Home Prize-Winning Foursquare Hack Helps You Plan Your Next Trip

Prize-Winning Foursquare Hack Helps You Plan Your Next Trip

Last weekend, Foursquare held its second hackathon, a worldwide, weekend-long affair in which hundreds of developers tinkered away and built new location-based apps and tools on top of Foursquare’s API. There were about 100 hacks submitted for consideration and today Foursquare announced the winners.

Taking the top prize is a handy little Web app called Plan My Next Trip, which uses your Foursquare history to recommend things to do when you visit other cities.

For example, let’s say I’m planning a weekend trip to Boston and I’m not too familiar with what kinds of restaurants, shops and entertainment venues to check out while I’m there. Normally I might Google around or wait until I get there and pick up an alternative newsweekly to check the local listings (old school, I know).

With Plan My Next Trip, all I need to do is authenticate my Foursquare account and then enter the name of the city or town I’m heading to. It will take my friendships and past check-ins into account and spit out a two-day itinerary for me. If friends of mine have been there, it will let me know. If they’ve left tips, I can read them. Venues that are currently popular on Foursquare will be noted as such.

The project comes from Benjamin Netter, a Web developer based in Paris. The day-to-day itinerary it builds starts with an ideal spot to get breakfast and then continues on to other venues throughout the day and evening, Netter told us. The schedule includes a mix of venue types, like food, drink, arts and public parks and tries to build a list of places to go that are relatively close together.

When I do a search for Washington, D.C., one of the recommendations is Chinatown Coffee Company. Foursquare knows I check into a coffee shop almost everyday. It also knows that my friend Jeff has checked into that cafe five times and my friend Daniel checked in once as well. Those guys don’t even know each other.

The results can be a little mixed sometimes. As part of my theoretical trip to D.C., it recommends that I stop at Safeway. Depending on the scope and purpose of my trip, I may not need to go to a grocery store. It’s okay, though, because at 10pm, Plan My Next Trip tells me to go “get drunk” at The Passenger, a popular bar that Jeff and Daniel have both been to several times. Sounds like a plan.

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