Google Latitude API Now Available

We’ve covered Google Latitude in the past. Google Latitude is an-add on to the Google Maps and a location based service that allows you to share your location with your friends and family. In case of mobile version of Latitude + Google Maps, you control who gets to see your location but with Google Latitude API, your location can not only be shared with some of the people you choose to share your information with, but you may agree to share your current location with websites, software, third party software solutions or other location based systems.

What are the possibilities?

The possibilities are unlimited with basic information being very simple. For example, if a lot of people in your city use Google Latitude on your mobile, a software solution may get to know about a traffic jam on the road ahead and can recommend you a different path. This is how Google Maps application could possibly show traffic information for several parts of the world without having physical traffic surveillance in place.

Similarly, you can turn on your home lights, air-conditioning or heating systems as soon as you reach near your house. Even your garage door could open automatically on your car’s arrival. I can write an app which could recommend few friends about a coffee shop that will not be far for all of them and they can meet up over a cup of espresso.

Privacy Concerns

Exciting possibilities but I’m not here to discuss application ideas that could be made on top of Google Latitude and maps. This actually concerns me one step further about the privacy. If I have Google Latitude running, I’m leaving a trail of my location and this trail could be used for all the malicious things one can think of. Good old days are gone when a Sniper could miss a chance of killing a movie hero just because he took another path :p

I know Google has been very responsible about the privacy issues but that always opens the possibilities for nasty advertisers giving me a call on my cell phone on the middle of the road saying “Hey, look to your left, that’s the ice-cream shop you always wanted to go to” or a telemarketer calling me, “Good morning! As you are standing on traffic crossing and you have another 3 minutes to wait for the light to go green, do you want me to tell you about our latest credit card?” Life will be way trickier if not insane.

Regardless of all the issues that could arise with this kind of service:

  • I’m still ready to use Google Latitude to share my location with my family and close friends.
  • I’m still ready to work on the Google Latitude API to come up with yet another killer application nobody else can think of
  • I’m still excited to know yet another possible way application developers can come up with very interesting solutions for us

Are you impressed, excited, happy, worried, concerned or disappointed about this new development? Please do leave a comment ๐Ÿ™‚

46 Replies to “Google Latitude API Now Available”

  1. Hi, thanks so much for these tips! My blogs usually do bring readers and responses. One thing I do is engage with the readers. Answer questions in responses and make clarifications where needed. I think they appreciate that I take the time to talk to them.

  2. LOL on Snipper missing a chance to kill ๐Ÿ™‚

    Just one request! Once people get hands on this application in a handsome number, please provide me with statistics that how many people share their location with their wives and bosses? ๐Ÿ˜›

    See two extremes:
    – Ufone giving “Background music” option so that you may deceive people regarding your location.
    – Google Latitude API offering you to share your EXACT location with people.

    Technology growing towards both sides…

  3. Hi, I’m very interested in Linux but Im a Super Newbie and I’m having trouble deciding on the right distribution for me (Havent you heard this a million times?) anyway here is my problem, I need a distribution that can switch between reading and writing in English and Japanese (Japanese Language Support) with out restarting the operating system.

  4. Between me and my husband we’ve owned more MP3 players over the years than I can count, including Sansas, iRivers, iPods (classic & touch), the Ibiza Rhapsody, etc. But, the last few years I’ve settled down to one line of players. Why? Because I was happy to discover how well-designed and fun to use the underappreciated (and widely mocked) Zunes are.

  5. Zune and iPod: Most people compare the Zune to the Touch, but after seeing how slim and surprisingly small and light it is, I consider it to be a rather unique hybrid that combines qualities of both the Touch and the Nano. It’s very colorful and lovely OLED screen is slightly smaller than the touch screen, but the player itself feels quite a bit smaller and lighter. It weighs about 2/3 as much, and is noticeably smaller in width and height, while being just a hair thicker.

  6. The new Zune browser is surprisingly good, but not as good as the iPod’s. It works well, but isn’t as fast as Safari, and has a clunkier interface. If you occasionally plan on using the web browser that’s not an issue, but if you’re planning to browse the web alot from your PMP then the iPod’s larger screen and better browser may be important.

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