Houston Area Trails & More Message Board › Google Latitude

Google Latitude

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Tracey
Tracey77478
Austin, TX
Post #: 29
Is anyone here still on Google Latitude? Before a hike we could turn it and GPS on; then if we get lost during the hike, we could all find the lost person.

Andrew talked about building an app to locate hikers on Sunday.
Celia
maricaldera
Spring, TX
Post #: 7
I'm not but I definitely would be willing to try it.... I'll probably be the lost hiker!
Tom P.
pooneil
Houston, TX
Post #: 12
Sure, I'll try anything once.
AubreyP
user 12794496
Houston, TX
Post #: 2
It's worth looking into, especially to see how much it's limitations would affect using it in more wild and rural areas. Since I like being contrary and playing devil's advocate, I made up a list of the things that have the potential to cause issues. ;) If Google has changed these, or if they don't apply to how you are considering using it, please, say so. It's been more than a year since I've played with Latitude, and I'm envisioning using it as a small, unofficial, and voluntary group.

1. There's no breadcrumb trail, only your current location information. This is fine if you have other navigation aids such as a GPS unit or a map and compass. Without these aids it becomes less useful because Google doesn't have all the trails we hike marked on their maps. This would be more of an issue for lost hikers trying to find the group than the other way around, but in general people don't like staying put when they're lost. They try to actively be found.

2. Those that use their phone's GPS to track the hikes may not be able to do both. In other words, they know where they are, but not where everyone else is.

3. Under heavy cloud or canopy cover my phone can (and has) lost connection with the GPS satellites. Smartphones simply don't have the antennas or battery power to receive such a weakened signal.

4. Latitude has to regularly send your location information to a server. Because of this you'll need to be constantly connected to the internet. This could cause problems in areas with poor cell signal and no wifi. It would diminish Latitude's usefulness because we couldn't trust that the locations of people are always the most recent. It would also adversely affect the battery life of a person's phone.

Despite all of my negativity in the above statements, in order to know if it would work for us we'd have to try it out in the field. We won't know until then if these issues are nothing but smoke in the wind, or if they are something we need to seriously consider.
Ben
user 12059817
Houston, TX
Post #: 1
Sounds like a great idea, however I do know it is limited to certain phone types. I know my phone will not be compatible. however I would also say that I am a bit of an oddity so take that with a grain of salt.
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