Keep Track of Co-Workers with Latitude

Last Updated Feb 5, 2009 8:04 AM EST

Say that you've got two people out on sales calls near Secaucus, and a lucrative lead just popped up in Bayonne. You could call each of them to figure out who is closer, but there's no need: Google Latitude displays everyone's position on Google Maps, and even allows you to communicate via SMS, IM, and voice.

Google is hardly the world's first location-aware service. In the past, we told you how to make your laptop location-aware, and I recently even described ways to use these services to track down a stolen laptop. Latitude looks like the slickest geo-positioning service of them all, though, and it's totally free. It's an opt-in service, so everyone on your team needs to agree. After that, everyone can track everyone else on Google Maps just like in the video above.

Right now, Latitude works with the T-Mobile G1, most color BlackBerrys and Windows Mobile 5.0 devices, and most Symbian S60 devices. As an added bonus, you don't even need GPS, since Latitude can triangulate your position from cell towers with some degree of accuracy. Indeed, if you have a compatible phone that lacks GPS -- like mine -- this a godsend. I can now do all sorts of location-aware stuff with my phone, like search for nearby restaurants and see traffic problems without spending an extra penny.