Many thoughts about Google Latitude

Google spy in your pocket headline from the Metro Newspaper

When new technology comes along and disrupts, its hard to grapple with the questions and answers. I've been thinking about Google Latitude for a while since I got it working on Friday night and decided theres quite a lot of complexity to this new distruptive technology. Here's what I've been thinking

  • In Google Latitude you can turn the share my location off but what about those who you want to show your location. There's no fine grain control over what your friends can see it would seem.
  • Even if you could control what each friend saw, it would be a pain in the ass to change each time. Maybe in the future some kind of grouping would make more sense.
  • Following on from that, it would be good to see a more Fireeagle type response, where I can say to a group of friends I'm in this city, while to the public I can say I'm in this country. And of course to the selected group of friends, which street I'm actually on
  • But also following that, will friend get funny about only being able to see which City I'm in instead of the area or street. Maybe they will only share what you share with them?
  • Maybe it even makes sense that you can only share what that other person shares with you? so if I share only which city I'm in with all my friends, I can't see which street there on. Reforce the friends factor?
  • I've decided not to add close work mates to my friends list because I really don't want them to know where I am. And yes I can turn it off but then theres the whole, why did you turn it off? Were you hiding something?
  • Using your mobile with cell trianglation is pretty good but with additional GPS you can track right down to a small range of house addresses.
  • I didn't agree to Google Latitude getting my updates from Jaiku, even if they are public. But hey its not bad little feature
  • Where's the public view of Latitude for some of more darling types? And talking of which, where's the API, ical feeds and georss feeds?

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Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser. Can be found at, and