Social Location: Is Google Latitude the GPS Revolution’s Killer App?

There is much talk recently about the GPS Revolution. Just look at the cover of the latest issue of the WIRED magazine. Technology power houses like Google, Microsoft, Nokia, T-Mobile and large social networks like Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn are offering location aware features or sharing options. And of course there are services like Brightkite, Yahoo! Fire Eagle or Plazes that are specialized on location sharing. Let’s break down some of the most basic usage scenarios and best practice examples. And let’s take a look at what Google Latitude offers and how it might fit into the bigger picture.

Since mobile phones found their way into the pockets and hand bags of everyday people the often heard questions when taking a call is: “Where are you?” followed by “What do you do?”. These are the things that most social network services revolve around. Up to the minute status messages have created a new neural network among friends, business partners and otherwise connected crowds. Mark Zuckerberg talks about “creating efficiency within society” and I agree.
And while it is good to see that “Melina has chocolate for breakfast”, “Martin is freezing in Chicago”, or “Jeff is returning from a conference in Berlin”, theses posts are of limited relevance when either enough time has passed between when they are posted and when they are read or simply thousands of miles are between poster and reader. Add in proximity filtering and alerting options and posting like the ones above can become a whole lot more relevant and actionable. Continue reading Social Location: Is Google Latitude the GPS Revolution’s Killer App?