google latitude, creepy or convenient?

Posted by susan on February 13th, 2009. Filed under: travel tech.

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[Image from CIO Today]

Google Latitude is a new feature of Google Maps for mobile, and for people without a PDA like me, it is also an iGoogle gadget that allows you to share your location with your friends and vice versa. The Google Mobile blog gets into more of the specifics if you are not already familiar.

I just signed up out of curiosity. I’m not sure what to think.

If I were to divide my “real life” friends and my “social media” friends, I have noticed that only one person in the former group is a part of Latitude and I am not sure that the latter group necessarily cares about my exact location, as long as I am updating my blog and have a presence on twitter. But the thing with Google Latitude is, at least it seems to me, is that it merges the two groups together, in the same way that Facebook does except at an even more personal level. To be honest, my initial impression was – this is kind of creepy.

But let’s think about the positives. While I don’t have a fancy “mobile device” I am wondering, if I did, would it be useful for those friends and family members that are nice enough to pick me up at the airport from time to time?

For example, if my flight was delayed, they could be immediately updated of my current location and therefore glean that something went wrong with the flight. But then again, if I knew someone was picking me up, I would call them before they even thought of checking their Latitude.

For the more avid travelers than I, it could be a cool tool for finding out exactly where your fellow travelers are. But isn’t that what Dopplr is for? And, can’t we talk about that on TBEX?

Due to the fact that I’ve only made one connection on Google Latitude, combined with my lack of a cool PDA, I can’t really get the most of it, so I am wondering – what do you think of it?

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