Google Latitude

Feature to locate individuals on Google Maps
Google Cemetery
GENERAL INFORMATION
Category:
Travel
Started:
2009
BUSINESS FAILURE
Cause:
No Market Need
Closed:
2013

Description

Google Latitude was an app that allowed users to share their Google Maps location with any contact they chose. 

Google Latitude

The idea was that you would be able to check the location of loved ones in case of emergency or just for ease of mind.

It provided a very similar service to Trusted Contacts, which is one of Amazon’s unsuccessful projects.

Google Latitude was created by the founders of Dodgeball (another geolocation service), which Google bought in 2005.

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Cause of Failure

Google decided to migrate the Latitude service to Google+, which made sense at the time from Google’s perspective because Latitude wasn’t gaining a lot of traction, while it could serve as a power-feature for Google+ that differentiated it from Facebook.

The problem with the Latitude migration was that a lot of developers were using the Latitude API for their own apps, which meant that moving the functionality to Google+ created a lot of problems for them (i.e. their apps stopped working).

Since Google+ was also closed in 2019, Google currently isn’t offering the functionality to easily share your location with friends (unless we count creatively using “Google Find My Device” from the computer of a family member).

After leaving Google in 2009, one of the founders of Dodgeball went on to create Foursquare – a geo-location API service for businesses used by companies like Airbnb and others.

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