The trick is knowing where to look.
Google Maps is the most popular mapping app when it comes to smartphones. Used by millions of users almost on a daily basis, it is one of the most popular tools created by Google.
Maps has an easily overlooked feature for sharing your real-time whereabouts with someone so they can see exactly where you are, even if you’re moving, and then navigate to your location. You can use the same feature to let a trusted person keep tabs on your travel progress to a particular place and know precisely when you’re set to arrive—Google Maps is great for helping you find your way — or even helping you find your car — but the app can also help other people find you.
A service called Google Latitude can be used to track anyone on Google Maps. Google Latitude works with global positioning system devices in mobile phones or can be set manually by a Latitude user. You will need permission from the Google Latitude user to be able to track him or her on the service; once you have been invited to join the group of people who can track that person on Latitude, logging into Latitude will provide you with the person’s live location.
The best part? It’s all incredibly simple to do. The trick is knowing where to look. When you want someone to be able to track your location:
Go to the Google Latitude web site and create an account. If you already have an account with any Google services (such as Gmail or Google Voice), you can add Latitude to your existing account.
Access Latitude in one of two ways. To view it in a web browser, click on the link on the Latitude page to add it to your iGoogle page; it will then be accessible at http://www.igoogle.com. To use Latitude on your cell phone, open your phone’s web browser and go to http://google.com/latitude. The site will automatically determine if your phone is compatible–and if so, will provide a line to the mobile software.
Ask your friend to sign up for Google Latitude and to add you to the list of friends who are able to track him or her using the service. You can also add the person to your friends list in Latitude, which will enable him or her to track your location as well.
Open Google Latitude in your web browser or your cell phone to track the location of your friends on the list in real time. Their current locations will be superimposed on Google maps. You can scroll around the map or use the arrow keys to browse through all of your friends’ locations.