Iphone, Google Latitude and a row boat

Publishing your exact location regularly to everyone on the Internet? To some it sounds like a Orwellian nightmare. But this is exactly what Google Latitude allows you to do. Google can grab GPS location data from your mobile phone and it gives you the option of publishing your location at the city level or your exact GPS derived location (if your device supports location that is). You can share your location among a trusted group of friends or it offers you a snippet of code to link to a map you can integrate into a website or blog post. Not to mention it can update your Google Talk status with your location.

I can’t speak for other devices but on the Iphone there is no client required. The Safari web browser for the Iphone in version 3.0 supports the W3C Location API. So all you need to do is enroll your account and surf to http://www.google.com/latitude/. The Iphone OS will ask you if you wish to share your location, if you accept Latitude updates it’s database with your current location. That simple really. The Latitude interface will also show the location of any friends that have elected to share their location with you.

On Sunday I am participating in a fundraiser where I am going to row a 25 foot wooden boat around the island of Manhattan. (if you want to help support youth development in the South Bronx visit my pledge site http://rockingmanhattan.kintera.org/dustintodd). I thought it would be neat to use the Latitude public location badge functionality to show our progress through our 28 mile journey. Latitude offers an almost perfect solution for this. If you visit the Latitude public badge page you can enable the public badge feature (the default is disable.. wise choice) and offers a snippet of HTML code that allows you to include the map with your location displayed on any website or BLOG.

I have included the HTML in this post hopefully when you view this post the map will show my current location. Check back on Sunday the 4th to see us rowing around Manhattan.