Irreplaceable: the role of place information in a location based service

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Location is no longer only a backdrop of mobile device usage, as current location-based services (LBS) can customise content based on a user's geographic position. The application Foursquare has emerged as a leading commercial LBS. One of the first LBS to reach a large, global audience, Foursquare features geosocial networking, place listings, user reviews and recommendations. With physical place as the organising concept of the application, Foursquare combines locative technology with social media features to give users the ability to interact with place by writing place reviews, uploading photos or creating place listings into its database. The application enables users to access, create and share geographically relevant information in ways that would have been difficult before the advent of locative media. To explore how people were using LBS in relation to their places, a small-scale ethnographic study of Foursquare users was conducted using interviews, remote observation and contextual inquiry. The findings of the study indicate that Foursquare users sought, appreciated and made creative use of the application's geographically relevant place information.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123-132
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Location Based Services
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 3 Apr. 2014


  • Foursquare
  • geolocation applications
  • location based services
  • locative media
  • mobile information access
  • space and place


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