Enriching the streets of New York City with LinkNYC

How Foursquare and LinkNYC improve daily life in cities and public spaces with products that bridge the digital and physical worlds.

LinkNYC is the first-of-its-kind communications network that replaces New York City’s payphones to build the world’s fastest and largest free public Wi-Fi system. Since Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the public launch of LinkNYC in early 2016, more than 1,650 Links are active across all five boroughs, with thousands more set to be deployed over the next few years. In 2018, Link also expanded to Philadelphia and Newark. Each of the 1,600+ Link towers provides device charging, eye-catching maps, and thanks to Foursquare, detailed information about places nearby.

The partnership between Foursquare and Intersection (the parent company of LinkNYC) is built on a shared mission: To improve and enrich daily life in cities and public spaces with products that bridge the digital and physical worlds. For this program, Foursquare delivers free information and location-based content that helps people explore the real world and make cities easier to use.

An Image of a digital board in NYC called "Link NYC". It is displaying a list of "Top Outdoor spots nearby" which include Bryant Park, Greeley Square, New York Public Library Terrace, and Hell's Kitchen Park and Playground with the prospective distance in minutes.
An Image of a digital board in NYC called "Link NYC". It is displaying a list of "Top Shopping spots nearby" which include Peloton, Manhattan Mall, Macy's and Bed Bath and Beyond with the prospective distance in minutes.

Intersection tapped Foursquare’s Places API to power the LinkNYC ‘Popular Places’ feature, which helps New Yorkers and visitors easily find trending spots nearby, delivering responsive, localized information to city dwellers in real time. ‘Popular Places’ surfaces restaurants, shops, outdoor spots, cultural institutions and nightlife venues that have the most check-ins within a 15-minute walking distance from a given Link’s location, in real time.

We provide Intersection with access to our API and places data, free of charge, so LinkNYC can continue to provide their services to everyone (be it NYC residents or visitors to the city) at no cost to users or taxpayers.

Rich venue data

Foursquare’s API provides LinkNYC with rich venue data on 105 million places, to prioritize venues with the most check-ins at that exact time, highlighting a variety of the most of-the-moment locations throughout the city. The kiosks also account for venue hours and current weather, only displaying locations that are open for at least the next hour and outdoor destinations that only populate in favorable weather conditions.

‘Link’s programming aims to form connections between people and their city by providing localized messages that are relevant to people’s daily journeys. Foursquare’s best-in-class social data has allowed us to deliver hyper-targeted information at scale that’s not only actionable on the go, but also represents the preferences and experiences of the community it plays in.’

— Dafna Sarnoff, CMOLink 3

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