Foursquare provides a brief style guide for venue pages, but it doesn’t go into much detail and doesn’t cover many of the unusual venues users add every day. This style guide helps to fill in those gaps.
It’s been drafted by superusers working together in our forums and remains a work in progress. If you have any ideas to contribute, please join in our discussions.
- Postal style abbreviations (Blvd., St., Rd., etc.) should be used wherever possible
- Directions (East [E], Southwest [SW]) should be abbreviated, unless the direction is the only name of the road (e.g., Northwest Blvd.)
- For some reason, foursquare prefers that you use a period after any abbreviations
- Numeric streets should not be written out (use 8th Ave. instead of Eighth Ave.)
Airports are in a class all by themselves and require their own page for a full explanation.
Commonly Abbreviated Venues
- Write out the full name and then add the abbreviation as an alias to make it easy for users to find using either the full name or the abbreviation. For example, I would write out “United Dairy Farmers” and add its abbreviation, “UDF,” as an alias. Any user with editing rights to a venue can add an alias by changing the name of the venue to the alias you want and then changing it back to its proper name.
- Use the company’s preferred spelling, punctuation and capitalization as seen on their website (e.g., Chick-fil-A)
- If venue is at an intersection, use the nearest cross street preceded by “at” (e.g., “at 6th Ave.”)
- If venue is mid-block, use bordering streets preceded by “btw” (e.g., “btw 5th Ave. & 6th Ave.”)
- For venues in shopping centers, malls, stadiums, etc. whose name is commonly known, use the name of the shopping center/mall preceded by “in” (e.g., “in Broadway Commons”)
- If venue address is on a street whose name is not commonly known, such as a driveway for a shopping center, use the nearest commonly known road name, even if the roads do not technically intersect. For instance, when looking at the map, a store is technically on the corner of Commercial Dr and Access Rd. Both are entrance roads to a shopping center and neither one is signed. Use “at Northwest Blvd” as the cross street for this location since it is the main road in front of the shopping center.
- The street specified in the address should never appear in the cross street field
Gas Stations / Convenience Stores
- For convenience stores that sell gas under a different brand name from the store name, use the convenience store name followed by the gas brand name (e.g., “7-Eleven / Citgo”)
Public Transit Stations
- Use the name of the service followed by the official station name. For example:
- PATH Pavonia / Newport
- BART Montgomery St
- MUNI Irving St & 4th Ave
- State/province names within the US and Canada should be abbreviated using the two letter postal service convention (e.g., NY, OH, ON)
- States/provinces should be used in this field where appropriate for other countries. They should not be abbreviated.
- Use the most common local name for a street to make it easier for users to identify
- In order to keep the main venue findable for searches, do not use the name of the main venue in the title; for example, use “Section 111″ instead of “Safeco Field Section 111″ or “Chick-fil-A” instead of “Chick-fil-A Eastgate Mall”
- Add the main venue name in the address field
- Use the cross street field to add any further identifiers; for example, the cross street for an individual row in Section 111 should be “Section 111″ and the venue name should be “Row L”
- Tag the venue with the name of the main venue to keep all subvenues easily searchable by tag
- Use a map of the venue and place the pin as close as possible to the actual location of the subvenue
- For buildings, use the name of the building for the venue name. Use the street address if it is meaningful; if not, use the university name in the address field
- For classrooms, offices, restaurants, etc. inside other buildings, use the name of classroom, etc. in the venue name; add the building name as the address and the university name as the cross street
- Do not use the university name for any venues other than the main university venue to make sure the main venue appears in search results
Venue Location Identifiers
- Venue location identifiers, such as “Starbucks â€“ 8th Ave,” should be removed from venue names.
Thanks to all the superusers who’ve contributed to this style guide!