Table of Contents
|| h5. Section || h5. Table of Contents ||
| I. | [History|#history]
I.2 [How Gowalla Works|#works]
I.3 [Getting More out of the Application|#app] |
| II. | [How Gowalla relates to other applications|#relate]
II.1 [Comparison to Competitors|#compare]
II.2 [Unique Uses|#unique] |
| III. | [Real World Application|#world]
III.1 [Educational Lesson Plans|#lesson]
i. [Post Secondary|#elem]
| IV. | [Demonstration of Educational Value|#demo] |
| V. | [How Gowalla is Used Internationally|#international] |
| VI. | ?[Reviews|#Reviews]|
VII. | [References|#ref] |
Founded in 2007 and launched on January 20, 2008, Gowalla is a social networking tool which tracks users' specific locations throughout the day and allows them to interact with others via smartphones. Gowalla’s headquarters is located in Austin, Texas, but users are located across the globe.
2) How Gowalla Works
Gowalla uses a game-like method to help travelers blog about different places on the map and their travel experience thus far. Bloggers receive stamps for each location that they log in. Locations are often convenient and popular places within a city, often including restaurants, stores, and other common places of interest. Stamps are also available for attending events, such as Pub Crawls, or the popular 2010 Winter Olympic Games. This application begins to feel like a game since the users often compete with friends to collect the most stamps from the places they visit.
Check out this video to see how a user checks in to a location:
3) Getting More Out of the Application
Gowalla is new social website that enables users to connect and reconnect at the same time. Users connect with friends, hear about fun locations and activities in their town, and also learn about other people near them. A user can meet new people through Gowalla because it shows other members in the same town along with those who visit specific locations. It is easy to compete with friends and to gain new friendships.
The Gowalla Profile Page Find out where friends are! Receive great promotions! !rsz_gowallaprofile.jpg|border=1,align=left! !rsz_promotion.jpg|border=1,align=right!
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II. How Gowalla Relates to Other Applications
1) Comparison to Competitors
Another application that is similar to Gowalla is FourSquare. Gowalla and [FourSquare|http://foursquare.com/] both came up with their location-based gaming service in 2008 and launched their applications at the same time. Foursquare took the lead and it looked like Gowalla was not going to make it, but within a month they changed a few things and Gowalla was soon on top. Now they are competing for the top spot for the location-based application. The two applications share some remarkable similarities. Gowalla and FourSquare both give out prizes, and they give out badges or pins for accomplishing things throughout the game. Gowalla and FourSquare both allows a user to tell his or her friends where they are. The applications also make it very easy to add locations to the database that were not previously in the system.
2) Unique uses
Even though people think it is the same thing as FourSquare, Gowalla has many unique application features. Gowalla allows a user to post and view pictures of a location while FourSquare does not display location pictures at all. Gowalla also works completely on GPS so users do not have to type in the address like FourSquare to locate friends or locate the places that have been visited. Gowalla focuses more on the personal experience, rather the social experience which FourSquare features.
For more information watch this YouTube video: [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dXeOIgGgvMs|http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dXeOIgGgvMs]
3) Gowalla vs. FourSquare: Who Will Win?
FourSquare, the location-based mobile application game that launched back in March, has been gaining the attention of the U.S. While FourSquare has become popular with the American public another application has grabbed international attention:Gowalla. Gowalla was created by the Austin, Texas-based startup Alamofire. The application is similar to FourSquare in that a user can check in and notify friends when he or she gets to a certain location, such as a restaurant or a bar, to earn “stamps,” much like the set of badges users try to earn on FourSquare. But Gowalla’s location-based information is crowdsourced, which has allowed the application to quickly gain traction in places around the world.
While FourSquare recently rolled out its application in London and is poised to expand to Paris soon, Gowalla has had a 7-month head start in those cities and countless others. CEO Josh Williams would not specify how many users Gowalla has, but said they collectively create more than 1,000 new locations a day.
[Gowalla Ups Its Game And Hints At Future Business Models|http://techcrunch.com/2009/11/24/gowalla-business-models/]
Read more: [http://techcrunch.com/2009/11/24/gowalla-business-models/#ixzz0njvvXp1S|http://techcrunch.com/2009/11/24/gowalla-business-models/#ixzz0njvvXp1S]
For some time now, it has seemed like Foursquare was the only game in town. I mean “game” literally, as of the major location-based services, Foursquare seemed to be the only one really emphasizing gaming elements. But now Gowalla is starting to emphasize it more.
To be fair, Gowalla has had a sort of sub-game based around the dropping and picking up of items (basically, virtual goods) since the beginning. But in the latest build of its iPhone app which hit the App Store today, version 1.3, there are some new gaming aspects. The first is that items now have histories attached to them. This allows you to see who has had an item before you in a city. Looking over some of my items now, it’s actually pretty interesting to see that I know some people who have some of them before me.
While at first the idea behind including items in Gowalla [didn’t make sense|http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/09/24/gowalla-and-going-a-couple-more-iphone-apps-to-prove-you-own-this-town/] to me, after meeting with (Gowalla parent) [Alamofire|http://alamofire.com/] CEO [Josh Williams|http://www.crunchbase.com/person/josh-williams], it makes a lot more sense. Aside from this history element, which is interesting, and that different items are of varying scarcities, there is also a plan in place to allow for the items you pick up to be exchanged in real life for actual goods, Williams says. He wasn’t ready to share any specifics just yet, but notes that there are already some interesting proposals on the table to do this. And Gowalla 1.3 is a “bit of a Trojan Horse right now,” for that, he says.
Obviously, the eventual idea behind this is that Gowalla could monetize these transactions. The core concept is similar to what [Foursquare is doing|http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/07/16/foursquare-shows-the-business-potential-of-location-based-services/] with its Mayor Deals, but they too haven’t yet started to monetizing those. With location-based services still in their infancy, all of these services are simply focused on gaining users.
Williams also noted that Gowalla could eventually take a page from Alamofire’s first project, the Facebook app [PackRat|http://www.facebook.com/apps/application.php?id=2431403991], and start selling certain items in Gowalla as virtual goods. Williams says they’re just thinking about the idea now, but with the iPhone’s new in-app purchases for free apps, it’s certainly possible.
And there’s another gaming element that Gowalla has added to the latest version of its iPhone app. Now, when you click on a venue, and click on the people tab for it, you can see a list of the top 10 people for that location. This is a list of the users who have checked into that venue the most amount of times over the past 90 days. In Foursquare terms, the top person would be the “mayor,” but again, this is a full top 10 list so more than just the top dog gets recognition.
Perhaps more importantly, with version 1.3, Gowalla has eased some of the GPS restrictions that curbed cheating but made it hard to check-in at certain indoor places. This should be much, much better, Williams tells us. The service is also hard at work on its native Android app, though they recently released [a mobile web version|http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/11/06/gowalla-hops-onto-android-via-the-mobile-web/] that works with Android.
Read more: [http://techcrunch.com/2009/11/24/gowalla-business-models/#ixzz0njwIqsFA|http://techcrunch.com/2009/11/24/gowalla-business-models/#ixzz0njwIqsFA]
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III. Real World Application
1) Educational Lesson Plans
i. Post Secondary
*Trip to Zoo:* The students will have to use Gowalla to check in to various animal attractions and post information about each animal.
[^STEM_Trip to Fort Worth Zoo.docx]
[^STEM_Trip to Fort Worth Zoo.pdf]
*Planning a Trip to Graduate School:* In this lesson plan students will use Gowalla to help plan a trip to a prospective graduate school. The students will use Gowalla to plan a trip that consists of three campus attractions and will then post information they learned about each spot.
[^Planning a Trip to Graduate School.docx]
[^Planning a Trip to Graduate School.pdf]
*Study Abroad Scavenger Hunt:* In this lesson plan a British Government Study Abroad class will visit famous landmarks. The students will have to use Gowalla to identify the locations using only latitude and longitude coordinates. In addition, the students will use Gowalla to check into the spots for attendance.
[^Study Abroad Scavenger Hunt.docx]
[^Study Abroad Scavenger Hunt.pdf]
*Businesses can Publicize their Locations:* A large business that has multiple locations can use Gowalla to publicize all its locations. In this lesson plan an employee will create Gowalla spots to advertise various locations and track the number of visitors who check in to the location.
[^Creating a Spot.docx]
[^Creating a Spot.pdf]
*Keeping Track of Expenses:* Organizations that employ traveling sales representatives can use Gowalla to keep track of expenses. In this lesson plan traveling sales representatives will use Gowalla to record expenses they charge to company credit cards while on the road.
[^Sales Rep Expense Report.docx]
[^Sales Rep Expense Report.pdf]
*Track Employee Locations:* Employees can sync their phones with Gowalla to track the various locations they travel between in a day.
iii. Industry / Educational Value
*Using Gowalla for Attendance:* College professors can use Gowalla to track attendance. In this lesson plan college professors will learn how to create spots on Gowalla, which will then be used to track students' attendance.
[^Training Teachers to Create Spot.docx]
[^Training Teachers to Create Spot.pdf]
*Using Gowalla for Attendance:* College students are expected to attend class on a regular basis. Gowalla can help students and professors track attendance. In this lesson plan a professor will teach students how to use Gowalla for attendance purposes.
[Using Gowalla for Attendance.docx|^Using Gowalla for Attendance.docx]
[Using Gowalla for Attendance.pdf|^Using Gowalla for Attendance.pdf]
*Exploring Landmarks:* Teachers can use Gowalla in the classroom to explore various landmarks; it's cost effective and quick to do! In this lesson plan teachers will use Gowalla to locate famous landmarks and show them to students using a computer. This will enable students to gain knowledge about the location.
[^STEM_Teacher uses to teach students landmarks.docx]
[^STEM_Teacher uses to teach students landmarks.pdf]
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IV. Demonstration of Educational Value
The possibilities of Gowalla as an educational tool are limited only by the imagination of the educator. A college professor could create a spot in the classroom and have the students check in to take attendance. A teacher could also use Gowalla as a means to keep up with students' movement when on a field trip, having to check in at several locations throughout the area to make sure they were following directions. Trips featured on Gowalla could also be used for teaching; art teachers could assign trips featuring art museums and culinary students could be assigned to visit several local restaurants.
There is also a game called [Geocaching|http://www.geocaching.com/] that can be played with Gowalla. Geocaching is a high-tech treasure hunting game played throughout the world by adventure seekers equipped with GPS devices. A Maine middle school teacher used Gowalla to teach her students about longitude and latitude for a game of Geocaching, which is finding hidden packages by using longitude and latitude and a GPS device. Gowalla helped by allowing the students to see their longitude and altitude on their mobile phones.
Location-Based Gaming in Education can be used through Gowalla. Imagine if attendance could actually be taken via location-based gaming. In addition, there would be incentives for students to participate in events that had correlations to retention, like welcome weekends and activities fairs. Imagine the analytical possibilities if a teacher had students voluntarily checking in when they entered and left the library or if they checked in when they stopped by a professor's office hours. Also, colleges and universities have started to set up featured trips using the Gowalla iPhone application.
Educationally, Gowalla is in the early stages of experimentation. One of the first established campus-based application is Harvard's initiative. Currently students at Harvard are using Gowalla's competitor Foursquare (it has almost the same qualities). Gowalla could easily be substituted for Foursquare and it would enhance the students’ experience since it has additional features like photos.
The esteemed academic institution Harvard has partnered with [Foursquare|http://mashable.com/tag/foursquare] to create a campus-based game that rewards students with badges and points for exploring the school and surrounding places of interest. The primary idea behind the collaboration is to encourage students to connect more with friends and professors through location-based game play, as well as to inspire campus visitors to explore the grounds and uncover tips or share to-dos.
These are just a few examples on how Gowalla could be used for educational purposes.
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V. How Gowalla Is Used Internationally
Although Gowalla originated in Austin, Texas, it has expanded globally. Today many users enjoy sharing their locations with friends worldwide. Check out the examples below of how Gowalla is being used across the globe:
* *Notttingham, UK*: The first International trip on Gowalla was created in September of 2009. Gowalla users complete the Nottingham Champion Chase trip by checking in at three locations: Meadow Lane, City Ground, and Trent Bridge. All three are famous locations where spectators can watch English football and cricket. Meadow Lane was formed in 1862 and is the oldest professional football club in the world. The Nottingham Forest played at City Ground and became European Champions in 1979 & 1980; these were big achievements for a relatively small program. Trent Bridge opened in 1838 and is the third oldest cricket ground in the world.
* *Vancouver, Canada*: Spectators of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games enjoyed checking in at various locations. Gowalla featured four Olympic spots: Opening Ceremonies at BC Place, Pacific Coliseum, Canada Hockey Place, and Whistler Blackcomb. Users who checked in to these locations picked up various virtual souvenirs, items, and stamps.
* *Stockholm, Sweden*: Businesses in Stockholm, Sweden are using Gowalla to publicize their locations and events. One example is a restaurant and entertainment venue called Berns Salonger which is located in Berzelli Park. It holds concerts and other shows and has a large capacity. Berns Salonger used Gowalla to post pictures of its venue and information about its website.
_A snapshot of Berns Salonger's page on Gowalla_
* Twitter: Gowalla is a location-based social networking game. Nowadays it is frequently used on [Twitter|http://twitter.com/] . People write on Twitter where they are with the Gowalla application. For instance, they can be in a restaurant in Paris, a museum in Italy, a church in New York, or a concert in Istanbul. It is supported by Google map and allows international interaction between people. A user can take some advice from Twitter users for their trip thanks to Gowalla, such that users can learn a museum's location with this application.
Facebook Enables Foursquare And Gowalla
Going Global with Gowalla
Gowalla tries to do more globally. One of the international benefits is check-pointing because people have the opportunity to explore check-points across the world. Two examples of international check-points are the Campaign for Haiti and the Vancouver Winter Olympics. The Campaign for Haiti helped individuals across the world understand what conditions were like in the country.
Location-based apps are set to be the next big thing, and Gowalla is one of the front-runners in this exciting field.
In essence, Gowalla uses your GPS location to show where you are, and what's near you. The spots around you are all created by the Gowalla community, and you can also create spots yourself. So if you visit somewhere interesting, you can share in on Gowalla. Then any Gowalla user will be able to see the place you marked, and visit there too.
You can leave virtual items in your spots for other users to collect when they check in at your spot too! When you visit a spot that 's registered at Gowalla, you check in, collect a gift, and can post your location and any comments on Facebook and Twitter too.
This community tool allows you to see what and who is around. It's pretty casual - don't expect to find community reviews of places or anything, you can only see what and who is where. This makes Gowalla great if you're traveling, or need to coordinate a group of people in a city (as long as they all have iPhones!).
*Gowalla for Mobile Web on Android*
Up to this point we’ve tailored our core Gowalla experience to the iPhone, but we know that there are plenty of you out there using other location-aware smartphones who would like to go out with Gowalla. Today we’re excited to announce our first step in supporting platforms beyond iPhone with our mobile site at [m.gowalla.com|http://m.gowalla.com/].
Gowalla for Mobile Web currently supports the location-aware browsers on Android and iPhone OS devices (even iPod touch if you’re on a wifi network). Our goal is to add support for other location-aware browsers in the next couple of weeks.
To be sure, we’re anxious to get native Gowalla clients out there for Android, Blackberry and Palm, but this is an important first step towards bridging our gap. In the future, you’ll also find us testing out new experimental features at m.gowalla.com before we add them to our native clients. So even if you’re on iPhone, it’s worth checking out.
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Here are some links of reviews done by other people and companies,
Geocaching reference: [http://geocaching4all.pbworks.com/|http://geocaching4all.pbworks.com/]
Member Introduction Page]
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