Engineering Behind Foursquare’s Accuracy!

Newbie, Explorer,  Super User, Local, Superstar, Super Mayor, Zoetrope, Baker’s Dozen, Great  Outdoor, Munchies, Over share, Naan-sense, Bookworm, etc, etc,. Confused ?? Those who use Foursquare will definitely came across these terms. Yes! It’s badges from foursquare. Great concept and we are sure you’ll get addicted to this thing when you check-in once or twice.

Ever wondered how it all works ?? Foursquare’s database currently includes 60 million venues and they are now ready to explain how it is maintained. It’s all about data. Michael Li who is the Data Scientist at Foursquare explained the math behind the data.

To maintain the accuracy of our venue database, these changes are voted upon by our loyal Superusers (SUs) who vigilantly maintain a watchful eye over our data for their city or neighborhood. They are interested in making statements like.

“we are 99% confident that each entry is correct.” How do we allocate points to users in a way that rewards them for behavior but allows us to make guarantees about the accuracy of our database ??

ZOmbies Loung
Zombies Lounge


Measuring performance and using these probabilities correctly is the key to how they assign points to a Superuser’s vote. The Benefits of using that algorithm was Efficient, data-driven guarantees about database accuracy, Still using points, just smart about calculating them, Salable and easily extensible.

Check here the math behind Foursquare’s accuracy. The Mathematics of Gamification.

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