Ever sat around on a Saturday night, bored out of your mind? If only there was a way to figure out where in town all the cool stuff was happening! Back in the day, you’d have to know people who would invite you to parties or happen to catch a glance at events posted around campus. Foursquare changed all that. The location-based social networking service lets you see where your friends are, which can alert you to where cool things are happening. However, Foursquare’s Trending feature doesn’t give you a whole lot of data to work with. That’s where Heat Tracker comes in.
Heat Tracker is a free iPhone app that uses the Foursquare API for one simple purpose; it shows you the locations in your city that are getting a lot (or not so many) Foursquare check-ins. Locations with a lot of check-ins are either “heating up” or “on fire”. Likewise, places with relatively few check-ins are “cool”. The app also lets you see the gender proportions of the check-ins at each locations. Wondering if that party you’re planning on going to is a dude-fest? Heat Tracker just might be able to tell you.
Another nice feature of Heat Tracker is that it links each venue you select to both Foursquare and Yelp. This is especially useful when looking for good restaurants. Want to find a place that’s not too crowded, but still great? This app will do the trick.
There’s one big caveat, though; you really can’t rely on this app for representative data. Yes, a lot of people use Foursquare, but a lot more don’t. For now, think of it as a way to find venues filled with tech-savvy people with smartphones. However, that number is growing daily. Heat Tracker is already really useful; it will only get more useful in the future.