Global Positioning Satellites, or GPS, has revolutionized the world. Now with the help of GPS-enabled devices, being lost is quickly becoming obsolete. Not only can people be found who were lost and possibly injured in the deepest wooded area, but drivers can find that hidden shortcut, and walkers and joggers can record their latest achievement.
One of the uses of GPS chips has been inclusion in cell phones over the past decade. Aside from being able to locate you in the event of an emergency when calling 911, it can help navigate unfamiliar territory. The advent of the smartphone has brought apps utilizing the GPS chip such as Google Maps and Foursquare.
“What is Foursquare?” you may ask. It is a social networking platform like Twitter and Facebook, but unlike those websites, Foursquare gets you away from your computer and out exploring. Users can “check in” to various locations from their cell phones, which earn them points and badges. Check in more times at one place, and you will become “Mayor” of that location which might earn you a perk.
Foursquare is about where Twitter was two years ago. It is on the cusp of being the “next big thing” in the world of Web 2.0. Just as organizations jumped on the Twitter bandwagon, they are jumping, or I should say checking in, on the Foursquare bandwagon. VisitPA (the Department of Tourism) has three badges, PA Retail Polka, PA 4 Score & 7, and PA Shooflyer, that users can earn by checking in at certain places around the Commonwealth.
Now Pennsylvania Highways has joined them, and Washington State Department of Transportation and Missouri Department of Transportation, with a Foursquare page. It will be used to give tips on highway-related check in points such as the Squirrel Hill Tunnel or one of the Turnpike interchanges, but only read them on the website or let a passenger read them to you. Perhaps a badge or two will be offered if Foursquare permits it in the future, but before you ask, there will not be a “Pothole Badge.”