Find the spring break parties with Foursquare

Jacob Nahin

With less than 10 days until spring break, students are all asking their friends the same question: “Where will you be?”

When the flash mobs form and the party starts you don’t want to be the last one to hear about it. Your solution: Foursquare.

Like other location-based services (LBS), Foursquare uses your phone’s GPS to find your position. Distinguishing itself from normal a standard LBS meant to get from one location to another, Foursquare lets you “check-in” at different locations, competing to become the “mayor” of a specific place or gain access to discounts available only to Foursquare users.

Foursquare also functions like other social networks in that once you have signed up, you are able to see the location of other people you have befriended on the service.

So how does this help you find your friends during spring break?

Let’s say you have arrived in San Diego to meet your Foursquare-using friends for that oh-so-fun midnight beach party. One problem. You forgot to get to the address. You call one of those dependable friends, John, but the music in the background drowns out his slurred words so you can’t hear the directions. Fortunately, John remembered to check-in to Foursquare. Using the Foursquare app on your smart-phone, you find his location and make it to the party long before the sun comes up.

Here’s a second example. Slowly, that boisterous party starts to resemble a quiet coffee house. Where did everyone go? Did the party move somewhere else? Back to Foursquare.