When the popular location-based social network Foursquare launched, it quickly attracted users with its game-like features. Now, with over 170,00 users, the service has rapidly become a huge source of data about the popularity of businesses and locations. In November, Foursquare gave developers access to some of this data by releasing an API (check out our Foursquare coverage here). Several applications that used the API were available at launch, with many more on the way. From shopping to games, here are four applications that really show off the potential of Foursquare's API.
SocialGreat: Want to visit your local cafe, but not at a time when it's too busy? SocialGreat is a venue information mashup that combines the best features of Foursquare, Yelp, and Twitter into a real-time popularity dashboard. SocialGreat can help you find out what the next big hot spot is, by providing information about a venue's trending popularity over time. SocialGreat also lets venue owners add extra information about their businesses.
Yipit: If there's going to be a "killer app" in location aware computing, it just might be a tool that helps shoppers find the best nearby deals. Yipit uses information about a user's Foursquare check-ins to deliver custom sales specials from stores in the area. Yipit is currently limited to New York City, but it does feature an API of its own.
FourTap: Most London commuters use an Oyster contactless smartcard to pay for train and Underground trips. FourTap is an interesting mashup that allow Oyster card taps to send a check-in message to Foursquare. FourTap is example of ways in which devices other than mobile phones can be integrated with the Foursquare service. FourTap is currently just a demo, but you can follow its development via twitter. Check out a video demonstration.
Mob Zombies: This game from L.A.'s Nodesnoop Labs combines two of pop culture's hottest trends: Zombies and iPhone games. Mob Zombies uses check-in data from Foursquare to generate hordes of enemies to destroy (or run away from), turning your own neighborhood into an ever changing zombie survival game. Even better, Mob Zombies also lets users post zombie related shouts to their Foursquare friends. Check out this gameplay trailer.