Google Latitude is a Marker to Consider

cellphone The Official Google Mobile blog reports a new service: Google Latitude, which overlays Google maps with information about where your friends are, in real time. It’s opt-in, and there are privacy features already in place for it, so don’t get all crazy on us now. But I think this is a point in time to consider. I’ll explain in a moment.

First off, Google Latitude has the ability to spread ridiculously fast. In its mobile form (and that’s really the only version users should care about), they’ve got versions working for Android(naturally), Blackberry, Symbian S60, and Windows Mobile. Missing (and what the hell are you thinking?) is the iPhone version. It’s the right tool for our phones, and it’s a great tool for those of us who don’t have only two locations in our daily map: work, home.

map graphic And yes, for some of you (I’m looking at you, BrightKite), this announcement is a bit scary. If I’m a mobile map-like product, I’ve just been served notice.

But, where this gets interesting is that the applications between Google Local, with its voting features and its review features, and now with Google Latitude with the ability to annotate the world ( I’m a bit obsessed with the concept), we’re on to something. Do you see it?

Sidebar: If you haven’t read William Gibson’s Spook Country, now’s the time to pick that up. Laced into the plot are ideas for where this could be really interesting.

Data overlaying real space has been considered in many ways before. How could we put digital markers up? How will notation by friends (because really, throwing spammy ads all over a map just means I won’t read your map) change how I interact with businesses? When I get to Denver, will I check Latitude to see which of my friends has marked the map to where the best sushi is, the most fun of the three hotels over by the school?

That mix of local, of maps, and of annotation is powerful. Storytellers, marketers, journalists, and others who think about information as more than something to read while eating cereal, I’ve put you on alert.

Dream harder.

Want to see if it works for your phone yet? Go to http://google.com/latitude from your mobile device and see what happens. (This works on your desktop browser as well).

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  • http://freddy.snapvids.com Freddy Gipson

    Google Latitude: Cyber-stalking just got a little bit easier.

    Aside from the fact you can track people down with this and use it as a big brother tool I think this is a very neat service because you can map out certain locations and landmarks as well as find out where your business partners are at.

  • http://freddy.snapvids.com Freddy Gipson

    Google Latitude: Cyber-stalking just got a little bit easier.

    Aside from the fact you can track people down with this and use it as a big brother tool I think this is a very neat service because you can map out certain locations and landmarks as well as find out where your business partners are at.

  • http://freddy.snapvids.com Freddy Gipson

    Google Latitude: Cyber-stalking just got a little bit easier.

    Aside from the fact you can track people down with this and use it as a big brother tool I think this is a very neat service because you can map out certain locations and landmarks as well as find out where your business partners are at.

  • http://www.chrisbrogan.com chris brogan

    It’s not just about where you are, but where you’ve been. That’s the fun part. :)

  • http://www.chrisbrogan.com chris brogan

    It’s not just about where you are, but where you’ve been. That’s the fun part. :)

  • http://www.chrisbrogan.com chris brogan

    It’s not just about where you are, but where you’ve been. That’s the fun part. :)

  • http://stefanomaggi.blogspot.com Stefano Maggi

    I think Google Latitude is just a sign, a symbol, too. But – in fact – it’s so good for Social Influence Marketing, what do you think?
    A few reflections about this (partly inspired by your post) http://tinyurl.com/thehare

  • http://stefanomaggi.blogspot.com Stefano Maggi

    I think Google Latitude is just a sign, a symbol, too. But – in fact – it’s so good for Social Influence Marketing, what do you think?
    A few reflections about this (partly inspired by your post) http://tinyurl.com/thehare

  • http://stefanomaggi.blogspot.com Stefano Maggi

    I think Google Latitude is just a sign, a symbol, too. But – in fact – it’s so good for Social Influence Marketing, what do you think?
    A few reflections about this (partly inspired by your post) http://tinyurl.com/thehare

  • Pingback: Do You Have a Private Life? - Mel Robbins: the blog

  • http://TheSocialNetworker.com Chris Miller

    Chris, I did a quick comparison chart for Latitude and Brightkite yesterday. Guess who wins? Not Latitude yet..

    http://planetlotus.org/438fb4

  • http://TheSocialNetworker.com Chris Miller

    Chris, I did a quick comparison chart for Latitude and Brightkite yesterday. Guess who wins? Not Latitude yet..

    http://planetlotus.org/438fb4

  • http://TheSocialNetworker.com Chris Miller

    Chris, I did a quick comparison chart for Latitude and Brightkite yesterday. Guess who wins? Not Latitude yet..

    http://planetlotus.org/438fb4

  • http://rorowe.blogspot.com Robert Rowe

    BrightKite still offers the ability to check-in via sms. Of course it isn’t as easy as checking in from a laptop or iPhone, but it works. Latitude doesn’t offer the simple text message check-in.
    I definitely agree, Google getting in the game is a big deal, but I don’t see them killing off everything else yet.

  • http://rorowe.blogspot.com Robert Rowe

    BrightKite still offers the ability to check-in via sms. Of course it isn’t as easy as checking in from a laptop or iPhone, but it works. Latitude doesn’t offer the simple text message check-in.
    I definitely agree, Google getting in the game is a big deal, but I don’t see them killing off everything else yet.

  • http://rorowe.blogspot.com Robert Rowe

    BrightKite still offers the ability to check-in via sms. Of course it isn’t as easy as checking in from a laptop or iPhone, but it works. Latitude doesn’t offer the simple text message check-in.
    I definitely agree, Google getting in the game is a big deal, but I don’t see them killing off everything else yet.

  • http://www.chilesadvertising.com lawton chiles

    I get it…what they are selling is the concept of instant engagement, or at least the chance for some friend of yours to buy you a free dessert :) This is HUGE though, b/c it’s like a conversations map.

    It’s a “jump to conclusions mat!’-Office Space

  • http://www.chilesadvertising.com lawton chiles

    I get it…what they are selling is the concept of instant engagement, or at least the chance for some friend of yours to buy you a free dessert :) This is HUGE though, b/c it’s like a conversations map.

    It’s a “jump to conclusions mat!’-Office Space

  • http://www.chilesadvertising.com lawton chiles

    I get it…what they are selling is the concept of instant engagement, or at least the chance for some friend of yours to buy you a free dessert :) This is HUGE though, b/c it’s like a conversations map.

    It’s a “jump to conclusions mat!’-Office Space

  • http://shelbinator.com Shelby Highsmith

    N95 users, be wary: I and a few others have wound up with Symbian bricks that needed wiping after Latitude/Google Maps 3.0 hung in mid-install: http://tr.im/f7ve

  • http://shelbinator.com Shelby Highsmith

    N95 users, be wary: I and a few others have wound up with Symbian bricks that needed wiping after Latitude/Google Maps 3.0 hung in mid-install: http://tr.im/f7ve

  • http://shelbinator.com Shelby Highsmith

    N95 users, be wary: I and a few others have wound up with Symbian bricks that needed wiping after Latitude/Google Maps 3.0 hung in mid-install: http://tr.im/f7ve

  • http://SoHotRightNow.info gregbeazley

    I knew it was only a matter of time before Google launched their own location sharing app. Its good and convenient! There are other location sharing apps out there but the main problem would be their take-up of users. Google already has a large customer base and it is a trusted source. Thumbs up for me!

  • http://SoHotRightNow.info gregbeazley

    I knew it was only a matter of time before Google launched their own location sharing app. Its good and convenient! There are other location sharing apps out there but the main problem would be their take-up of users. Google already has a large customer base and it is a trusted source. Thumbs up for me!

  • http://SoHotRightNow1.blogspot.com Greg Beazley

    I knew it was only a matter of time before Google launched their own location sharing app. Its good and convenient! There are other location sharing apps out there but the main problem would be their take-up of users. Google already has a large customer base and it is a trusted source. Thumbs up for me!

  • http://TheSocialNetworker.com Chris Miller

    Ok, one more posting on tips and tricks for Google Latitude from playing around with features and how it can work better for me
    http://planetlotus.org/44cb04

  • http://TheSocialNetworker.com Chris Miller

    Ok, one more posting on tips and tricks for Google Latitude from playing around with features and how it can work better for me
    http://planetlotus.org/44cb04

  • http://TheSocialNetworker.com Chris Miller

    Ok, one more posting on tips and tricks for Google Latitude from playing around with features and how it can work better for me
    http://planetlotus.org/44cb04