Checking into Foursquare’s Time Machine

This data visualization below traces the data contrails that I’ve left around the District of Columbia over the past four years.


Foursquare’s Time Machine is a lovely reminder that the stories we can tell with data.

The infographic above, generated by Foursquare crunching 887 of my checkins, represents a life of work, travel and recreation. It’s one, however, that’s wholly created by my intention, as opposed to constant logging of my movements, intentions or experiences.

The map above isn’t even close to a complete snapshot of who I am, or even all of my Foursquare checkins. (I’ve checked in from Europe, Africa, South America and all around the USA.)

I’m quite happy about that, to be honest. There’s so much that exists in the spaces between these shared vignettes that I prefer to keep to myself, friends, family, colleagues or sources.

That said, thank you for the trip back through time, Foursquare.


Filed under application, microsharing, social media, technology

6 responses to “Checking into Foursquare’s Time Machine

  1. Eden Sharp

    The picture may paint a thousand words but it can’t handle grammar. Oh the places I’ve been!

  2. That’s actually pretty cool!! My memory is so rubbish I often rely on my friends memories to recall (which is why I treasure my friends) last 6 weeks has been bonkers would be nice to be able to pull up a kind mind map.

  3. I agree with your point about incompleteness: there is no single system or perspective that can summarize our entire lives (at least, not yet), and I think that fact is essential to our sense of self.

    Also, I’d be interested to see how this data could be used for prediction algorithms – I wonder if we could guess, say, which restaurant you’re most likely to be in on a Tuesday in March.

  4. Wow I like this, but then I don,t. This data could be used against us later.
    Nonetheless incredible tracking device. I like your blogs by the way!

  5. How powerful is data collection these days..

  6. Hey, that’s cool! Sort of takes scrapbooking to the digital level.

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