One of the more interesting parts of the social media landscape is the location-based social media services like Foursquare and Facebook Places.  Location-based social media uses the GPS device in a smartphone to recognize where you are and allow you to alert your network of contacts (as well as businesses) know where you are at a given moment.  Of course, there are some clear concerns about privacy with these tools and I do recommend that you use them with caution.  With that said, you can have fun with them and get some great conversations started with friends about specific places.  For example, I recently “checked in” at Roly Poly of Cary (one of my favorite sandwich shops near my office) using Facebook Places and it kicked off a discussion among a few contacts about how great their food is.  One person even mentioned that she used to eat at one in college and wasn’t aware that RP was in this area.  I was glad to share the locations with her and I hope that she enjoys it as much as I do!

Today, I came across a neat visualization tool called Weeplaces that shows on a map all of the places where you’ve checked in, in sequence and runs it as a small “movie.”  Here’s a look at the sequence for my Foursquare and Facebook Places accounts:

Pretty interesting and Weeplaces has plans to add integration for Twitter and Flickr in the future.  From a personal level, this tool doesn’t really provide you with much beyond a “wow, isn’t this fun” factor.  However, if a business could do this for everyone that checks in at their location, it would be a great way to see where your audience is coming from, and that would be really neat!