Google’s Latitude

Google’s latest add on to Google maps is called Latitude. Latitude allows users to share their location with friends via their cell phones. Google recently ended its Dodgeball service, which allowed cell users to share current location information via text by virtually any phone.

With Latitude being an add-on to Google Maps, it relies on the Google Maps ‘My Location’ feature, which uses the signals from nearby cell phone towers to configure a user’s position. What this translates to is that the mobile version of Latitude can only be used with smartphones, such as Apple’s iPhone, Research in Motion’s BlackBerry and other devices capable of running off of Microsoft’s Windows Mobile or Google’s own Android operating system.

The Latitude add-on does more than simply broadcast a user’s location. With Latitude, users have the ability to text, chat or update their status messages. According to Google, the mobile version will be available in 27 countries.

The feature’s mobile use being restricted to a smartphone is not viewed by Google as a limitation, perhaps because there are already 50 million Americans using smartphones. The add-on has the potential to provide peace of mind to parents and others around the world who are concerned about the whereabouts or safety of their loved ones. A parent could check from a PC to ensure their child is where they say they are,and that they are safe. 

As technology breaks barriers, privacy is a key concern. This add-on is completely opt-in, as with any type of location-based social networking system or service. Brought to you by Blue Interactive Agency, your Fort Lauderdale web design and interactive marketing firm.