From the Ashes of Gowalla Rises New Location Game

Adam DuVander, February 15th, 2012

WallaBeeGowalla’s rocky couple of years ended with a talent acquisition by Facebook of the former location-sharing app. Left in the dust were developers using the Gowalla API, including Ben Dodson and his field notes app for Gowalla. Dodson’s latest creation is a Gowalla-inspired app that focuses just on the gaming elements rather than check-ins. And because Dodson remembers struggling with Gowalla’s early API, the WallaBee API is available from the start. In fact, before the start.

Here’s how WallaBee describes itself:

WallaBee is the ultimate collectibles game for your iPhone. The aim of the game is to complete sets by collecting items in a variety of ways. Each item and set is uniquely numbered so you’ll need to be quick if you want to beat your friends to the lowest numbers!

Like Gowalla, the main experience of WallaBee is an iPhone app. Users open the app to discover nearby items. The app is not yet released, but will be this month. In the meantime, Dodson has pre-launched the WallaBee developer community to show what’s possible with the platform. Unlike Gowalla’s shaky attempts to expose its API (which Dodson chronicled in his gooodbye to Gowalla), WallaBee aims to make any important functionality within the app available via API. That includes artwork for the items at any resolution: 20 to 512 pixels square.

“Fundamentally, I built the API because I’m a developer and I get frustrated when great apps launch (especially ‘platform’ apps such as Path) without an API,” Dodson said in an email. “A lot of companies seem afraid to let go of their data but we believe that data portability is the secret to a lot of successful apps over the years (Twitter being the obvious example).”

The belief in its API is at the core of WallaBee’s approach. In addition to providing the functionality of the app via the API, the company also provides a real-time element. Developers can subscribe to receive pings when there’s activity with an item, place or user. “We believe that giving this unprecedented access to data at the same time as launching the app will make us an attractive option for developers,” Dodson said. “If you build something on top of our API, we will shout about it from the hills.”

WallaBee’s beginnings were in 2009 when Dodson built a Gowalla item tracker, Gowalla Tools. It was later renamed Wallabee (Dodson points out the lower-case “b”) and grew to be a suite of 13 tools, including a data-thrifty travel edition for roaming overseas.

With WallaBee, Dodson and his two co-founders are building their own platform. And it’s likely the one Dodson wishes existed from the start with Gowalla: full-featured and developer-friendly.

Tags: Games, Mapping
Both comments and pings are currently closed.

11 Responses to “From the Ashes of Gowalla Rises New Location Game”

February 15th, 2012
at 5:28 pm
Comment by: Today in APIs: Google Plus, YouTube Upload and 23 New APIs

[...] online learning platform, live stock feed, photo conversion service,website creation platform and a location-based mobile game. Below is more details on each of these new [...]

February 15th, 2012
at 6:31 pm
Comment by: Today in APIs: Google Plus, YouTube Upload and 23 New APIs |

[...] online learning platform, live stock feed, photo conversion service,website creation platform and a location-based mobile game. Below is more details on each of these new [...]

February 18th, 2012
at 2:21 am
Comment by: Meet WallaBee, a nifty location-based item collecting iPhone game – - Tech News AggregatorTech News Aggregator

[...] Dodson Apps, which is based in the UK, has also built API(s) for developers to start tinkering with. The app developer is also behind the popular Highlights app (iTunes link), which is to be thanked [...]

February 18th, 2012
at 2:25 am
Comment by: Meet WallaBee, a nifty location-based item collecting iPhone game | Arne Ruhnau News

[...] Dodson Apps, which is based in the UK, has also built API(s) for developers to start tinkering with. The app developer is also behind the popular Highlights app (iTunes link), which is to be thanked [...]

February 18th, 2012
at 4:48 am
Comment by: Meet WallaBee, a nifty location-based item collecting iPhone game – - TechNewsX - Tech News AggregatorTechNewsX – Tech News Aggregator

[...] Dodson Apps, which is based in the UK, has also built API(s) for developers to start tinkering with. The app developer is also behind the popular Highlights app (iTunes link), hence the extensive [...]

February 18th, 2012
at 12:10 pm
Comment by: Meet WallaBee, a nifty location-based item collecting iPhone game | Magento-Thailand.com | Magento, รับทำเว็บไซต์ Magento, รับทำเว็บไซต์ร้านค้า เว็บไซต์ e-commerce, Online S

[...] Dodson Apps, which is based in the UK, has also built API(s) for developers to start tinkering with. The app developer is also behind the popular Highlights app (iTunes link), hence the extensive [...]

February 18th, 2012
at 7:01 pm
Comment by: Meet WallaBee, a nifty location-based item collecting iPhone game | Get Cash For Your iPhone Sell My iPhone

[...] Dodson Apps, which is based in the UK, has also built API(s) for developers to start tinkering with. The app developer is also behind the popular Highlights app (iTunes link), hence the extensive [...]

February 19th, 2012
at 1:13 am
Comment by: Meet WallaBee, a nifty location-based item collecting iPhone game | Digital Gadget dan Selular

[...] Dodson Apps, which is based in the UK, has also built API(s) for developers to start tinkering with. The app developer is also behind the popular Highlights app (iTunes link), hence the extensive [...]

February 19th, 2012
at 9:14 am
Comment by: 78 New APIs: Microsoft Bing, Bloomberg, Gilt Groupe, Navteq and PayPal |

[...] learning platform, web application bug tracking service, mobile application backend service and location-based mobile game. Below is more details on each of these new [...]

February 23rd, 2012
at 11:22 am
Comment by: 78 New APIs: Microsoft Bing, Bloomberg, Gilt Groupe, Navteq and PayPal | My Blog

[...] service, online training platform, web focus bug tracking service, mobile focus backend use and location-based mobile game. Below is some-more sum on any of these new [...]

April 9th, 2012
at 10:40 am
Comment by: Facebook Probably Won’t Kill the Instagram API

[...] acquisitions are usually for the talent, as with Gowalla last fall. Usually, as with Gowalla, Facebook takes down the product and sometimes integrates the [...]

Follow the PW team on Twitter

ProgrammableWeb
APIs, mashups and code. Because the world's your programmable oyster.

John Musser
Founder, ProgrammableWeb

Adam DuVander
Executive Editor, ProgrammableWeb. Author, Map Scripting 101. Lover, APIs.