Anyone with a computer has seen a Google bar pop up on his or her screen. This enables the user to type in any name or address, push a button and immediately have a response. This search engine has tremendous power and has expanded their operation in to other areas, one of which is called the google lattitude.
This is a new software which is designed for mobile phone users. It allows, with previous permission, for a person to locate the whereabouts of someone else. If, for example, a parent wanted to be sure where his or her child was they could, via their phone, pinpoint their exact location. In today’s age of rapid mobility this would provide a method of knowing if someone were where they were supposed to be.
Keeping track of one’s children, family members or friends would be one way of being sure of their safety. Imagine someone who is kidnapped but has this type of addition to his or her mobile phone. With Google Lattitude It would be possible to track exactly where they were located and contact the authorities.
Doing a thorough mapping of geographical areas, this device will now work in 27 different countries. There are a number of different mobile devices this will operate on such as BlackBerry, Windows Mobile 5.0 and others. The iPhone and iPodtouch are expected to be able to use the system shortly. It will also work on a laptop computer.
In addition to being available for mobile phone users, it can also be loaded on the iGoogle customized home page. This makes it even more convenient for those who use Internet technology. It is interesting that a combination of GPS satellite, mobile phone towers and wireless networks are all used to utilize this amazing new addition to the world of the Internet.
While there are other companies, including Yahoo, who have similar devices covering this area it appears that Google Latitude is superior in many ways. It had built in privacy precautions that allow one to turn off their location and hide or disappear. It can even allow one to set a location that is not where they are at all.
While some look at this in a negative manner, as a way for someone to ‘track’ your movements, the control of the information relayed is always in a person’s possession. Prior to receiving this device a person must have a Google account and sign a statement that designates who is allowed to track your location. It must be remembered that Google also will be able to use this information. However, no one will be able to track a person without his or her permission.
The importance of this new device is astronomical. The possibility of locating missing persons who have been taken against their will can eliminate many of the problems currently incurred in such cases if that person is able to retain their mobile phone. Since a small phone can easily be concealed, there is a good chance it would not be noticed.
With the million of mobile phones being in use today such a program could be utilized in numerous situations for businesses as well as private parties. Imagine a company trying to contact a salesperson or other personal and not getting a response to their phone messages. It would be a simple matter to find out that person’s location provided they did not decide to ‘hide out’ or set their location somewhere other than where they really are.
One use that is being found especially effective is to put the device in a company’s delivery and other vehicles. Should they be stolen it is very easy to determine their location and institute a recovery. While the system might be too pricey for a commercial vehicle at this time it is expected it will become more affordable in the near future. Currently, this may not warrant replacing those with the ‘on star’ device already installed.
Since Google latitude also receives the location information received, and stores it, there has been concern expressed that company might utilize this information in some other manner, unknown to the users . This is a downside as this is very personal information that might be shared with others in some way. One must compare this with the importance of being able to map out a loved one’s location when it is vital to reach them.
Consensus is that google lattitude on mobile phones and other technical devises will eventually become lower in price and be utilized by more people. At any rate, if used correctly and with consent of all parties involved, it could be a very good addition to one’s mobile equipment.