Google has released two nifty applications for Google Latitude, a feature launched through Google Mobile Maps that allows you to broadcast your location to select friends, family, and colleagues based on the coordinates of your cell phone (via GPS or otherwise). Google says that since Latitude’s launch, users expressed interest in sharing their location with people who are not their Latitude friends. The two apps rolled out today allow users to do this.
Google Talk location status automatically updates your Google Talk or Gmail chat status message with your Latitude location. The application will automatically update your status message to your current city as you move, and anyone who can chat with you will be able to see this location status. Your current city is shared with all of your Google Talk or Gmail Chat contacts even if you hide from certain “friends” in Google Latitude.
The Google Public Location Badge lets you publish your Latitude location on your blog or website via your mobile phone. You can choose to show just the city that you are in or you can have your device’s location detected automatically, using GPS, Wi-Fi, or cell tower ID, which provides a more specific location. Here’s an example of what a badge looks like embedded in a blog. For your privacy, you may choose to share your best available location or share only your city-level location.
Before these apps, there was no way to broadcast your location to the public at large via Latitude, only to your own Gmail contacts through the Latitude feature. Now you can publicize your location more broadly via Gmail Chat and your blog. Of course there are privacy concerns with publicly sharing your location at all times, but it is already happening and public geo-broadcasting will only become more popular over time. There are upsides to using location-based services to find friends or contacts-or even purse-snatchers- and other services have caught on to this rising trend, including Loopt, FourSquare, and Whrrl.