Why data science matters to Foursquare

Since its most recent update, Foursquare users now spend 30% more time with the check-in app. And it wouldn’t have been possible without the input of data scientist Blake ShawWhen a user checks in to Foursquare, the location-sharing app does more than just check them in. It also notes the location using the phone’s GPS tracker, the strength of any surrounding Wi-Fi networks and also collects data on the distance to the closest mobile towers. And when this data is collected from a community of 40 million (and more than five billion check-ins), it gives the company an incredibly valuable data set.Breaking it down further, this means that when a user attempts to check in, Foursquare can predict where they are, even if they’re in the underground basement of a coffee shop without any reception. How? Because after four years of checking in various users, another Foursquare user has probably faced a similar lack of signal in the same venue and connected to a wifi network to check in.
http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/jan/27/why-data-science-matters-to-foursquare

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