Google Latitude

Ten Ways to Use Google Latitude

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At first glance, the Google Latitude application seems like a great service but there are, of course, obvious privacy concerns. Let's leave those aside for a minute and talk about the fun and interesting things you can do with this service.

1. Multi-car road trips. How many times have you lost the person who is trailing you and don't want to have to stop and call? With this you could just turn on Latitude and keep tabs on each other's progress passively.

2. Family outing at the amusement park. Everyone can find out where everyone is at any time. When they are close, they simply track each other down. Or at a certain time everyone turns on their device and walks toward the middle.

3. How about when you go to a sporting event? Where's everyone at the tailgate party? Turn on the Latitude and everyone can meet up at one person's car without having to try to find landmarks like "the red pickup truck".

4. Or what if you just want to meet someone for a drink? Instead of giving directions just turn on your beacon. It even works for a house party.

5. Then there is the social component. What if you put all 200 of your Facebook friends in there. Whenever someone's bored, they flip on their GPS and look around for other bored friends. Out of 200 people, someone you know could also be bored and in the area, right? This is very similar to Loopd.

6. Airports? How great would it be to know where the people you are picking up are? Or the people picking you up?   Of course, you can call but that's not as effective.

7. How about for parenting? When kids go off in the evening, they have to turn on their iPhone or Android every time they change locations. That way the parents know their whereabouts. I can even see this being locked on by parental controls.

8. Finding a pet? Throw a cheap device (say an old Blackberry) on your dog's collar and enable GPS. No more problems finding him when he runs out the back door.

9. What about gaming? I could see a big gaming tourney where everyone has to find everyone else using GPS in the city. I think they already have things like this with current GPS devices. Geocaching?.

10. This could also morph into some weird extension of a dating service. If you met someone else's description and they met yours, you could be joined as friends and then led to each other.

+1. You could leave it on and put your device in someone's bag or car. Instant tracking device. Creepy!

Anybody out there have any others to add?

This story, "Ten Ways to Use Google Latitude" was originally published by Computerworld.

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