Our friends at Checkin.to made us these awesome infographics to map out the first 12 hours of SXSWi check-ins. Using aggregated public checkins from Foursquare and Gowalla, they’ve built a beautiful visualization of activity from 6pm to 6am on Friday night in Austin, TX.
Checkin.to is just now on the cusp of transitioning from side project to seed-stage startup. The idea originated over 10 months ago at GoogleIO when hacker Zac Witte was in a taxi with a friend moving from one party to another.
“I know there are a lot of after-parties and if we could only use all that location data out there, we could find out where the best ones are,” Witter said.
Furthermore, Witte thought that if he could highlight the hotspots where people are that have also checked in at GoogleIO, he would run into people he had chatted with earlier in the day. As any hacker would do, he wrote up a little script to start collecting checkins posted on Twitter that weekend.
“I have a bit of an obsession with real-time data so Checkin.to has been a lot of fun for me to work on, but recently the focus has shifted more toward building a consumer product. I think there is an incredible wealth of information sitting in the databases of location services that isn’t being used to its fullest potential. My goal is to bring greater intelligence back to the users by communicating this data in such a way that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. We’re building great products that stay simple, concise, and beautiful. We have some very interesting plans for the future.” -Checkin.to Founder Zac Witte
They have both a web app and iPhone app that just went live, check it out here. The app helps you find the hot locations in real-time including who’s there and what they’re saying. “Find your Friends” using your Twitter following list and Foursquare friends. The iPhone release is a bare-bones utility for people to use at SXSW but Witte plans on focusing on mobile going forward. The web interface has more features including highlighting checkins from people you know and allowing you to share places you find on Twitter. You can also filter by category of place, names of people, and the keywords in their tweet. If you want a party, filter by “party” to see who’s talking about it. Checkin.to has collected over 73 million public checkins from nearly 2 million individual users and 2 million unique locations after merging data from Foursquare and Gowalla.
The first 48 hours of SXSWi infrographic will be coming soon, stay tuned.