Like many others you may be thinking to yourself, oh, foursquare, why should I bother with that? Perhaps a good point, however, you have to admit, for the developer looking at the foursquare API there’s some very cool things one can do with location data if you really put your mind to it. Case in point, the Canada Geopolster app (@geopollstercan). The service (developed for The National Post) links a users’ foursquare account to a political affiliation. Then, once users begin to checkin, some interesting patterns begin to appear. For example, to date it seems that the Green Party is most popular in Alberta and Manitoba. At a finer grain, the cities of Edmonton, AB and Sidney, BC are also quite Green. Where it gets really cool is that the data is also starting to indicate that venues like bike shops, museums, soccer stadiums, and even cupcake shops are also popular with users that favor the Green party. You see where this can get a little interesting now? With enough people using the app the political pollsters and campaign mangers could target their efforts at venues where their efforts might payoff. Indeed an interesting concept and I’m sure we’ll see much more if this kind of thing in the future. Foursquare may not be rewarding end users with much value, however, for the developer and those building on the API there could be some huge rewards – this holds for true for developers using any of the social or mobile APIs out there – think Opportunity!
For more about GeoPollster and the use of foursquare in the Canadian Federal election see this article – More Than A Check In (Part 1) – Geopollster, Cast Your Vote When you Check in via foursquare