No matter what privacy measures foursquare has in place, there are some people who will never be comfortable constantly feeding their location into foursquare’s massive database. But thanks to that massive location database, there’s no better app for tracking the places you’ve been.
That’s why former Flickr developer Aaron Straup Cope has created Privatesquare at the Near Future Laboratory. It’s a self-hosted system that pulls from foursquare’s location database, but lets you check-in without sharing yourÂ whereaboutsÂ with foursquare. Since it’s on your own server, the data is all stored privately, but you can choose to share certain check-ins with foursquare (and then on to Twitter or Facebook).
“I donâ€™t tell foursquare about a lot of stuff simply because Iâ€™m not comfortable putting that data in to their sandbox,” says Cope in a blog post. “So as much as anything privatesquare is about making a place to file those things away safely for future consideration. A kind of personalÂ zone of safekeeping.”
Privatesquare also introduces a few unique tags to go with each check-in. “I am here” and “I was there” are the most similar to foursquare’s current check-in model, while “I want to go there” is similar to foursquare’s to-do list. The “Again,” “Again Again,” “Again Maybe” and “Again Never” offer a way to track how you felt about a place instead of simply saying you were there. Eventually you could create a list of the places you’ve tagged “Again Again,” for example, and send it to a friend as recommendations for a trip.
If you want to try Privatesquare yourself, you’ll need to install it on your own server. Everything is available on Github. The installation instructions call for a certain level of geekery, but don’t appear too difficult if you’re used to working with databases and OAuth. There’s currently no way to view or export your history without digging directly into the database.
Privatesquare could be a nice option for folks who aren’t comfortable sharing with foursquare. For me, the privacy options are just fine, but can understand why there are some who would prefer to keep everything to themselves.
If you happen to give Privatesquare a try, let us know what you think in the comments.