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Infographic: Foursquare’s New Tool Maps Your Check-Ins

As we amass more and more data about ourselves, the big challenge will be creating tools that help us put it to use in productive, positive ways. A quantified self is not necessarily an improved one. In the meantime, though, some personalized eye-candy can’t hurt.

Foursquare launched its own visualization tool last week, letting users view their last 12 months of activity in a few different ways. In each, check-ins are represented by colorful little badges. You can sort them by date or by category, which line the badges up into orderly little rows. The latter will probably just confirm what you already know: you go out for coffee way too often.

A circular “connections” view is a little more insightful, showing all the different places you went throughout the year after checking in at a certain location. Here, you might get confirmation of things you already knew deep down but never really liked to acknowledge. You’ll be able to see, say, where you tend to check-in after sessions at the gym. Take-out food joints? Oh well, you’ve earned it, or something.

As the company wrote in a blog post accompanying the release, the tool is “just our small way of saying, ‘Thanks! We think you’re awesome.’” Also a small way of saying think how much cooler these would look if you used Foursquare more often.

Try it out for yourself here.

[Hat tip: Gizmodo]

Derived from technology that was originally intended to guide missiles, a company called C3 Technologies has just licensed their powerful new mapping technology to Nokia.

C3’s peacetime use renders 3-D color models of entire cities—its buildings, statues, even its trees—to a resolution of 15 centimeters.

This video shows how playing with C3’s maps—twirling, panning, zooming—on a tablet could easily make you feel just a little bit like, well, God.

More on why some have called this new tech “Google Maps on steroids.”