More photos of the upcoming Gowalla for IPad - According to JW it’s “coming soon”
A few weeks ago I posted to let you know that the Gowalla Tools map was broken (as was the map on Gowalla.com) in that it was showing the oldest spots first rather than the newest ones. It turns out I was slightly wrong as it’s actually showing the most popular (determined by number of check-ins) rather than the oldest (although by virtue of being older a spot generally has more check-ins).
I’ve notified Gowalla of the problem so hoping a fix will come along soon (although I’ll be adding a feature so you can switch between oldest and newest for those of you item hunting) but whilst it’s broken I thought it’d be fun to see where the most popular places on the planet are!
Unsurprisingly, it’s Austin and San Francisco. I should have seen that coming.
Some of you have noticed (thanks @trumper) that the Gowalla Tools Map is currently showing you the 200 oldest spots rather than the 200 most recent spots. I’ve been playing around with the code this morning and unfortunately this is a problem with Gowalla as their maps are all suffering the same fate (if you go to http://gowalla.com/spots you’ll find that sorting by “Newest” actually shows you the oldest)
As soon as they fix it then ours will be working again :)
There were too many people tweeting at me to do a response to the various intricacies of the “New Items” tweets that were sent today that I thought it better to put up a quick post.
First of all, let me make it clear that the tweets that start New Item are entirely automated and work by monitoring the “Missing Items” (see our post yesterday) section of Gowalla to see when a new item appears.
We first tweeted about a new item called Citrus Sweet Leaf Green Tea (pic) which then promptly disappeared again from the missing items list. It turns out that this is a special offer in association with Sweet Leaf Tea for those lucky enough to be in Austin for SXSW. Basically, you find the item and you can redeem it for a free can (sounds delicious but I think I’ll stick with a warm cup of PG Tips, thanks). Obviously this has been removed from the missing items list as it would be a little unfair for those that aren’t in Austin for the deal (in the same way that Golden Gifts weren’t made a part of the missing items list during the Christmas giveaways). Maybe this is the first of the “rewards” that was mentioned with the new Gowalla.com makeover?
Secondly, we tweeted about a new item called Americano (pic). “But, hang on!?!?” you all cried in joyous harmony, “that’s not a new item”. And in that you would indeed be correct but for those of you with a memory span of at least 24 hours, you’d remember that our post yesterday mentioned that Americano (amongst others) had been removed from active circulation. Well guess what kids, it looks like it’s back! But why did we tweet it? Well that comes down to when the tweeting system was put in place during our 13 Days of Christmas celebration. At this time, the Americano was removed from the missing items list and so when we did our initial crawl we didn’t have it saved. Now it’s appeared, our system went “ooo new item” and tweeted it as such. This shouldn’t happen for any future items.
In other interesting news, it looks like the Torch (pic) has gone back on to the missing items list as have all the other items. It seems it was just some sort of bug with Gowalla which has now been resolved.
Gowalla has made a few changes to the items that are declared as “missing” and that are therefore displayed in Gowalla Tools as “Missing Items”. To clear this up I’ve put together a short guide as to how missing items work followed by the items that have recently changed.
So, what are missing items?
Good question! If you view your items on the Gowalla website, you’ll find a little tab that says “Missing”. These items are those that you don’t currently have stashed away in your collection (formally known as your “vault”).
Sounds simple enough
Indeed it does but there are several items which are missing from the missing items list.
Missing missing items?
And why is that then?
Well at one point there were a lot of items in circulation that were released early by accident. These included such things as the dollhouse, teddy bear, and yo-yo to name a few. If you were lucky, you could find these dropped at various locations but they generally had item numbers under 100. They never showed up in the “missing items” list because they hadn’t officially been released. Of course, all three of those items have now been released and are in wide circulation so they have made it onto the “missing items” list but there are still a few out there which haven’t been released as proper items yet.
This sounds like an old problem - why the post now?
Well, interestingly there are some newer items that have now disappeared from the “missing items” list even though they were released fairly recently. This suggests that some items are now time limited in how long they will remain in circulation.
Your point being…?
That a) GowallaTools isn’t broken when it tells you how many missing items you have (it’s getting it from Gowalla after all) and b) you might want to snap up the items that are no longer declared as missing as quickly as possible if you find them somewhere…
Ok, I’ll bite. What items are now missing missing?
Here is a full list of items that you might still find in spots that have been dropped but you are unlikely to get randomly given to you as a popup. This includes some that disappeared from the radar a while ago (e.g. Americano) but also the newer ones that have gone missing in action:
- 97 Bottles Button
- A Crush It! book
- Airbag Industries Pin
- Chinese Lantern
- Conference Badge
- Festive Americano
- Hand Rake
- Red Silk Robe
- Rubber Tree
- Turquoise Mask
- Two-Headed Serpent
- Watering Can
I’ve not included items that were released prematurely but have yet to enter full circulation (e.g. Acoustic Guitar) or special items such as the Golden Gift.
Looks like Gowalla have been busy clearing out some items but my advice would be to save anything you find on this list as they are certainly going to become a lot rarer!
Update: Brian Bailey (Alamofire Developer) says “we’ll be tweaking the missing items view to make this a little clearer, hopefully soon.” - view the post on the Gowalla GetSatisfaction boards.
Update: “I have had 2 Turquoise Masks, a Fire Crackers, and a Red Silk Robe as pop ups in the past week, so these are still about.” - @Frideswide1
Update 3rd March: All of these items are now back in the Missing Items list (even the ones that disappeared months ago) - looks like it was a bug with Gowalla that they’ve now fixed.
Gowalla.com has had a bit of a makeover but the first thing that caught my eye was the new illustration on the homepage: “Check in”, “Share with Friends”, “Enjoy Rewards”. Are we going to get free coffee for checking into places now?
Are photos coming to Gowalla? It looks that way as this screenshot from the Gowalla API demonstrates. I was making some bug fixes when I noticed 2 new fields against a users data: “photos_count” and “photos_url”. I thought this might relate to a users avatar to begin with but no users I tried had a photo count over 0. That’s when I decided to test account #1 (belonging to Scott Raymond who is the Chief Technical Officer) and found he had 4 photos assigned to him. Following the “photos_url” gave me some more information (after logging in) including links to the images themselves and (crucially) datestamps confirming that these photos were taken in the last 2 days.
Looks like photos could be coming either as a feature to be turned on in the recently released Gowalla 1.5 or perhaps in the next version!