Gowalla, the location aware social networking service, has announced the release of their first public API (our Gowalla API profile). This will help them keep up with other location-centric social services like Foursquare's new API. As they note in the announcement:
User-created and curated content is central to Gowalla. Every spot in our database is created by hand, on location, by the community - reflecting the real interests and creativity of the users. The recent addition of user-curated trips continues the theme of highlighting and promoting your favorite places. The Gowalla API takes the creative potential to the next level. We're eager to see what this community creates next.
The blog post makes a few suggestions for possible Gowalla apps, like a Sidebar Badge to show off your top ten spots with a sidebar badge for your blog or and Indiana Jones Map to convert your road trip into an animated, epic adventure.
While the new API will make life easier for developer to build on the Gowalla service, Gowalla Tools has been adding features for a while now, having just run a "13 days of Gowalla Tools for Christmas"event. And for Ruby developers a wrapper for the Gowalla API can be found here.
Currently the API is read only, meaning any new data will still have to be submitted via the iPhone app. Josh Williams posted a blog comment explaining the decision to release a read only version of the API.
This is a first release of the API. We believe a ridiculous number of remarkable things can come out of a read-only API. We wanted to ensure we got this release out as quickly as possible while we work to perfect the next layer of our API that will include OAuth support and write access.