Category Archives: Foursquare Engineering Blog

Foursquare Engineering Blog

Good Tech Lead, Bad Tech Lead

A brief guide to tech leadership at Foursquare, inspired by Ben Horowitz’s Good Product Manager, Bad Product Manager. Teamwork Good tech leads act as a member of the team, and consider themselves successful when the team is successful. They take the … Continue reading

Mongo on Hadoop

At Foursquare, one of our most important pieces of data infrastructure is getting a copy of our production Mongo database into Hadoop. Today, we’re open-sourcing two parts of this job, a utility to dump Mongo to Hadoop, and code to … Continue reading

The Mathematics of Gamification

At Foursquare, we maintain a database of 60 million venues. And like the world it represents, our database is ever-changing, with users from all over the world submitting updates on everything from the hours of a restaurant to the address … Continue reading

Foursquare’s new notifications and the future of contextual mobile experiences

For the last year I’ve been obsessed with a new breed of mobile applications that are aware of a user’s context: who they are, where they are in the world, and what is going on around them.  Apps like Dark Sky, Google … Continue reading

A chat about data science and our fun visualizations

A little while back, I gave a talk on a Big Data Panel at the Stanford Graduate School of Business’s China 2.0 conference.  We had a great discussion about the uses of data science and the fun visualizations we do with … Continue reading

How we built our Model Training Engine

At Foursquare, we have large-scale machine-learning problems. From choosing which venue a user is trying to check in at based on a noisy GPS signal, to serving personalized recommendations, discounts, and promoted updates to users based on where they or … Continue reading

Foursquare Native Auth on iOS and Android: Developers, connect your users more quickly than ever

A few weeks ago we were excited to announce one of our most-wished-for features from our developer community, native authentication for iOS, and today we’re happy to announce we’ve also shipped support for native auth on Android in our latest … Continue reading

Machine learning at Foursquare

In March, I spoke at Queens Open Tech about machine learning at Foursquare. The talk gives a nice overview of the kinds of insights we have about human behavior from check-in data and our machine-learning setup. Learn how we used … Continue reading

Quattroshapes: A Global Polygon Gazetteer from Foursquare

Foursquare geographic infrastructure relies on numerous pieces of open geo software: PostGIS, GDAL, Shapely, Fiona, QGIS, S2, and JTS as well as open geographic data: OSM, geonames.org, US Census’ TIGER, Canada’s geogratis, Mexico’s INEGI and EuroGeoGraphics to name a few. … Continue reading

Load tests for the real world

The gold standard for systems performance measurement is a load test, which is a deterministic process of putting a demand on a system to establish its capacity. For example, you might load test a web search cluster by playing back … Continue reading