Foursquare tracks a ton of info from users checking in with the location-based social network. But until now, Foursquare Engineers admit in a blog post on the site, their data was mostly used to track popular bars.
When it came to discovering any other information, scouring Foursquare for trends required lots of coding and programming know-how. The Engineers set out to find a way for anyone in the company to access any check-in data their little geo-locating hearts desire. Their problem-solving process is detailed in a post on Foursquare's blog.
Most of the blog post is a geek fest (If you're down with Apace and parallel data processing, check it out). But they test their new technique with a pretty revealing little study that could impact your next out-of-town move:
"Lets say we want to find the city with the rudest citizens, judged by how often a tip left in that city contains a curse word... After 5 minutes of waiting, we have a list of top 20 offenders (highest % of tips containing curse words):
Even though the data points more towards the cities with the biggest potty-mouths than cities with rude people, it's still really cool (or scary) to see how seemingly silly tech like bar check-ins can help us learn more about the world.