Feeds

Google will tell your mates where you are

If that's what you really want

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

Google's Maps for Mobile just went social, with the launch of Latitude; a service that automatically shares your location with selected friends who might want to know where you are.

Enrolling in Latitude is just a matter of downloading the latest Mobile Maps, or the desktop gadget for those the non-road-warrior just wants to keep track of their friends, or enemies. Location is established using GPS, or celltower idents that Google has already accumulated for the MyLocation service, and is shared with those one selects using the Latitude interface.

Google claims not to store any location information, other than the last update, and location sharing doesn't have to be two-way - when a friend offers to share their location with you, you are at liberty to keep your location secret or share only to city-scale, as the "latitude privacy" video shows:

You need to have Mobile Maps running the whole time, obviously, which cuts out iPhone users for the moment, though there's talk of a workaround. Running the application the whole time is going to have a significant impact on battery life, though we can't tell you how much as when we tried to use the service it wasn't allowing us to log on.

If you feel the need to share your location with the world then you're probably already doing that using Twitter or similar, though this could save you some typing. More concerning is when your boss asks you to give the software a go - automated time-and-motion studies for free, and companies selling commercial tracking systems should be concerned.

Google isn't storing historical location information, unlike your cellular operator, but should the service become popular then it won't be easy to ignore the revenue stream such information represents. Potential users might also like to consider what happens when they do decide not to share their location for an hour or two - creating more questions from curious friends or colleagues than might be welcome. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Scotland's BIG question: Will independence cost me my broadband?
They can take our lives, but they'll never take our SPECTRUM
Bring back error correction, say Danish 'net boffins
We don't need no steenkin' TCP/IP retransmission and the congestion it causes
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
NBN Co adds apartments to FTTP rollout
Commercial trial locations to go live in September
Samsung Z Tizen OS mobe is post-phoned – this time for good?
Russian launch for Sammy's non-droid knocked back
Telstra to KILL 2G network by end of 2016
GSM now stands for Grave-Seeking-Mobile network
Seeking LTE expert to insert small cells into BT customers' places
Is this the first step to a FON-a-like 4G network?
What FTC lawsuit? T-Mobile US touts 10GB, $100 family-of-4 plan
Folks 'could use that money for more important things' says CEO Legere
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.