Google Latitude is one of the increasing number of “location based social networks”. Google’s service is currently very simple, you can update your location via a mobile or on the web, you can then share your location with specific friends either at a city level or at full accuracy. They recently added a “Public Location Badge” that you can add to your blog to show your location to everybody that visits (we launched a similar service earlier today). Along with this they’ve also added a JSON feed that developers can use to pull your location into third party services, which is great news for us.
To use Google Latitude with mapme.at you’ll need to start by signing up for Latitude and enabling the Public Location Badge. On the page for the badge you should see a link entitled “Public JSON Feed”. Copy that address and then head over to your Location Sources page on mapme.at, scroll down the page until you find the Google Latitude section, enter the address in the box and you’re all set! Within a few minutes we’ll start requesting your location from Latitude.
Unfortunately, for mapme.at to be able to pull your exact location from Google Latitude and build up an accurate history, you will have to enable full public access to your location on Google Latitude (note that you can still hide your location in the standard ways on mapme.at). Obviously this is not ideal but until Google enable an authentication system or some better way of sharing your Latitude location, it’s all that we can offer to you.
One of the really good things about Google Latitude is that their mobile software already runs on so many phones. Already running on most Symbian S60 devices, Windows Mobile 5.0, colour BlackBerry devices and more, it’s quite likely that you’ll be able to run the software on your phone. The obvious omission of course is the iPhone but we already support InstaMapper’s GPS Tracker application and Thom Shannon’s novel email-base location tracking method for iPhone users so that shouldn’t be much of an issue.