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How can I find stats and information about Foursquare usage? I am looking for the place in the US where Foursquare is most popular.

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And I was curious where is the exact location with the most foursquare checkins in the world! –  thunderror Dec 5 '10 at 8:48

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up vote 12 down vote accepted

With a little googling I couldn't easily find any good stats. However, the most popular venues seem to be transport hubs—particularly airports—and the US is the country where Foursquare has the most users... So I came up with this worldwide top 10 list:

  1. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) ~ 969,000 checkins as of Jan 14, 2013
  2. Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) ~ 909,000
  3. Chicago O'Hare International Airport (ORD) ~ 907,000
  4. San Francisco International Airport (SFO) ~ 867,000
  5. Siam Paragon mall, Bangkok ~ 681,000
  6. New York Penn Station ~ 631,000
  7. Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, Jakarta (CGK) ~ 590,000
  8. John F Kennedy International Airport (JFK) ~ 587,000
  9. Denver International Airport (DEN) ~ 573,000
  10. Shinjuku Station, Tokyo ~ 562,000

I checked this against a list of busiest airports and I'd guess these venues indeed are among the ones with most checkins.

Some observations:

  • SFO, serving hip and techy SF Bay Area, used to be the most popular venue for years, but as Foursquare has gone more mainstream, the top has started to align more with passenger traffic stats.
  • For a long time, the lone non-airport venue to make the list was New York Penn Station.
  • With latest updates, venues outside the US have started appearing on the list (Jakarta airport, Siam Paragon mall, Shinjuku Station). Bubbling under are Suvarnabhumi Airport, Bangkok (537k) and Aeroporto de Congonhas, São Paulo (450k).
  • Some popular non-transport venues not to make the list include Disneyland (266k), Times Square (237k), and Madison Square Garden (166k).

If I missed something, leave a comment, or update the list yourself!


Out of curiosity, I also gathered a list of top 10 most popular venues in European Union:

  1. Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS) ~ 303,000 checkins as of Jan 14, 2013
  2. Station Amsterdam Centraal ~ 205,000
  3. London Heathrow Airport (LHR) ~ 148,000
  4. Helsinki-Vantaa Airport (HEL) ~ 143,000
  5. Kauppakeskus Kamppi (a mall in Helsinki) ~ 118,000
  6. Helsinki Central Railway Station ~ 110,000
  7. London Waterloo Railway Station ~ 106,000
  8. Terminal 5 at LHR ~ 99,000
  9. Copenhagen Airport (CPH) ~ 97,000
  10. London Paddington Railway Station ~ 93,000

Again, I probably overlooked some popular places, so feel free to edit.

Compared to population, the Netherlands, Finland, and Denmark seem to be over-represented in Foursquare use, while hugely busy spots like Charles de Gaulle Airport (73k), Eiffel Tower (53k), or Piccadilly Circus (38k) have relatively few check-ins. Also, in EU the list is not completely dominated by airports. Fastest climber in last year was Helsinki airport, along with other Helsinki venues.

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Great work. However these are all tourist areas. I think I'm more interested in those who are using Foursquare right around their home. However, prior to your post, I hadn't considered this extra criteria. You also pointed me to a resource on the Foursquare site that I hadn't noticed yet. –  John Berryman Dec 5 '10 at 22:42
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Malls can often beat airports. For instance Siam Paragon mall in Bangkok has more checkins than Bangkok Airport, and given your existing list, Siam Paragon would now rank 3rd. –  sobri Dec 30 '12 at 7:33
    
@sobri: Thanks, it's now included. I couldn't quickly find any other malls to make the top 10 though (e.g. busiest malls in US only have modest amount of checkins). –  Jonik Jan 14 '13 at 21:56
    
@Jonik Yeah, I'm not finding any others making the top 10 yet either. Central World in Bangkok is the world's 7th biggest mall, but it's "only" at 324k checkins. Large malls in China appear to have low checkin counts (I guess Foursquare isn't big there). Possibly Siam Paragon is more an exception than a rule. –  sobri Jan 17 '13 at 11:49

As an alternative to my hand-researched list, there's a site called 4sqstat.com which provides a more automated access to some Foursquare checkin stats.

It groups checkins by city, and within each city you can easily see most popular venues, optionally filtering them by category. Examples:

Some limitations:

  • You cannot see a top list of all venues worldwide (nor grouped by country)
  • You can only browse stats for about 40 cities in the world. (For example, you can't see anything for Denver, though Denver Airport is the 9th busiest venue in the world.)
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