Are You Being Stalked On Google Latitude?

If you have not already heard about or used Google Latitude, it may come as a bit of a shock to you that Google ventured into location-based services (shocking!).  While the service has been out for quite some time, many people are still unaware of its existence.  With the growing popularity of Google+, Google has now implemented Google Check-ins into the Google+ app.  Competition for Foursquare, I doubt it, but this app may come in handy for some.  Google Latitude is available as an iphone app, or if you have android, it is available through Google Maps with a handy widget for your screen.  You can also access it on your desktop at

The Run Down

Google Latitude is a way for you to see on a map exactly where your family and friends are.  As in the how-to video for Google Latitude, you can see if your parents arrived home safely from their trip, or you can see if any of your friends are close by.  Google gives you the ability to chat with these friends by email, phone, text, or Google Chat.  Google also gives you the ability to get directions to where your family or friends have checked into. This is handy if you are wanted to meet your friends out for a drink or need directions to the restaurant your family picked to meet at.

This would also a great tool for parents.  Do you have a teenager who just got their license?  With Google Latitude, you can see exactly where your kids are going, as long as they are checking in.  This can give you piece of mind and keep your kids safe as well.  Google Latitude could also be an amazing tool if you are going to a different part of the country and want to keep track of where you have been.  Google Latitude lets you see past check ins! Worried about where your sales associates are actually going?  Have them check in when they are out on sales calls.

Keeping Your Privacy

Because of obvious privacy issues, you have to sign up for the service and turn it on yourself.  Share your location with people you do not know is an obvious no-no, as you do not want people to know exactly where you are if you have no idea who they are.  That is definite grounds for stalkers, robbers, and who knows what else.  You must be careful.  This tool is better used for continuing relationships and not making new ones.  Google does give you some privacy, you can choose to share your exact locations, just the city, or not at all.  You can choose to hide from certain people as well.  It is always a good rule of thumb to only share with people you know and trust with your location.

Your Views

Do you use Google Latitude?  If you do, how do you use it?

Do you prefer Foursquare to Google Latitude?

Foursquare Explore: Suggestions, Menus, and Maps, Oh My!

Although already on the Foursquare app, Foursquare Explore has just recently rocked the mobile and desktop versions of the fast growing social location sharing site.  Along with this new feature that landed on the site last week, Foursquare has also unveiled an even more enticing feature: Menus.  Over 250,000 menus have been added to restaurants along with prices, so you know what you are getting into before you head out.  While this is still only available on the mobile and desktop versions, it is soon to show up on the mobile app.

Foursquare Explore is a new way to find great places that are close to you.  You can search by keyword or browse categories to find the place that best matches what you are looking for.  Foursquare lets you decide whether you want to find places that foursquare itself suggests, places your friends have been, places you have not been, places you have already been, or places with Foursquare specials. Not only are you given a list of places to go, you are also given a map that shows the places that are in your vicinity.  You can read the comments, see if your friends have been there, and view the pictures add by others.

This is great step forward for the geo-location giant.  It’s users are able to do so much more than merely check-in to a venue.  With the addition of menus, more places will give the user incentive to come to their venue by adding more specials, getting people more involved with their brand.  For now, Foursquare does not have a place for sponsored ads, however, this many be a step into the direction of sponsored searches and maps.  If you are not using Foursquare for your venue, hopefully this will turn you on to the ever-expanding Foursquare.

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