Google Latitude Shows, Shares Location

Google might have recently killed off a few projects these last couple of weeks, but they’re still unveiling new ones all the time. Today sees the announcement of Latitude, the location broadcasting service that combines Google Maps with GPS and cell phone triangulation.

Want to know where your wife is so you can start dinner? This is the service that will help. Computer-based iGoogle shows a map with the whereabouts of people who have opted in to location broadcasting so you can see if she’s still at work or stuck in traffic.

The service is set to roll out to smart phones with Windows Mobile, iPhone, BlackBerry, and naturally, Android. If your Google Maps is updated to v3.0 or higher, you’ll have it. T-Mobile G1 owners should look for a system update soon!

As much as we love Loopt, we have to imagine that a majority of its users are utilizing the app for knowing where their friends and family are. The Twitter and Facebook integration is great, but we’re guessing it’s not used as much as they’d like. Google is the kind of company with mass appeal and built-in fan base to steal away users. Judging by the video we saw, Latitude seems very easy to understand and set up.

For all of the people concerned about privacy, the Latitude service is of course opt-in. You don’t have to let mom know where you are 24 hours a day unless you want to.

I’ll leave you with a rhetorical question: How long do you think it will be before you start seeing advertisments on the map suggesting places for you to hang out?

  • PM

    This is great. Now they should take it one step further and let you program your garage door, house lights and other ammenities you might want on into the phone system. Wouldnt it be great to turn onto your street and see your garage start up before even getting in distance of the garage door openers capabilities? Or if you wanted it to start the oven for you, although I suspect that one might be kinda iffy since it could start a fire. I think that there are a lot of applications that a GPS location app could do for you, such as those things and I am excited to see when they come up.

  • Yahoo fire eagle is another option, but since this is google well ok. is there an API for this?

  • A S

    With this announcement, Google also probably killed off a few projects / business ideas of OTHERS (who wanted to offer similar features)!

    PM & Mike – It’s only a matter of time before Google offers an API for this so that developers can write their own apps doing things that PM talks about.