Google Latitude lets you track friends, employees
Analyst: Google Maps upgrade marries social networking, mapping and mobility
Computerworld - Need to know in real time which service truck is closest to a customer's location? Want to know whether your daughter really is at the library or how your friend is progressing on a trip through Napa Valley?
Google Inc. just made it a bit easier to get that information.
The company today unveiled an upgrade to Google Maps that allows people to track the exact location of friends or family through their mobile devices. Google Latitude not only shows the location of friends, but it can also be used to contact them via SMS, Google Talk or Gmail, said Vic Gundotra, vice president of engineering with Google's mobile team, in a blog post. A beta version of Google Latitude was released more than a year ago.
"Now you can do things like see if your spouse is stuck in traffic on the way home from work, notice that a buddy is in town for the weekend or take comfort in knowing that a loved one's flight landed safely, despite bad weather," wrote Gundotra. "It's a fun way to feel close to the people you care about."
Scott Ellison, vice president of mobile and wireless at IDC, said such GPS technology has been available from other vendors for some time, Google's entry into the business prompts a lot of buzz.
"Latitude puts a powerful tool in users' hands. Parents can easily track their children. People can follow their friends' travels," said Olds. "Businesses can watch employee movements across the world or inside a particular facility. It will allow them to quickly dispatch, for example, the closest service person to a customer location. With Latitude, it can be done without taking the time to call service people to find out if the workers actually are where they think they are. The company will automatically know."
But Olds also noted that people need to think through who can access such personal information. "Users need to understand how to do it and why they probably don't want to constantly broadcast their locations to the world at large," he added.
Google explained in an online statement that users can opt into the GPS feature or allow only specific friends or family members to follow their travels. Once an agreement is reached, users will be able to see their friends' profile pictures appear on a map through their mobile device or desktop computer.
- Review: Google Latitude puts phones in their place
- Dan Tynan: Is Google taking too much "Latitude"
- Google Latitude lets you track friends, employees
- FAQ: How Google Latitude locates you
- Privacy group calls Google Latitude a 'danger' to security
- Eric Lundquist: Google Latitude, the corporate spin
- Seth Weintraub: Google Latitude -- Ten uses
- Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols: You can't hide from location-based apps
- Assessing ROI for Mobile Acceleration Clients This EMA® paper examines the business case for deploying mobile WAN optimization client software and builds a ROI model based on the experiences...
- The Apple-ization of the Enterprise: Understanding IT's New World Read this paper for how to tackle Apple-ization (and the related consumerization of IT and Bring Your Own Device/BYOD).
- A Practical Introduction to Enterprise Mobility Management Read the white paper to better understand the basic concepts within mobility management and to learn how you can apply EMM technology to...
- Enterprise Mobility: A Checklist for Secure Containerization The advantages and disadvantages of the multiple approaches to containerization. Learn More>>
- On-demand webinar: "Mobility Mayhem: Balancing BYOD with Enterprise Security" Check out this on-demand webinar to hear Sophos senior security expert John Shier deep dive into how BYOD impacts your enterprise security strategy...
- Mobile Security: Containerizing Enterprise Data In this on-demand webinar, Fixmo's Lee Cocking, VP of corporate strategy, explains why Apple-ization trends like mobility and "bring-your-own-device" (BYOD) are driving the... All Mobile/Wireless White Papers | Webcasts
Our new weekly Consumerization of IT newsletter covers a wide range of trends including BYOD, smartphones, tablets, MDM, cloud, social and what it all means for IT. Subscribe now and stay up to date!