Foursquare Latest Checkins Widget

Foursquare Latest Checkins Widget Screenshot

Foursquare Latest Checkins Widget

I just released the first public version of my newest WordPress Plugin.

The Widget displays your latest Foursquare checkins in your sidebar. There are quite a few plugins out there that offer similar or even more features, but my motivation was, that I wanted the venue icons to show up as well. After a bit of research I found out, that the only way would be to use Foursquare’s API and not the private RSS feed most of the other developer used for easy integration.

Since I didn’t want to learn yet another API I just used Yahoo’s awesome YQL to get out the data I wanted. There is no caching impemented in the plugin at the moment, so it would be wise (anyway) to have some kind of page caching mechanism installed on your WordPress blog, otherwise it might slow down page loads, because of the sometimes relatively high latency of YQL calls.

Head over to the Foursquare Latest Checkins Plugin page to download.

Feel free to comment with feature requests, questions and criticism. I’ll try to answer it all!

YQL – Yahoo! Query Language

YQL - Yahoo! Query Language Logo

The Yahoo! Query Language is an expressive SQL-like language that lets you query, filter, and join data across Web services.

YQL’s possibilities are virtually endless, say you want to get specific Flickr Images containing a defined word in the title, or you want to geo-code some addresses on the fly. YQL makes those tasks extremely easy by just forming a simple query that gathers the data. Output can be switched between JSON and XML, so you can choose whatever fits best for your application.

The best way to go about using a YQL service is as follows:

  • Construct your query using the YQL Console and try out if it gives you the right result.
  • Copy the REST Query URL the console gives you at the bottom and insert it into your web app. There are even examples in the documentation on how to use REST queries in different programming environments.

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