There has been a lot written in the last few days about the launch of Google’s tracking service – Latitude. Jonathan Raper’s post covers the topic and opinions well. My only addition would be the thought that it seems like sour grapes that now Google have launched their own mobile phone they have relegated the iPhone to the back of the queue, not that I really care since I don’t think I want to broadcast my location in this way (bound to forget to switch it off and on as appropriate)
Is this Location Based Social Networking? I don’t think so, unless you consider Google to be your social network. There are already tools which seek to map your Facebook friends or twitter accomplices and several startups have tried to build new networks with location more tightly embedded, dopplr or brightkite are examples. None of these seem to have really caught on and popular wisdom is that the killer apps will come from MySpace or Facebook when they fully integrate location into their platforms and mobile clients, which they surely will do soon. Perhaps Latitude will be the toolkit to prompt them to add location.