FAQ: How Google Latitude locates you
Multiple wireless technologies help Google's new Latitude service pinpoint your location
Latitude enables you to track friends, family, employees and others — and vice versa — in real time. Whether this is a good thing (hey, you'll always know where your buddy is in the stadium parking lot) or a preview of a corporate 1984 world in which your boss can track your every move will be determined by how people use the service. It's no surprise that at least one privacy group has already voiced security concerns over Latitude.
For now, though, most questions center on how people can use Latitude and how it does its location voodoo.
Can I use Google Latitude? According to Google, if you have any mobile device that supports Google Maps for Mobile v3.0 and above, you're probably good to go. Those include Android-powered devices with Maps v3.0 and above; most color BlackBerry devices; most Windows Mobile 5.0 and above devices; and most Symbian S60 devices.
In the near future, you'll also be able to use Latitude on the iPhone and iPod Touch with the Google Mobile App in the U.S., and on many Sony Ericsson devices. In addition, you can use Latitude today on a Linux, Mac or Windows PC by using the Latitude iGoogle gadget (you'll need a Google Account) and iGoogle, Google's personalized Web portal.
I don't have a GPS chip in my phone. Can I still use Latitude? You betcha. Latitude can use Wi-Fi access points, cell towers or GPS to work out your location.
How does Latitude do that? Google is using technology that's similar to that of Skyhook Wireless in its Latitude service. Like Skyhook, it is a software-only location solution that allows any mobile device with Wi-Fi, GPS or a cellular radio to determine its position with an accuracy of 10 to 20 meters. What sets XPS apart is that it uses land-based Wi-Fi access points, GPS satellites and cellular towers to determine location information.
In other words, Latitude can use any of the three kinds of signals — Wi-Fi, 2G/3G/4G mobile or GPS satellite — that a device can pick up to work out its location. By leveraging these wireless capabilities, the software can combine positioning data from satellites, carrier assistance servers and Wi-Fi base stations to significantly speed up positioning, or TTFF (time to first fix). TTFF for some devices can be up to a minute, but by using multiple reference sites, Latitude can reduce TTFF to a few seconds.
- 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
- Software Asset Management: Ensuring Today's Assets Today's trends like BYOD and SaaS are new and exciting in terms of how they will help make our jobs more productive but...
- Mobile First: Securing Information Sprawl Learn how the partnership between Box and MobileIron can help you execute a "mobile first" strategy that manages and secures both mobile apps...
- AIIM Trendscape: The New Mobile Reality This AIIM Trendscape report shares data, expert opinions, and a unique perspective on the impact of cloud and mobility in the enterprise, surfacing...
- Empowering Your Mobile Workers A modern mobile IT strategy is no longer an option, it is an absolute necessity. Here's how some of the nation's most progressive...
- It's not too late...Get Your Mobile Questions Answered Live! How can IT provide seamless and secure mobile communications and collaboration for all? Join this live Webcast as IDG asks an expert panel...
- Why do you need an enterprise mobile platform? Today companies must offer great apps that run on a range of devices, and connect to an exploding set of backend data. Appcelerator... All Mobile/Wireless White Papers | Webcasts