As I am obsessed with Foursquare lately, I’ve been looking at how to do more stuff with it beyond just checking in (when I’m fortunate enough to have a data connection). I looked at the feeds available and was a bit underwhelmed because the data was quite limiting. The best part about Foursquares were the badges, and you had to work with the API in order to get that data. And that was intimidating.
On this lazy Sunday, I decided to finally take a crack at it. I had an idea, and a quick search on Facebook showed that no one had done this before. I wanted to take the badges that I’ve received on Foursquare and display them on my Facebook profile. This little project used a lot of new technologies that I haven’t really played with before: the Facebook API, the Foursquare API, OAuth, and JSON (or XML parsing but I decided I might as well try something new here too). Surprisingly, it was quite easy.
Using a Foursquare API library and some sample code, I was able to setup the authentication using OAuth in an hour. It was quite simple, and just works! Setting up the Facebook App was a bit more confusing but they weren’t really technical challenges but just understanding the terminology. In fact that, and coding the various possible user scenarios took the largest amount of time.
I finished my Foursquare Badges Facebook application in one day (and even had time to write this blog). I was surprised that the APIs and interfaces worked so smoothly together, I guess the maturity of web applications and mashups is quite far along. Maybe I should spend more time playing in this space again.