Google Mobile Maps is getting a new feature called Google Latitude. It will allow you to broadcast your location to select friends, family, and colleagues based on the coordinates of your cell phone. Latitude already works in 27 countries on Windows Mobile 5.0 or later, , Blackberries, and most Symbian-based devices such as Nokia smartphones. Android support will begin in about a week, and an iPhone app is coming soon. If you live in the U.S., there is also an iGoogle gadget that shows everyone’s location and messages.
“What Google Latitude does is allow you to share that location with friends and family members, and likewise be able to see friends and family members’ locations,” said Steve Lee, product manager for Google Latitude. For example, a girlfriend could use it to see if her boyfriend has arrived at a restaurant and, if not, how far away he is.
Google isn’t oblivious to your privacy; Google specifically requires people to sign up for the service. They can then share their precise location, the city they’re in, or nothing at all. A Google account is required to use the service. For choosing who gets to see your location, you can use contacts stored with Gmail or Picasa. Latitude is very much like a private version of Yahoo’s Fire Eagle geo-location service; there is no way to broadcast your location to the public at large, only to your own Gmail contacts. Oddly, it does not yet work with Google Friend Connect.
Like other location aware mobile application, Google Latitude uses either your GPS satellite location or by proximity to mobile phone towers and wireless networks.
Read up more on Google Latitude here. This link will also send Latitude to your phone as well as let you check if your phone is compatible.