Today Google launched their newest service Google Latitude, which basically bridges Google Talk and Google Maps and turns it into an easy away to see where friends are and what they are doing. The service is completely opt in, which should calm the privacy concerns. However, it does leave me wondering how Google plans to expand on this type of service. If I update saying I am at West Town Mall in Knoxville, TN will it eventually send me advertisements related to the shops there?
While Google's service is just now starting, there are already several other competitors in the market right now. Loopt, which is based in Google's home town, is probably the biggest competitor Google faces right now. It'll be interesting to see if the little guy can keep the Google giant at bay.
I find it strange that Google is releasing this service. It was just a few weeks ago that Google announced it was killing off Dodgeball.com in addition to several other services. Dodgeball.com was a company that Google acquired in 2005 that essentially did the same thing. The main difference is Dodgeball.com was text message based, where Google Latitude is more intended for smart phones.