence of late, Betabeat would like to humbly offer this example of hacking for the public good. Code for America–like the Peace Corps if the Peace Corps knew their way around an SDK–just posted a new project from one of its 2011 fellows, John Mertens. A recent Valley transplant, Mr. Mertens found himself full of wholesome locavore intentions, but unsure of where he might be able to exercise them.
“Being an open data geek, I looked for an API. Finding none, I decided to make one.” Some downloading from the USDA website, normalizing with Google Refine, uploading on CouchDB later and hello API. Now that some do-gooder has done the (not so) dirty work, where’s the New York developer to find a way to make some money off this thing–or at least make it social. We’re good at that part, right?