A Map of One

7:30 AM -- I signed up for the Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) Latitude mobile location tracking service this weekend, after T-Mobile US Inc. pumped out the latest software update for the G1 phone. (See No Cupcake for You!)

I was hoping to give a full run-down on the software's features and how well the application works. Unfortunately, that won't be possible yet, since I'm currently the only person I know who is actually using the service.

Where's Dan? Yes, I watched my own discombobulated headshot floating 'round Brooklyn all weekend. None of my so-called "friends" accepted my invitation to join the system, however, and you can't track anyone unless they accept your invite. This, I suppose, may alleviate some of the privacy fears around the application.

What I can tell you is that tracking is pretty accurate. It was either spot-on or one or two blocks away. This means I now know where I am, oh, at least 35 or 40 percent of the time, but I still have no idea where anyone else is.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

AllKindsOfThings 12/5/2012 | 4:12:07 PM
re: A Map of One Tried it - works OK. But if you want too how crappy the long term scenario (Everybody using it) is, then go to the social network site http://www.rummble.com/ and zoom it REALLY large and look for locattion context rummbles and person based rummbles all t the same time....

One tricky topic is, that if presence or context updates are not synced/aggregated in an extremely smart way before getting transmitted to theri final destination (and today, every person and his dog seem to have invented some fuzzy web service that creates it very OWN context/presence requirement and send updates with no sychronization whatsoever) the sheer volume of growth of presence update messages will even kill the internet on the longer run...

IM players have AFAIK been researching this in context of optimizing SIP based Presence Exchange Protocols.

All the best !
IPobserver 12/5/2012 | 4:12:05 PM
re: A Map of One Hi AllKindsOfThings,

Also, frequent presence updates over 3G kill your battery. Some of the HSPA+ enhancements should help with this (e.g. Continuous Packet Connectivity features).

IGÇÖm like Dan, IGÇÖve never found enough people to join me in a buddy finder service in a way that makes much sense. Love the idea.

I remember speaking with Loopt a couple of years ago. They found that most users of their service only really cared about tracking one or two buddies (normally their partners).
AllKindsOfThings 12/5/2012 | 4:11:58 PM
re: A Map of One Hi Gabriel,

I beleive frequent updates killling battery life is not really dependant on radio technology. Of course using 3G connectivity at the same time STILL does helps to drain power, unless you are in an area where the re-training for 3G connectiivtiy is rarely required, because you are basically located directly under an underused base station :-)

Once its there, lots of applicationg for tracking are there, for people i'd see spouse/husband/kids are obvious, as well as grandparents, as well as those friendly and furry household members from the feline and canine order of creatures. Even more nowew options would be for things: Some US car manufacturesr track their cars and swithch of ignition if people don't pay their credit rate; there are insurance companies that track you and give you a better (or worse) rate depending on your driving style, heavy machinery that is leased for use at one buliding site is tracked to not be transferred to another building site, etc.

The truely ubiquitous availability of connectivity today makes tracking a sufficiently accurate and reliable option in many places adn for many use cases.

All the Best,

IPobserver 12/5/2012 | 4:11:56 PM
re: A Map of One It's to do with active and idle states, as I understand it. Push email, for example, is practically impossible on current 3G/HSPA, but works OK on GPRS.

With CPC polling apps will work better. I think this will prove one of the major user benefits of HSPA+
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