Foursquare Explore is, of course, coming into its own as a local discovery tool (and is expected to take a major step in its transformation this Thursday), but it’s not the only service using foursquare’s data to try to help you find cool things nearby. The latest is Deja Mi, a free app for iOS and Android that takes a highly visual approach to finding and sharing places.
Deja Mi offers two different ways to discover what’s going on around you. The first is an “around” tab that shows all the photos users have added near your current location (or you can switch to a different area of your choosing). Tapping a photo takes you to an attractive screen that shows more info about the venue (including a map) and other photos that have been taken there. Each photo gets a short caption that describes it and serves as a tip, but at just 32 characters, it’s really too short to be useful.
The other option is the “feed” tab. Like a standard news feed, it shows photos from the people you follow, but you can also follow specific venues — like your favorite restaurant or the bar down the street — and see new photos taken there in your news feed as well.
When you see a photo you like in either of these tabs, you can “nice” it or add a comment, much like Instagram or just about any of the other photo sharing apps out there.
When you share a place on Deja Mi — a photo is required — you’ll find some very basic photo filters for modifying the look of your pictures. The list of venues, of course, comes from foursquare. You can share your photos to Twitter and Facebook, but, sadly, there’s no way to share them back to foursquare in the form of a check-in photo or tip.
Like foursquare, Deja Mi offers a series of incentives — “medals” in this case — to encourage you to keep posting. Your photo can also be selected as the “Best in Show” at a venue.
Deja Mi is available for free for iOS and Android. I wish it had better integration with foursquare by allowing you to share content back to the service instead of just using foursquare for a venue list, but it does offer a different take on exploring nearby places and offers nice visuals. It remains to be seen whether it will be any better than foursquare at finding new things to try nearby.
Give Deja Mi a try and let us know what you think in the comments.