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What’s Your Favorite Location-Based Service?

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I love my iPhone. So much, in fact, that I refuse to get on my husband’s plan – even though we can save about 50% of our cell phone costs! I use a variety of applications, but one thing I’ve never gotten into is the Location-Based services. Call me a paranoid mom, but I don’t really want others to know that I’m at the local Taco Bell, or playing at the school park. It’s just not my thing! But then I learned that these applications have games. And coupons. And prizes.

And now my viewpoint has changed altogether. Because I’m a Facebook game freak. And I love coupons. And prizes. So now I have to figure out which application to use!

The front-runners seem to be Foursquare, Gowalla, and MyTown. All of them have the ability to check in and see who is around you. But here are some of the fun and games aspects:

Foursquare:

  • Once you check in you can see the current mayor of the location. If you check-in to the same location more than once, you have a chance of becoming the mayor!

  • You earn points for checking in, and can compete against your friends on a leader board.
  • You can also earn badges. For instance, you can earn a “Barista badge” at Starbucks by checking in five times at the coffee retailer.

Gowalla:

  • You can stamp your passport with places you’ve visited.

  • Enjoy trips created by National Geographic, USA TODAY, CNNMoney and others that guide you to restaurants, through parks and gardens, or on historic walking tours. Once you complete a trip you get a pin on your passport.
  • You may also find virtual items left around the world like digital souvenirs. Many items are redeemable for real-world rewards such as apparel, movie tickets, gadgets and more.

MyTown:

  • In MyTown you actually purchase properties with virtual currency, upgrade them, decorate them, and make more money. When other users visit, they pay you rent. It’s sort of like Monopoly, but way more interesting.

  • You can visit your friends’ towns and receive a free Scratch-Off card. These reward you with items like food or property upgrade coupons.

So, before I download one on my phone and start testing it … what is your favorite location-based service for me to try?

Nikki Katz is the Managing Editor for the BlogWorld.com. She has been a freelance writer and blogger for over a decade, writing for About.com, iVillage and b5media. Feel free to follow her Twitter @nikki_blogworld and @katzni.


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