Google Latitude gets widget and IM location sharing

May 5, 2009

latitude-badge-large Google launched Latitude back in February as a way of sharing your location with friends on the service. Until now, your friends actually had to join the service to see your location, but now Google Latitude has new tools to share your location via the Web or Google Talk.

Google Latitude grabs your location from your mobile phone or Web browser and shares it with your friends online. You authorize people individually to keep your data secure before they see your location and Google Talk status on a map.

For some people, this method made their location all too secure. Google received requests from bloggers and other techies that wanted to publish their location for all the world to see.

Obviously sharing your location in real time on the Web isn’t for everyone. If you’re a celebrity or have a few stalkers hanging around in your life, sharing your location can just add fuel to the fire.

However there are loads of people with relatively droll lives who actually want to share their location with friends or on their blog or Web site. Now Google is offering tools to share your location outside of Latitude.

The first is the Google Latitude badge that you can embed on your blog or anywhere that allows HTML iframes. You can limit the location to the city level in case you’re worried about over-sharing and change the size of the widget to your liking. You can also get your location as an XML file or JSON feed.

Latitude’s second location-sharing option works directly with your Google Talk account. The Google Talk application for Latitude broadcasts your current location as your status message in Google Talk, limiting those who can see it to your friends.

You can turn off the Google Talk location sharing feature by clearing or changing your status message. Then you can turn it back on by changing your status to “loc:on.”

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