Yelp shares global crowdsourced user data on restaurants across cities (such as Phoenix, Madison and Edinburgh) in its Dataset Challenge for participating researchers to build tools and provide research on urban trends and behavior. Along with the usual content associated with Yelp's database (reviews, locations, restaurant names), in Round 8 of the challenge Yelp has also included photos in the dataset.
The dataset file is available on the website to the public for participating researchers. Interested individuals must simply complete an online form. The data is available via a file composed of a single object type, one json-object per line.
Participants are encouraged to use the Yelp dataset "in an innovative way and [to] break ground in research." This includes research in social trends, location mining and urban planning, Natural Language Processing (NLP), Changepoints and Events, and much more.