Many Singaporeans would be familiar with Foursquare – the mobile application that makes personalised recommendations of the best or most popular nearby amenities such as food or entertainment outlets, based on a user’s location and search data.
However, Foursquare is much more than just a lifestyle app – it is actually a location intelligence company that is rapidly expanding its presence in Asia (with its base located in Singapore). Joining GeoWorks as a GeoPartner last year, its partnership allows users of SLA’s OneMap app to access Points of Interests (PoIs) and amenities in a selected area.
With several exciting plans under its belt, and surely more to come, GeoWorks speaks to Ms Aditi Kohli, who has recently joined as Managing Director, APAC at Foursquare.
Aditi comes with extensive experience in the new media and location technology space, having worked for Near.co, Walt Disney, Turner & Viacom in Singapore.
Tell us about Foursquare and its solutions
Foursquare is a location intelligence company headquartered in New York City, USA. We launched over 10 years ago as a consumer-facing app for sharing location and exploring.
Many people are familiar with the Foursquare brand through our consumer-facing service, but what many do not know is that our company has shifted to focus our efforts on Business-to-Business (B2B) services.
We still operate our apps and are proud of our loyal user base. However, we have evolved into a location data and technology platform that helps developers, brands, and marketers better leverage location data and capabilities around the globe.
What is something about Foursquare that the general public might not know?
What people may not realise is that they are using Foursquare data almost every day, even if they do not have our apps on their phones!
Our data and technology have been used to power services in Samsung phones, in popular social media and messaging apps such as WeChat, LINE, Twitter and Snapchat, and even in pinpointing Grab and GoJek’s pickup and drop-off locations.
How has your experience with GeoWorks been?
GeoWorks has been a great partner in helping us make connections with the location industry in Singapore. I had met some really talented people through GeoWorks events and I am glad that we have had the chance to be a part of the GeoWorks family.
How does geospatial technology help you in your work?
I love digging into problems together with developers to come up with new and interesting ways to leverage location intelligence, be it for consumer services, analytics, or other use cases. Using geospatial data helps companies get smarter and better, and I am happy to be a part of that journey of discovery for our customers.
Are there any challenges that come with working with geospatial technology?
There are many! Data can be patchy and at the same time, regulations are constantly increasing and changing.
As such, maintaining a high level of data quality and retaining the ability to capture the right signals for use in a commercial setting is getting more and more difficult.
It's a challenge that we as an industry need to stay ahead of, although we regard it as something that will hopefully make the industry better in the long run.
In your opinion, what skills are needed to work in the geospatial industry?
Working in the geospatial industry requires a balance of art and science.
Data and analytics are a massive part of being effective in the geospatial industry, but understanding consumer behaviour and thinking of creative ways to better engage consumers are often even more important.
I, for one, enjoy the challenge of coming up with ways to better leverage location information and to map out a proposal for the client that can help them to have better data collection. This in turn would mean that the client can better enhance consumer experiences.
Do you have any advice for aspiring entrepreneurs?
Know your customer. Propose solutions that solve your customers’ requirements so they can be prepared for the future. Seeking ongoing feedback from your customers and improving your products and services will build advocacy and trust and enhance growth for your business.
Find out more about the partnership between OneMap and Foursquare here: