Google Latitude Location Alerts

latitude location alert

On my way home tonight I fired up Google Maps to get an address and since I use Latitude, I was also activating my location.  I got an sms telling me my friend and colleague Will was “nearby.”  I received the image above in an email with a similar message …

I actually had forgotten I had turned on these location settings, and now that I see how they really function, I have a few suggestions:

  • 50+ KM is not exactly a practical range for spur of the moment meetups for starters.  Will was 52km away when the alert triggered …
  • There’s no contact number in the sms alert which forces a few more steps to contact (call or sms) the person

I love the idea of social location and if you follow me across various services I’m sure you’ve noticed as well.  What Google is doing is trying to make it easy through the use of location history, but it’s still unclear how that works without constantly opening Maps.  I can’t afford to let Latitude project my location in the background all day as GPS tends to eat batteries …   I’m wondering if there isn’t some sort of data partnership to be had with the various check-in services (or even Yelp!) to augment the more direct GPS tagging you do with maps.  The more data in the mix here the more valuable the results.

Btw – Will developed the Michael Ruhlman Ratio iPhone app – be sure to check it out!

4 comments for “Google Latitude Location Alerts

  1. Charles
    12/18/2009 at 4:08 pm

    interesting. were you or Will really far away from where you normally are (so at least this was informative if not practical for a meetup)?

  2. 12/18/2009 at 7:44 pm

    We had both left work. I was on the train home and he was near home.

  3. Charles
    12/18/2009 at 9:08 pm

    interesting. were you or Will really far away from where you normally are (so at least this was informative if not practical for a meetup)?

  4. 12/19/2009 at 12:44 am

    We had both left work. I was on the train home and he was near home.

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