A while back I got an export of my Foursquare/Swarm data. If you’re not familiar, these were a pair of apps that were used for “checking-in” to particular locations, with a sort of gamification system where if you checked in at a place often enough, you would earn points and eventually become “Mayor” of the venue. The idea being that owners of those venues might give some benefits to those who check-in often at those locations (AFAIK, this never really caught on in the Philippines). I wasn’t a super active user of Foursquare/Swarm, I had maybe 500ish check-ins from 2010-2017 when I stopped using it. Some people are still using it up to now and have thousands of check-ins, although as far as I can tell it’s no longer very popular in the Philippines.
For example, one of the venues with the most number of check-ins for me is BBQ Chicken, a now-closed Korean-themed BBQ chicken place in Ortigas near where I used to work. Another one with a lot of check-ins would be Murphy’s in Makati where we did a lot of quiz nights from 2011-2013. Obviously, the location data isn’t complete and doesn’t capture all my visits, since I didn’t use Foursquare/Swarm that religiously anyway. I’m certain I’ve eaten at BBQ Chicken more than the 18 times I checked in!
What about privacy?
Actually telling the internet where you are all the time might seem a bit anathema to the more privacy-conscious modern world, but I do like having a history of where I’ve been. I even have location tracking enabled on my phone via Google Maps so that I can have a timeline of where I am on a day-by-day basis. I’ve used it more than once to answer queries like “do you know if we went to
That being said, I did scrub some old check-ins from this data (and the corresponding data on Swarm and on Twitter if it was cross-posted)) that was a bit too close to home. I know this data potentially allows bad guys or assassins or whatnot to figure out where I live, so I thought I’d at least make it a tiny bit more difficult.
This is just a neat little thing that probably only I will care about, as it lets me see some of the places I’ve been to. And I probably won’t be using 4sq/Swarm again, so the dataset probably won’t be growing. That being said, I do want to add some future features like grouping the check-ins according to trips, so I can see all the particular places where I went to on particular trips. Many of my trips are missing data though; for example, my only check-in in France was in the airport, and not at any of the touristy places we went to. I may try to supplement this data with selected extracts from my Google Maps location history (hopefully it’s easy to figure out!).
I also don’t know where to put the locations page in the menus lol. I’ll figure it out sooner or later!