The relaunch is an important step for Gowalla, which needs to find a better way to differentiate itself. It had tried to emphasize games early on with virtual goods called items, which could be collected and traded. But it announced last month that it was ending the use of items and was refocusing on its core mission of encouraging people to go out and explore the world. Now, Gowalla is looking to take a piece of the travel market, by building more than 60 curated city guides that help tell people where to go and what to see. The guides are written in-house by Gowalla, or by partners such as Disney or National Geographic. They incorporate a lot of the location data provided by users in the past, including favorite user highlights arranged by category within a city. Users are also encouraged to build “stories” out of their travels, which start with check-ins but can be augmented by tagging other people and gathering pictures uploaded for particular stories. The emphasis is less on the initial check-in and more on the interaction that happens afterward, which can be put together and reviewed later. So Gowalla is trying to have it both ways, reaching out to travelers as well as locals looking to better discover their surroundings. Get the full story at GigaOM Read also "Gowalla Is Reborn As A Beautiful App For Travel And Storytelling" at TechCrunch