If you have ever wanted to go out to eat in Chicago or other city, chances are you used Yelp to do one or more of the following: find a restaurant, look at the star ratings, read reviews so you know what to order, checked out whether or not there was parking, found out if it was open when you wanted to go, uploaded a picture of your food, or posted a review. Yelp is one of the internet’s best places to go to find out what people really think about not only restaurants, but also about attractions and services.
Yelp has made a segment of its data available for students to download for research purposes through the Yelp Dataset Challenge. They invite any undergraduate or graduate student to “use our data in innovative ways and break ground in research.” To date, hundreds of research papers have been written by researchers as a result of Yelp making their data available to the public.
The 10th Annual Yelp Dataset Challenge will be accepting submissions between September 1, 2017 – December 31, 2017. Submissions must include your code and a write up of your project. The grand prize is $5,000 and if your paper is published in a peer-reviewed academic journal, you will receive an extra $1,000 with up to $500 to travel to present your research at a relevant conference. Please note: only students are eligible to win this award, though Yelp does have a Yelp Open Dataset that they have made available in both JSON and SQL formats for teaching and research.
Make sure you read the Dataset Challenge Terms and the Dataset Challenge License before getting started. If you have questions or need assistance, please contact Kindra Morelock, Data Services Librarian, at firstname.lastname@example.org.