Wednesday, May 19, 2010 | 12:05 PM
Location, location, location. In case you haven’t noticed, we’re really excited about all the ways location can make mobile apps and websites more useful. With Google Latitude, we created a simple way for you to own your location and let you easily share it with whomever you like, display it wherever you like, and even keep a history of it if you want. We wanted to give you even more ways to use your location, so today we’re announcing the Google Latitude API -- an easy and safe way for you to use and reuse your Latitude location with any apps or services that you can imagine!
Since launching Latitude, our team has been talking about all the cool things you could do with your continuously updated Latitude location. While we’ve built some of our ideas, there are simply too many exciting ones for us to do alone. Instead, we wanted to let you safely share your Latitude location with third parties who could create apps that do more with your location. Developers could, for example, build apps or services for:
- Thermostats that turn on and off automatically when you’re driving towards or away from home.
- Traffic that send alerts if there’s heavy traffic ahead of you or on a route you usually take based on your location history
- Your credit card accounts to alert you of potential fraud when a purchase is made far from where you actually are.
- Photo albums so your vacation photos appear on a map at all the places you visited based on your location history.
We’ve also learned that making your phone’s continuous location available in the background is tricky to do accurately and efficiently -- just imagine your phone’s battery life if several apps were continuously getting your location in different ways? With this in mind, we built a free and open Latitude API that lets the third-party developers you choose start using your updated location in new ways without reinventing the wheel.
If you’re a developer, go to code.google.com/apis/latitude to get started and read our documentation. Join the Latitude API Google Group to ask questions, discuss the API with the community, and give us feedback. The Latitude API is being launched in Labs so we can listen to developer and user feedback before it graduates. We’re excited to see what you can do with Latitude and location so please do let us know what you think!
If you’re a Latitude user, check out our existing Latitude apps and keep an eye out for future apps and services that you can choose to use and do even more with your Latitude location. If you haven’t started using Latitude yet, get started so you too can start using your location in new ways.