Thursday, April 9, 2009 | 2:40 PM
Since the launch of Google Latitude in February, many of you have come up with fun and creative ways to use it. We'd like to highlight some of your bright ideas, then share our own idea for creating a message using the icons on the map.
First up, we were totally revved by the story of Garage 419's do-it-yourself race from Manhattan, NY, to Washington D.C., using a plane, a train, an automobile, and various mobile devices. These guys took advantage of Latitude to keep tabs on the race in progress and make adjustments in their strategy and speed. We won't spoil the results, since you can watch the video for yourself. We didn't have racing in mind when we built the app, but who are we to argue with high-tech games?
Next we stumbled on a safari hunt in Glasgow and London. Following clues from Twitter and Latitude, pub crawlers were invited to track down two red lions (the mascots of the Whyte and Mackay brand) that were roaming between various bars and pubs in the two cities.
The Blogger grapevine also brought us this tale of a San Francisco resident who accidentally left his Nokia E71 behind in a cab one night. After remembering that Latitude was switched on, he rushed to his computer, only to find that his phone had already made it to Boston. "Maybe this post will get picked up," he blogged, "go viral and find it's way to the person who has my phone." So far as we know that hasn't happened yet, but we'll echo Nick's plea: "[I]f you do read this, Mister Whoever-found-my-phone, do the right thing."
So what have we done lately? Well, if you need a creatively geeky way to send someone a message, we've got just the ticket. Spell it out with Google Latitude!
We've also made it easy for you to customize your own video, so try writing your own message and pass the video along to a friend. We're very excited by these creative ways of using Latitude, and we look forward to seeing more. If you come up with one yourself, be sure to let us know!
Robin Norvell, Consumer Operations