How to map out your Foursquare checkins on Google Maps

Some of you probably saw my very first post here that talked about mapping my Foursquare checkin history to Google Maps. Although I do this every year, something in the process always changes as websites disappear and new services appear on the scene. So for the sake of putting it down on paper definitively, here is how to map out your Foursquare checkins (some knowledge of web markup required).

DIfficulty: Easy to Moderate

Step 1: Grab your feed history at Foursquare. Foursquare makes this incredibly simple with a dedicated page just for this task. Head on over to and COPY the "KML" feed URL (don't click on it just yet because you need to add something to the end of the URL).

Get your Foursquare checkin history

Get your Foursquare checkin history

Step 2: Paste the URL in your browser, adding the following to the very end: ?count=25.

This number can be changed depending on how often you checkin. Whatever number you enter is how many entries Foursquare downloads using the link. So, let's say you want to download the last 1000 checkins, you would type the entire KML URL with '?count=1000' at the end (don't include the quotation marks). A KML file will download to your computer.

Step 3: Now open the downloaded KML file in a text editor. It will look like a mess of jumbled words at first, but just know that every Foursquare checkin is placed between two markup tags:

<Placemark> & </Placemark>

Between these two tags in the text document are a bunch of information noting the location name, time, date, and coordinates of the checkin. Every checkin begins with "<Placemark>" and ends with "</Placemark>" so you will see this markup tag repeat many times if you checkin frequently. If you want to map only a range of dates, make sure the downloaded file includes the whole range of dates first (it's just trial and error with the URL above), and then edit the document and delete any checkin before or after the range of dates you wish to keep.

Step 4: Create a custom Google Map at this link:

Create a custom Google Map

Create a custom Google Map

This custom map will save to your Google Drive. Hit 'Create a new map', then in the Untitled layer, hit 'Import' and choose the KML file you downloaded (remember to save the KML file again if you edited it in a text editor).

And that's it! Now you have an interactive and saveable map of all of your Foursquare checkins! I do this every year to visualize where I've been and now so can you! Enjoy!