Let's ask questions of open data


This project aims to make open data of all kinds accessible through Glass.

If you have Glass: Email @Skram if you're interested in this app. We have disabled sign ups at this time.

Still waiting for that Glass invite?
No problem! Ask a question and let us show you what the answer looks like.

An explanation of each data source and what you can ask is below.

Scroll through results of the web demo by hovering over the card and clicking the arrows

What questions can I ask?

Ask Open Data allows you to ask questions to the following data providers:

Contact Name Data Provider Sample Questions
Ask NLM Pillbox

NLM Pillbox is a project out of the National Institutes of Health / National Library of Medicing that "enables rapid identification of unknown solid-dosage medications (tablets/capsules) based on physical characteristics and high-resolution images."

We use code forked from kgautreaux/pillboxr to query NLM Pillbox.

  • Green capsule that is approximately 7mm
  • White oval shaped pills with 4 scores
  • Purple capsule about 5 millimeters
  • Blue hexagon with imprint of LL
  • Blue hexagon with 2 scores
  • Blue hexagon
Ask Civ Omega

CivOmega is an awesome open source project for asking questions of public transparency data. The project is supported by the folks at the Sunlight Foundation.

  • What legislative bills are about reform?
  • What bills did Eric Cantor sponsor?
  • Who is talking about climate change?
  • Who visited the White House?
  • When has Beyonce Knowles visited the White House?
Ask Wolfram Alpha

Wolfram Alpha is a "computational knowledge engine" that can handle a lot of different types of questions

We use code forked from mkroman/wolfram-alpha to query Wolfram Alpha.

  • What is 9 times 10?
  • Who is president?
  • What was the population of Texas in 1991?
  • What are the symptoms of a heart attack?
  • What is the nutrition of three eggs?
  • Library of examples
Ask Metro

Demo video including features added during Open Data Day

We to let you get the latest (realtime prediction, not schedule) transportation information for your area, starting with the Washington DC Metro area. We retrieve data from the following sources:

  • WMATA train information directly from WMATA
  • WMATA-operated bus (MetroBus and DC Circulator) from NextBus
  • Other local buses (including ART, CUE, etc.) from Mobility Lab's OneBusAway instance
  • Bikeshare locations from Capital Bikeshare
  • Crime score information from YourMapper.com

Healthy twist: We'll include walking time and distance to the nearest Metro/bikeshare locations so you can get those extra steps in! Calories burned calculations based on average speed of 3 miles per hour and average body weight of 180 pounds for an approximate burn of 6 calories per minute walking.

  • Clarendon
  • Union Station
  • How can I get home from DCA?
  • I want to get away from union station but not in a cab
  • How safe is it to walk around Metro Center?
  • The red line is acting up again. What buses are around Dupont Circle?
How do I install/use this on Glass?

Follow these steps to install and configure the Ask Open Data glassware:

  1. Install the Ask Open Data glassware by clicking 'Connect with Google' in the top right of this page
  2. Follow the standard OAuth flow which will take you back to the Ask Open Data dashboard
  3. From the dashboard, add the contacts that correspond to the data sources you want to be able to ask questions to

Follow these steps to use the glassware you just installed:

  1. Say "OK, Glass"
  2. Say "Take a note"
  3. Say the name of the contact (aka data source) you want to ask a question to
  4. Say the question
  5. Continue whatever you were doing, you will hear the standard notification sound when your timeline has been updated with the answer.
Cool, but how do I uninstall this?

Sorry to hear you want to remove this app from Glass. Here's how you can do it:

  1. You can uninstall Glassware from your device by going to your MyGlass page.
  2. You can remove this app's authorization to access your account by going to your Google Account Permissions page.

When you get a chance, we would appreciate a tweet or email telling us how we could improve.

Is this magic?

In fact, it's not. We use web integrations and APIs from the aforementioned data providers to get you an answer to your questions. Contact us if you have an API request or want some custom glassware made for your API/organization or if you just want to chat!

But not everyone has Google Glass

You're right. We made a conscious effort to include a preview of our glassware available at the top of this page.

We can also text message and even voice-enable any of these data contacts. As an example, text your Metro station to (202) 738-5012.

OK, Who made this awesomeness?

We, Mark Silverberg (@Skram) and Brian Norris (@Geek_Nurse), are on a mission to do meaningful things with open and healthcare data, wearable devices, and social media. Our ultimate goal is to provide tools for citizens including providers and patients.

Learn more about Social Health Insights ยป

We'd like to thank..

This website is powered by Ruby, Sinatra, Heroku, the Google Mirror API, Bootstrap, and their underlying dependencies. Answers are powered by the data providers mentioned above. The 'open package' icon is by Nick Frost.