This morning Google announced that it has new software that will let mobile phone users share their whereabouts with family or friends, and that it will be on the iPhone soon.
It's being called Google Latitude and the technology is a new feature of Google Maps. The software is for mobile devices and it comes with an iGoogle gadget that can be installed on your computer.
"Once you've opted in to Latitude, you can see the approximate location of your friends and loved ones who have decided to share their location with you, So now you can do things like see if your spouse is stuck in traffic on the way home from work, notice that a buddy is in town for the weekend, or take comfort in knowing that a loved one's flight landed safely, despite bad weather."
However, even Google acknowledges that this software could be used for stalker-ish purposes but says they have built in "fine-grained privacy controls." Plus everything about the software is opt-in, so if you don't want anybody to see where you are they will not be able to.
"For instance, let's say you are in Rome. Instead of having your approximate location detected and shared automatically, you can manually set your location for elsewhere -- perhaps a visit to Niagara Falls. Since you may not want to share the same information with everyone, Latitude lets you change the settings on a friend-by-friend basis. So for each person, you can choose to share your best available location or your city-level location, or you can hide."
Right now you can get Google Latitude on the Blackberry, S60, and Windows Mobile operating systems via google.com/latitude. Again, Google says that it's coming to the iPhone "very soon" through Google Mobile App available for download on the App Store.