Gigwalk: The App That Pays You to Walk Around and Explore

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Need some extra cash? As long as you have an iPhone then you're all set. Just download Gigwalk and earn a second paycheck by completing various tasks on your way to or from your regular 9-to-5. Like to get out of the house on the weekend and take a stroll around the neighborhood? Earn a few dollars while doing it -- padding your bank account can be more exciting (and more enticing) than burning a few calories.

A new application available in the Apple Store, Gigwalk presents a variety of tasks to its users who can then choose which sound most compelling to them. Approached by TomTom, Motorola and other clients who rely on large databases that are prohibitively expensive to maintain with regular updates from traditional employees, Gigwalk chops the work up into bite-sized tasks.

The tasks each pay between $3 and $90, making Gigwalk an elite version of other opportunities that rely on crowdsourcing, like Mechanical Turk. They include things like taking photographs of neighborhood businesses, verifying roads and signs, acting as a secret shopper and gathering pricing information. Once tasks are completed to a set of exacting standards, Gigwalk pays its users by depositing money into their Paypal accounts.

"For Gigwalk clients, this local/mobile information is very valuable," according to Lifehacker, "but could be costly for companies to do themselves." Motorola, for example, could never afford to pay its staff to fly all over the country and investigate various Verizon stores, but the company used the service during its beta testing period to have contractors check on the positioning of its phones when the carrier first starting selling Apple's iPhone.

Another example: "In my neck of Los Angeles ... there's a gig associated with an Indian restaurant that I happen to frequent," Techland's Jared Newman explained. "The employer wants pictures of the establishment, pictures of the menu and a list of questions answered, including store hours, credit cards accepted, minimum delivery fee and wheelchair accessibility. The job should take about 20 minutes, and pays $4."

You're not going to get rich off of Gigwalk -- or at least you wouldn't expect to. But, according to Mashable, there's a lot of money to be made. "The highest paid Gigwalker in the six-month long private beta earned $2,173 for 277 completed 'gigs,' Sarah Kessler reported.

It will be harder to pull in a significant paycheck as the site picks up more users, though. With all of the press that the app has been receiving today I suspect many more individuals have downloaded Gigwalk and intend to make some money in the coming weeks and months. You'll have to fight over the available gigs. Stick with it though: The service rewards commitment and professionalism. Once you've earned enough "street cred," the app's ranking system," higher-paying and more complicated tasks will open up to you. And that's where the real money is made.