Google Latitude

So there’s Google Latitude now. Possibly meant to be primarily a mobile phone feature, it can also be accessed as an iGoogle widget, meaning that even on a computer (probably a portable laptop), you can proudly broadcast your location (to selected friends, of course).

I was quite curious how the location feature worked on a computer, since it doesn’t rely on mobile network towers or GPS (which is usually what a phone would rely on). It seems to provide a level of accuracy far beyond that of simple IP location matching (although that’s a possibility I guess). Google claims that they rely primarily on WiFi router strength – Weiyi provided me a link about WiFi triangulation, and it seems like that’s the way that Google does it. Although they would still need to know the relative signal strengths available at various locations – could it have gathered the (Singaporean) data while taking photographs for Street View? Does it not work to such accuracy in certain other countries? Hopefully the random geeks who stumble upon this post (it happens!) can fill me in on this.

Annoyingly enough, there doesn’t seem to be a way to chat with other people via Latitude (or at least, I couldn’t find any way to do so) on my phone – I was hoping to use it as a Google Talk client. I guess maybe it’s not available on the S60 version?

In not-so-but-slightly-related news, Google Chrome seems set to support extensions before June. I foresee a migration from Mozilla Firefox among the geeks… I certainly would, if it’s faster and has all the features I’m used to in my pimped-up Firefox. Assuming it supports OSX by then, of course.

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Posted on February 5, 2009, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Fails to find my location, guess it’s to do with behind a firewall and being a desktop?

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