Do More with Google Latitude and Your Location Using the New Latitude API

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 want to help developers build all these applications and more, but our first priority is keeping you, the user, in control over your location. That way, you only use it when, where, and how you choose. Before any application, website, or feature you’ve chosen to use can access your Latitude data, you must specifically grant access to the developer and will see exactly what access or data they’re requesting. This includes whether you share your current best available vs. city-level location or your location history if you’ve opted in to using Google Location History. If you change your mind, you’ll be able to both see which developers have access to your Latitude data and revoke access from any developer at any time from your Google Account’s personal settings. Just like with Latitude, you always choose who can see your location.

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 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.


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