Category Archives: Thing 4

Things 4 & 5 : #wrap up + Twitter Convo

Be it HistoryPin or Google Maps. Keep using them!

Some highlights of the informal Twitter conversation we had on 22 February 2014 :

Thing 4 : Maps and Checking in

Click all tabs (Discover, Explore, and Activities) to get to the end of the lesson.

Smartphones and mobile devices are now equipped with global positioning system (GPS). This gives them the ability to determine your current position on a map. This also allows library clients and staff to locate themselves on a map and to get directions to get to various locations. You can see this at work in “real time” tracking apps for bus and train timetables. – Mylee Joseph


Google Map
  • Try out the default maps app installed on your device. You can also download other map apps, such as the Google Map app.
  • Try out the different options for direction functionality (walk, drive, public transport). What are the directions to your library like?
  • Claim your location on Google map [Read Aaron‘s view on should you claim your library’s virtual place?]
Google Indoor Map
  • Google Maps also have indoor maps which include many cultural institutions including libraries
    • Watch how it works :-
    • Click here to submit your Google indoor map
    • See case studies of Google indoor maps
    • Here’s an example of how an indoor map looks like for Singapore National Library :-
    • Read how Vermont Library Association created their indoor maps.


Aaron wrote a very detailed blog post on location-based apps and why libraries are “popular” check-in venues. He also has a paper presented at the IATUL conference (2012) on NUS libraries’ experience with Foursquare.


Foursquare is a location-based social networking site that allows users with GPS-enabled mobile devices to share their location with friends by “checking-in”. Once they have checked in a particular location, they can easily share it with their friends on Foursquare, Facebook and Twitter friends. As a form of ramification, users who check-in at specific venues can also earn badges.Users who regularly check-in to a library will be get a Bookworm badge.

By checking-in a certain number of times (or in different locations), users can collect virtual badges. In addition to that, users who have checked in the most times at a certain venue will be crowned “Mayor” until someone surpasses their number. Businesses have started to embrace Foursquare, and have began offering special deals to users who are crowned as “Mayors”. See here for case studies on the use of Business Foursquare.

Other Location Apps
  • LibraryThing has a free app called Readar (it was formerly Local Books), with more than 80,500 bookstores, libraries and bookish events listed it uses GPS to allow the user to locate nearby venues and literary events.
  • Facebook also has a check-in option.
  • You may also make use of geocaching app to get users to “find” your library.
What are some interesting location-based related projects by libraries?

Thinking Points

  • Do you use maps as wayfinding guides inside your library (eg. University of Virginia Library )?
    If your library facility is large (or spread over several locations), does your website or app include maps?
  • Have you considered geocaching as a library program (allowing interaction with the library as a destination)?
  • Have you considered editing the information about your library in Librarything Readar, Google places and Foursquare, perhaps even adding some photos?
  • Do you have any signs in your library to encourage people to “check-in”?
  • Have you considered holding a competition with Foursquare check-ins at your library?


Find an example of how a library, museum or even a local business establishment uses Foursquare or Facebook to check-in. Alternatively, you may also look for ones which use Google maps or geocaching to create some buzz for their community. Please share your examples with us via the comments section below or tweet us with the hashtag #23mthingsphsg.

Remix from the original 23 Mobile things :
23 Mobile Things – Thing 4
ANZ 23 Mobile things – Thing 4

Check out 23MobileThing’s Maps and Checking-in Pinterest Board for more tutorials and ideas.

Follow 23mobile things’s board Maps and Checking-in on Pinterest.

Joan Joan is a Senior Librarian (New Media) at Nanyang Technological University (Singapore) and has been in the profession for nearly five years now. Her forte lies in using social media and mobile tools. She graduated with a BSSc from National University of Singapore and holds a Master in Information Studies from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.