One of the more interesting things about data is how it gets used. Specifically, I’m talking about when companies use data as a marketing tool for infographics, product promotion or just something cool.

For anyone not familiar with Foursquare, it’s a geo-location app for iPhone, Blackberry or Android that allows you to “check in” to a store or restaurant.  Some retailers will have an offer or discount for checking into their business while the system has badges to reward you activity.  (In a moment of braggadociousness, you can check out all my badges here.)

With Foursquare 101 out of the way, take a look at something dandy they are doing with their service where they are presenting a visual representation of the last few months of check-ins. Cities they’ve mapped out include New York, London, and Moscow, but you can enter any city you’d like, like Walla Walla, Washington.

I love when companies can use data creatively. Until this heat map, I pictured a server with a counter somewhere sitting in a dark, cold room just clicking away every time someone makes a check-in. It’s good to see how Foursquare activity is being used.

Give this a click and see how your city performs.

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