Science and Technology

How to create a heat map of your Foursquare check-ins using Google Fusion Tables

Do you want to create a cool heat map of your Foursquare check-ins? Of course you do! Who doesn’t like cool maps?! With Google Maps no longer supporting KML imports (which by the way makes no sense to me), Google Fusion Tables provides an alternative method for us map geeks to visualize our check-in data. Here are 3 steps to make it happen.

  1. Go to and click the KML link which will download a KML file of your check-ins.
  2. Log in to your Google Drive account which is where you’ll now find Fusion Tables under “Drive apps”.  Click create and upload your KML file.Fusion Tables
  3. Once uploaded, click on “Map of geometry” where you can toggle back in forth between a point map and a heat map.4SQ Feature Map



Instill a Sense of Scientific Wonder in Your Kids

By Billy Burle

‘If America is to maintain our high standard of living, we must continue to innovate. We are competing with nations many times our size. We don’t have a single brain to waste. Math and science are the engines of innovation. With these engines we can lead the world. We must demystify math and science so that all students feel the joy that follows understanding.’  — Dr. Michael Brown, former Nobel Prize winner for medicine and the Paul J. Thomas Professor of Molecular Genetics and Director of the Jonsson Center for Molecular Genetics at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas

There are lots of discussions taking place about the need for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education reform and I certainly agree the system needs reforming and additional programs should be available to elementary and middle school children. However, the education system isn’t the only education resource our children have.  As the proud parent of a bright and creative little girl, I feel part of the responsibility rests firmly on my shoulders.  I discovered that there are lots of fun ways to encourage learning and a sense of scientific wonder at home.  In fact, if this past summer had a (more…)