Data driven life

An idea for the now: web application that OCR’s my grocery receipts to track my dietary habits over time while at the same time building a realtime database of food prices across the city. A bit like the Brian Lehrer project, but on a grander scale.


Max July 17, 2010 Reply

Very cool idea. I would use this service.

Terry July 17, 2010 Reply

I share your interests and often refer this situation as a case study for using linked data. This is really an example of what you can do with the stuff I’m building here at Semantic Press.

Congrats on your move to NYC. 🙂

jessy July 30, 2010 Reply

i’ve totally wanted to do this for ages! also for tracking what you spend individually, managing a food budget, or realizing that you’re spending more on certain items than you thought *ahem belgian beer*. see how many other people are buying what you buy, common purchase correlations (belgian beer AND advil…) etc.

wouldn’t it be cool if there were layout maps of your grocery store, and this could take your favourite items and show you where they are in the store to simplify your shopping trip? (probably the stores don’t actually want this because your impulse buys would go down– which is exactly why i WOULD want it).

ok one moe idea– you could also provide recommendations for green and/or local providers of common items that people buy, or connect them to CSAs or other people in their neighbourhood with whom they could make bulk purchases of household items to save money…

google docs actually has an OCR capability now; i wonder if it;s accessible via their docs API.

anyhoo– glad someone else had this idea too :).

Daniel Bachhuber July 31, 2010 Reply

+1 Great ideas, sounds like a side project to me.

A similar though: What if you could outline your grocery list online during the week in such a fashion that the grocery store can better optimize their inventory in the store? They become tremendously more efficient, I hate to think about how much food they waste because of oversupply, and you keep them from jacking their prices up by giving multiple grocery stores access to your list.

jessy July 31, 2010 Reply

totally. i am officially swamped for projects indefinitely 😀 but hopefully someone will see this and want to make a cool freemium model business out of this!

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