Visualizing Foursquare Check Ins

As of June 2011, Foursquare has 10 million members. I am one of those members, and am a big advocate of Foursquare. But recently more and more people I chat to about Foursquare say they are bored with it, and don't see the point in using it any more. "I don't care if someone checks-in at a McDonald's drive-through", said one colleague. According to many sources, Foursquare are shedding users faster than they are gaining them.

Let's not forget, Foursquare was created as a game. Get points for check ins to different places, and pit yourself against your friends and colleagues. But for many, the boredom factor has kicked in. Check in at the same place over and over, and the points dwindle. If (like me) you travel around a lot, mayorships are stuff of dreams.

So what's left to play with if you're stuck for points and over the mayorship honeymoon? At the end of the day, each Foursquare check-in leaves a data footprint. Strip it back to it's basic function, and Foursquare is essentially a location memory system. It tracks how many times you check into a particular place, and your most popular categories. This leaves a nice potential for data visualisation.


Step forward Weeplaces.com. WeePlaces makes use of your Foursquare data by creating geoprofiles, a personal page of your check in experiences.  That way, they can store and organize your geodata to create an amazing Foursquare visualization. Here's the visualisation I created back in May;


A Year of foursquare Check Ins from Simon H on Vimeo.

Give it a go yourself, and check our my Travel Map for more check ins.

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