Every March, the city of Austin, Texas, welcomes the world for its annual South by Southwest Festival, otherwise known as SXSW. The festival consists of three parts: SXSW Interactive, a four-day geekfest for the Internet community; SXSW Film, ten days of international cinema programs; and SXSW Music, a four day non-stop celebration of live music.

The Interactive section, known as SXSWi, is always a prime spot for the early adoption of new online technology. This year’s edition featured a showdown between location-based applications href=”http://www.twitter.com/gowalla” title=”Location Based Application Smartphone Austin Texas”>Gowalla and Foursquare, as well as the debut of href=”http://maps.google.com/maps?hq=http://maps.google.com/help/maps/directions/biking/mapplet.kml&ie=UTF8&ll=37.687624,-122.319717&spn=0.346132,0.727158&z=11&lci=bike&dirflg=b&f=d&utm_campaign=en&utm_medium=van&utm_source=en-van-na-us-gns-bd”
title=”Google Bike Maps Bicycling Directions”>Google Bike Maps, and examples of citizen journalism at its geekiest.

Below is a recap of SXSW Interactive 2010 by Vancouver-based photographer Kris Krüg.

title=”sxsw-mobile-social-bike-0844 by kk+, on Flickr”> src=”http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4064/4434817145_4bc8731187.jpg”
width=”500″ height=”333″ alt=”sxsw-mobile-social-bike-0844″ />

The talk of SXSWi was Gowalla versus Foursquare.These applications use the GPS on your smartphone to allow you to check-in at locations, earn points for your travels, and connect with friends. Austin-based Gowalla appeared to be the crowd favorite, though Foursquare seemed to win in terms of user numbers.

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