I recently went to my local sushi restaurant and was compelled to “check in” via Foursquare. While location-based services such as Foursquare and Gowalla are igniting big cities across America, it’s a rare occasion to see anyone else “checked in” to a location spot here in Marin (just north of San Francisco).?? On this evening though, I did see that another Foursquare member had checked in a few minutes before me, and as I looked at his profile picture, I was able to spot him sitting at the sushi bar. That was kinda cool.

The game of “checking in” is a fun way to promote your whereabouts and snoop on what your friends are doing, but the flurry of location-based services have yet to deliver real value on my local community and surroundings. With DeHood, the game has fundamentally changed.

Imagine preparing for a run at “The Dish” near Palo Alto, a scenic area of rolling grassy hills and oak trees.?? You pull up DeHood, click “Reports” and see members reporting that a mountain lion has been spotted and the area has consequently been closed. In the “Shouts” tab, members are lamenting the wintery weather we’re experiencing in the Bay Area and adding comments to posts.?? And in the “places” tab, I discover there are so many more businesses around me than I ever knew, as the content in DeHood is pre-populated from local directory services and with one click, I can call any of them from my mobile phone.

Another nice feature is “Shop” which aggregates deals from local and chain stores in my neighborhood. In fact, I just discovered Peet’s is offering $200 off an espresso machine – I can see the image of the machine, share the offer with others, check out the profile of the person who discovered/input the offer, and more.

There are times when it’s fun to know that my friends in London or NY or Tacoma might be checking in to In ‘N Out Burger, but it’s tangibly relevant for me to know what’s happening in my city, neighborhood, or street on a daily basis.

Location, location, location is not only important in real estate.?? That triple location emphasis is where neighborhood-based services really shine.