One of the features highlighted on the location-based service Gowalla that I’ve never gotten into is Trips. The idea behind this feature is to give a list of spots to check-in at to complete a certain trip and earn its badge. For example, the Golden Gate Gallop contains 18 stops that you must hit to complete it. It’s a good idea from a game-perspective, the problem is that most of the trips don’t mirror my actual social life, and so I’d have to go out of my way to do them. That is, until today.
Starting today, Gowalla is opening the ability to create trips to all users. Previously, it was only the Gowalla team and a select group of their friends that have made these. To make a trip, you simply have to visit the Gowalla webpage of a spot you want to add to a trip and click the “Add to Trip” button. From here you’ll be able to name your trip, give it a description, and add up to 19 more spots needed to complete your trip. In other words, this makes Gowalla the perfect app for creating your own pub crawl among friends.
In their post on the new feature, Gowalla notes that they’ll be looking at the best user-created trips to feature on the service. The best ones will even get their own custom badge artwork (Gowalla is big on the artwork aspect). “Featured trips will be promoted based on the quality and relevancy of the trip, the number of people who have completed the trip,” they note.
Users will be able to create up to 5 trips (again, each with up to 20 venues on the trip), but they note that you’ll be able to create even more in the future. Another limitation is that you’ll only be able to do trips that are featured or created by people you are friends with on the service. But that should open up more over time as well, they note. You can also easily find these new friend-created trips on the iPhone app by clicking the “Browse” button in the Trips area.
Another new feature launching today is the ability to bookmark venues. This makes it easy to find your favorite places that you go to over and over again. You can add a bookmark on a venues’s Gowalla webpage by clicking on the “Bookmark” button under the map. Soon, you’ll be able to add them from the iPhone app as well.