google latitudeEver wondered where your friends and family were at any given time? Well, now, thanks to Google, you can see where they are any time you feel like it.

Google is continuing on their march to release as many new products as possible it seems, and the newest toy is Google Latitude.  This new tool was announced by the Official Goggle Blog this morning, and it works with Google Maps version 3.0 for mobile phones (list of supported phones here), and accesses your built-in GPS to help you see which of your connections are around you, and also allow others to check up on you. You can then use mobile phones and web browsers to see where the people you have connected with are at any time.

While this may all sound scary, Latitude gives you a lot of control over how information is shared.  You can connect with someone and share no data, just let them know the city you are in, or let them see all of the details.  You can also set yourlocation by hand if you like, so your spouse doesn’t need to see you stopped off for a drink after work.  The other good news is Google stores no data about where you have been, and only has the data of your latest transmission.

While geolocation services like Brightkite have become popular, it was a bit of a pain as you have to update it by hand when you change locations.  With Latitude, it is all done behine the scenes via your phone’s GPS.  You also can think of the possible uses like my family travels a lot, and as I type this, they are driving to Texas.  Well, now I can look any time I want as to where they are, and if they should get in an accident, I would know where to send help.  What if your phone gets stolen?  Follow it!

Overall, I’m impressed, but I don’t plan to share my data with very many people.  For more information, check out the video below.

Categories: Google   

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