Google Maps just added real-time location sharing to Google Maps but it’s actually an old feature relaunched.
Originally called Latitude, Google had a product back in 2009 that shared your location on Google Maps with other users. Per the Google blog announcing the Latitude app, “Latitude is a new feature of Google Maps for mobile, as well as an iGoogle gadget, that allows you to share your location with your friends and to see their approximate locations, if they choose to share them with you. You can use your Google account to sign in and easily invite friends to Latitude from your existing list of contacts or by entering their email addresses. ” This sounds a lot like the post about real-time sharing of location via Google Maps, “Whenever you want to let someone know where you are, just open the side menu or tap the blue dot that represents where you are. Tap “Share location” and then select who to share with and how long to share—and you’re done! You can share your real-time location with your Google contacts, or even share with friends and family by sending a link on your favorite messenger apps. When you’re sharing your location, the people you’ve chosen to share with will see you on their map. And you’ll see an icon above the compass on your own map reminding you that you’re actively sharing your location. You can change your mind and stop sharing at any time—it’s entirely up to you.”
So basically Google just relaunched Latitude, with a few fancy tweaks to make it more current. The response today has been very positive and mostly focused on how useful this will be for letting people know where you are or to keep a tab on kids or family members. Back in 2009, Latitude was destroyed because of privacy concerns which eventually lead to Google killing the app. It’s not a surprise that the response has been positive because we’ve come a long way in terms of allowing technology into our lives and focusing on the positive rather than negative impacts.