Google Latitude, now with Location History & Alerts

Tuesday, November 10, 2009 | 4:15 PM

Since the launch of Google Latitude earlier this year, we've been getting a lot of feature requests. One of the most popular ideas was for Latitude to keep track of location history, allowing you (but not your friends) to see where you've been at any point in time. Another popular idea was to notify you when you're near your Latitude friends so you can easily meet up or grab lunch. Today, we're happy to introduce both Google Location History and Google Location Alerts (beta) to let you do even more with Latitude.

Google Location History
Whether you're taking a road trip across the country, backpacking across Europe, or just going out for a night on the town, it's fascinating to look back at where you went, and for how long you stayed. Enable Google Location History to store, view, and manage your past Latitude locations. You can visualize your history on Google Maps and Earth or play back a recent trip in order. Of course, you can always delete selected history or your entire location history at any time. While working on Location History, I found myself going back in time to discover things that would have otherwise been impossible. For example, I stopped at an awesome BBQ place on my way back from Lake Tahoe this summer, but I couldn't remember the name when my friend was asking about it a few months later. I pulled up my location history for that weekend, found where I was stationary on the drive home, and the restaurant name showed up in Google Maps: Drooling Dog Bar BQ. Check it out below:



Google Location Alerts (beta)
People also want to know when their friends were nearby, but it's not always convenient to keep checking Latitude to see if a friend has recently shown up near you. After working on this for a while, we realized it wasn't as straightforward as sending a notification every time Latitude friends were near each other. Imagine that you're Latitude friends with your roommate or co-workers. It would get pretty annoying to get a text message every single time you walked in the door at home or pulled into work. To avoid this, we decided to make Location Alerts smarter by requiring that you also enable Location History. Using your past location history, Location Alerts can recognize your regular, routine locations and not create alerts when you're at places like home or work. Alerts will only be sent to you and any nearby friends when you're either at an unusual place or at a routine place at an unusual time. Keep in mind that it may take up to a week to learn your "unusual" locations and start sending alerts.

To enable these features, go to google.com/latitude/apps. You must first be an existing Google Latitude user; if you're not already, sign up here. You must explicitly enable each feature, and of course, you can disable it at any time. Learn more in the Help Center about Location Alerts and Location History, suggest and vote on ideas in the Mobile Product Ideas page, or report problems in the Mobile Help Forum.Chris Lambert, Software Engineer, Google Mobile

39 comments:

Ken said...

Location history is going to be *so* useful... thank you!

James Carnley said...

If only Latitude were available for WebOS I would be using it everyday. This looks like such a great tool.

Tom said...

Web OS please!

Coop said...

Would love this on Web OS!

Andy F. said...

Can we actually get a website for this app? just a gadget is kinda lame :(

other wise awesome stuff, but we need more people!

bk said...

WebOS, yes, please! I've been wanting location history so badly, I've been thinking about hacking together my own lame, scripted solution on the linux side of the phone.

Our Food Recipes said...

Very very useful information and application....thanks

HaDAk said...

I loved this on my Blackberry, but now it's time for some WebOS lovin!

Pitel said...

Port it into J2ME maps, please.

Tomas said...

Nice! Using Google Maps with Latitude on my HTC Wings and Nokia E50, but now i really want Latitude on Palm Pre (webOS). Please, please. :)

Thanks for new stuff in Latitude!

Tiago Leite said...

Can you make the latitude igoogle app available in Portugal?
Thank's!

tikoim said...

Great feature. I hope its also available as Android app or better, integrated in Maps on phone as feature. Would be better than Google's MyTracks.

thanks

Oshawapilot said...

Still useless on the iPhone without a native app with background updating.

Out of all my iPhone-owning Latitude users a grand total of zero have updated their location in the last month due to the manual nature of it on the iPhone at this point.

spencer harris said...

i'd like to join in the requests for a webOS version...thanks in advance!

Venugopal said...

Awesome app..very useful.. :-)
Can I use it outside iGoogle as a wesite? This gadget is kinda lame :(

fishy said...

How to enable and view the history for a google app account? I bundled my google app account on my Android 1.5 phone so I can only use google latitude on my google app account.

Ciupy said...

I don't know how to put this in a better way, so I will scream it from the top of my lungs in the front of Rockefeller Center in NYC if I have to!
GOOGLE LATITUDE FOR WEBOS!!!
GOOGLE LATITUDE FOR WEBOS!!!
GOOGLE LATITUDE FOR WEBOS!!!
Thanks in advance guys... I know that some of you out there in CA carry either the Pre or the Pixi. Do us a favour and get us Latitude also.
Ciupyke

Tom said...

New Picasa feature? Geotag photos from Latitude History? I'd love it.

Dan said...

If only we could have the BB app always use GPS and not fall back on triangulation when the app isn't open - it's really inaccurate in rural areas without cell tower density, and I bet that could get annoying with alerts.

Ben said...

Sounds interesting. Is there a WebOS version of Latitude in the works? That sure would be swell.

Josef said...

I'd love to use this on my Moto Droid, but the 'Download from Market' button on the page you sent to my phone doesn't work.

Josef said...

Specifically, it says this:

There are no matches in Android Market for the search: pname:com.google.android.apps-maps

Suggestions:

- Make sure all words are spelled correctly

- Try different keywords

- Try more general keywords

Kimmo said...

The learning thing in the usage of the history seems a good idea (at work, home...). But can I teach it to ignore errors in the positioning? For example, for the last night the history shows that I've been "sleepwalking" in the neighbourhood :).

Then again, I haven't used this service long enough to know if errors in the positioning process really matter :).

Martijn said...

Very nice but for some reason I can not use the history and alert feature with my Google Apps account?

I use my gmail account on my laptop and my phone uses my Google Apps account.

Please make it work with Google Apps.

Mooky said...

webOS

UCI said...

We are researchers studying people’s attitudes towards Google Latitude. If you have heard of Google Latitude (whether you have used it or not) and are at least 18 years old, we would like to talk with you. Please email us back at ucistudy@ics.uci.edu

We are conducting this research under the Institute for Software Research at the University of California, Irvine.

bicienzo said...

useless on iphone...

Shafiq Rehman said...

dang it, use less on iphone. I am losing my love with google ...

SJP said...

I too would love to see this on webos. Please stop ignoring a great platform.

zubz said...

looking for some good software for windows mobile from google

Schafer said...

Another vote for WebOS support, thanks!

sky_is_the_limit said...

What about ANDROID? Why does Google not support its own platform more?

John said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

John said...

Thank you so much for adding the history feature! Also, it would be great if there was a way to save a Google Latitude history location to one of "My Maps" in google maps. That way if I found a great place and look it up in my Google Latitude history I could then put it on a map to share, thanks!

dasmeet said...

Thats weird.. I think latitude is there in android.. it's in the native Google Maps application.. Click on menu button and there is an option to join Google Latitude..

Webmaster said...

This feature would be much more useful if Google Maps would allow us the option to update our location at a selected interval (like the bLADE app for FireEagle). Is this in the plans?

Paul said...

WebOS WebOS WebOS!!

dian eko said...

wow..useful information for me..

thanks

fartonmyear said...

question: how often does it update? i use an app that kills tasks if they're idle. will this interfere with it?