Stalking with Google Latitude

, posted: 6-Dec-2010 21:11

Google Latitude is a fantastic product - it's supported by a variety of mobile operating systems (Android, BlackBerry, iPhone, Symbian, Windows Mobile) and once installed, it sends regular GPS co-ordinates to Google.  Once you friend someone, they can see your exact location (like foursquare) so if you are close to someone, you could catch-up for a coffee, and back-stab your best friend, I don't know...

You can manually set your location to any random place if you really want to mess with your friends, and in case you want the world to know exactly where you are, you can also publish a badge on your website, like the example one below:
latitude-badgeImage courtesy of Rick Klau's blog. I'm not using the live badge from my Latitude account as I don't want sbiddle turning up at my house.
You may wonder why I'm blogging about Latitude when it's not a new product.  It was from seeing the badge that I wondered if Google exposed your positioning data, so you could use it in anyway you please, and it seems they do, but with a weird quirk.
If you request the data in JSON format, you get:
If you request the data in ATOM format, you get:
Everything looks fine, until you get to the last updated date.  I've just updated Google Latitude on my Nokia E71, and the two different formats return different things, despite using the same data!
JSON: 1291615096 (Unix timestamp), which works out to Mon 6 Dec, 5:58 am (GMT)
ATOM: 2010-12-05T21:58:16Z, which is Sun 5 Dec, 9:58pm (GMT)
I've also noticed recently that Latitude only shows the city - about a month ago it would give you the exact address.
Not sure why Latitude reports two different things, however, their API provides a really good way to expose where you are right now, in the format that you want, to build the stalking app of your dreams.

Other related posts:
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Review: Navman MiVUE680
Poor man’s automation - WeMO + Limitless LEDs

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I'm Nate Dunn, and I work for 3Bit, own Tuihana Cafe, and am a moderator here at Geekzone.

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