Gowalla quietly released a big new feature today: real-time PubSubHubbub feeds for check-ins by people and at locations. Hello, mashups and 3rd party apps of the future!Location based social network
In addition to being real-time and easy to access, Gowalla's new feeds are also marked-up with the beginnings of the widely used Activity Streams format. Put all of this together and Gowalla to Google Buzz is one obvious connection, but the possibilities are endless.
For comparison, much larger competitor FourSquare offers private user-specific RSS feeds, which are slower and much more limited. It also offers powerful analytics for business owners about who checks in at their venue. The relative value of both systems for developers is debatable, but Gowalla's new feature is clearly very nice.
These new Atom feeds from Gowalla can be remixed by anyone, though - not just developers. For example, I plan to run the feeds from a few coffee shops down the street from my house through an alert service so I can know who's hanging out in the neighborhood.
I expect we'll find out even more about what could be done with these feeds once they are officially announced. The Hub page says the feature is delivered by Superfeedr, so presumably the feeds will grow more sophisticated as Superfeedr continues to add new features as well.