Houston, we've got check-ins: Gowalla and NASA team up

Popular mobile check-in game Gowalla announced a partnership today with government space agency NASA. While a mobile game and a space agency might not be the most likely of pairs, the two have joined forces to offer a country-wide scavenger hunt for virtual items, including moon rocks, NASA patches, spacesuits and space shuttles.

New Facebook patent could threaten Foursquare and Gowalla

While Facebook Places wasn’t the first on the location-based services scene, it may have just became the top dog. According to Eric Sherman at CBS’s BNET site, the company has been granted a very broad patent, filed in 2007, called “Systems and methods for automatically locating Web-based social network members.”

CheckPoints wants to reward you for checking into store products

Millions of consumers use location-based mobile apps to check-in to locations every day. But CheckPoints, a new mobile shopping application, is looking to take check-in services to the next level by asking you to check into products within stores. Each check-in rewards the user with points that can be redeemed for prizes like gift cards, miles or gadgets. The iPhone app is expected to be approved today or tomorrow by Apple.

Will Facebook Places pay off for location-based companies?

Just weeks after Facebook announced its new location check-in feature dubbed Facebook Places, several companies have emerged claiming themselves as the first to leverage the features new set of user data. While each company is using the new service slightly differently, it’s not surprising that they want to tap into Facebook’s growing user base.