Location-based social network Foursquare has launched a new part of its website, called ‘The Best of Foursquare 2012’, which ranks places and businesses across the US based on the billions of check-ins and review data uploaded by its users.

The company has used a wide variety of data, including tips, likes, dislikes, overall popularity and local expertise, coupled with nearly three billion check-ins from more than 30 million people worldwide.

The Best of Foursquare 2012 webpage then pulls all of this data togther, creating individual databases for 30 cities including San Francisco, New York and Chicago.

“One of the things our data shows is how each city is unique,” a blog post on the Foursquare website reads. “Bostonians love seafood, Portland is a veggie paradise, and Philly may be the city of brotherly love, but what they really love is a good sandwich. Since no two cities are the same, each page is customized to help you get a feel for the local flavor.”

bestof4sq 730x407 After nearly 3 billion check ins, Foursquare reveals its top places across the US for 2012

Once you’ve clicked on the city of your choosing, you can then instantly see the top ten businesses associated with each category, such as the “Best of Food” or “Best of Nightlife”. Each list shows not only an image of the place, but also their overall rating, a link to their Foursquare profile page and a button a button for saving it to your account.

The data is far more useful though when you start breaking it down by individual categories. For the “Best of Food” category, for example, it’s also possible to filter the results based on the type of food they serve, such as burgers, pizza or baked goods.

While “The Best of Foursquare 2012” webpage is probably just a one off, it further emphasizes the company’s position as a location-based recommendation service. It will always be known for its badges, mayorships and instant check-ins, but Foursquare is clearly looking at a much wider and relevant role in the mobile space – being able to show not only what places and businesses are around you, but also which ones are actually worth checking out.

The release today follows a widespread outage of the company’s mobile apps on January 24, as well as a new, dedicated iPhone app for businesses.

The company also announced a “strategic data syndication” deal with the Voice Media Group earlier this month, which will allow the content provider’s Voice Places event data to appear throughout the Foursquare service.