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Mobile Map Your Friends

Google has recently released a free application for mobile phone users that will allow you to broadcast your destination and invite your friends to see where you are.  After locating them on your phone’s “Google Map” you can then 'click' them and SMS, IM, email or place a phone call – or just show up at their destination. Latitude uses technology to judge a user's location by GPS satellite and also by proximity to mobile phone towers and wireless networks. You have control over your privacy settings which allows you to turn off “Latitude” or hide your destination from any of the friends in your list. You can also manually set you location to spoof your whereabouts.

Even if you don’t have a mobile device that supports Latitude you can still track your friends’ movements from your PC or Mac by logging into Google Maps and enabling Latitude.

When your out and open to friends joining you for a game of tennis or a drink after work you can change your  “status” and leave an open invite “Playing Tennis – come join”, or you may just want to update your family or partner “Plane just landed”.

It appears that the application has some great functionality as long as you don’t mind sharing your exact whereabouts with friends and also with Google. It looks like this is the first step for Google to start targeting real-time local search. In the long run Google should be able to push personalized advertising to you based on your Google profile, current searching patterns and the all important LOCATION.

 

 

Google Latitude is a feature of Google Maps for mobile on these phones:

  • Android-powered devices, such as the T-Mobile G1 
  • iPhone and iPod touch devices (coming soon)
  • most color BlackBerry devices
  • most Windows Mobile 5.0+ devices
  • most Symbian S60 devices (Nokia smartphones)
  • many Java-enabled (J2ME) mobile phones, such as Sony Ericsson devices (coming soon)