Google Latitude is a free GPS cell phone tracker brought to the public by none other than the search powerhouse Google. This service is billed as a way for people to stay in contact with one another, but it can be used for much more than that if you are willing to expand your horizons a little and dream big. Google Latitude works with Google Maps and the GPS in your phone to broadcast your location across the internet to people on your friends list. You have control over who makes that list and will be able to control whether or not you want to let a person know your location even after you accept them as a friend. This is a very powerful tracking application and should be one of the first that a person considers when seeking out a free GPS cell phone tracking software for themselves, their family, or their business.

Free Google Map GPS Cell Phone Tracker

Here is a quick video that Google put together to showcase their Latitude product. It should give you a pretty good understanding of what the product is all about and since it is so short I recommend that everyone take the time to watch it:

As you can see, Latitude utilized Google Maps to provide the interface through which users are able to access the tracking data. Since many Internet users are already very familiar with Google Maps, this makes this tracking application extremely user friendly. You don’t really need to learn anything new if you want to use this product, and that is a strong selling point to me for novice users. Also, I have to admit that I think that this service is pretty dang cool because of the way that it integrates so easily with all sort of other Google products. It seems like it is tailor made for highly mobile individuals who have already bought into to using other Google services such as Gmail, Maps, and Talk.

But even if you aren’t bought into using all the different Google services, it still seems like it should be the place to start for a wide range of groups who might be interested in using GPS tracking technology for their cell phone. Among these major groups are going to be families, groups of friends, and small businesses.

Google Latitude for Families

Google Latitude for Friends

Google Latitude for Small Businesses

Google Latitude: Free GPS Cell Phone Tracking For Family

It is obvious from the previous video that one of the two main groups that Google is targeting with this product are families. There are two main selling points for families who are considering getting this free GPS cell phone tracking software . The first is that it enables them to stay connected to each other, and by virtue of this connection they can help keep each other safe. Let’s look at an example of how this might work in order for us to see how useful this type of software is going to be for a family. Imagine that there is a family of four – the Netheringtons are comprised of Will, the protective and caring father; Jill, the sweet and comfort loving wife; Susan, a 17 year old High School senior; and Kevin, a rambunctious tween who loves soccer and practical jokes. This family is pretty typical when it comes to all the things that they are involved in. Both parents work and the kids live a life packed full of school and extra-curricular activities. Sometimes it is all they can do to keep up with each other. That is where a GPS cell phone tracking program like Google Latitude comes in.

Each of the Netheringtons has a pretty cool smartphone with GPS enabled on it. Being savvy consumers they have opted to install the Google Maps because of the free navigation it provides on their sweet Motorolla Droid cell phones. After watching a video about how Latitude works they decided to take it for a spin. Imagine that the following circumstance occurs. Kevin, the rambunctious tween is out at soccer practice while mom, dad, and sister are out and about using the family cars. A freak thunderstorm comes barreling toward the soccer pitch and the coach quiclly realizes he has to get the kids home and out from under the flashing lightning. Now Kevin needs to call someone to get to him quickly so that he can get out of harms way.

He pulls up his Droid and in a few moments he has his Google GPS cell phone tracking up and open. He begins to cycle through his family to see who is closest to him so he can give them a ring to come pick him up. Mom is still at work on the opposite side of time. She won’t be able to pick him up. Dad appears to be sitting still on the Interstate, which doesn’t seem like a good thing. Sis is the closest person and luckily she is just around the corner at a friends house. Kevin gives her a ring on the tele and is saved from danger and a torrential downfall.

This is only one example of the many things that this type of GPS cell phone tracking system could do for a family that is on the move. If you need to know of any more situations, leave a comment in the comment section and I will think of some more to put there. Or you might just want to sit and think about it for a minute and I’m sure tons would begin to flood your mind.

The second selling point for families is going to be the increased efficiency that a tracking system for cell phones is going to bring to the unit. Imagine that in our same family of 4 one of the members is interested in getting some light ranch so that they can dip their popcorn into it. There is none in the refrigerator and they want it so bad that they are willing to do something crazy to get it, like waste gas and drive to the store. But instead of doing something rash and contribute to man-made climate change they decided to pull out their Google Latitude installed cell phone and see if any of their family members who are out on the town are close to a grocery store. Second later they come to find that a member of their family is right near a grocery store so they give them a ring on the tele and work everything out.

These are just two example of what GPS tracking can offer families of various sizes and needs. Larger families could possibly benefit even more than smaller families if they all have a mobile phone with GPS and a data plan.

Google Latitude: Free GPS Cell Phone Tracking For Friends

The benefits for friends are very similar to those experienced by families that decide to use Google Latitude. But there are a few ways that the service changes when taken outside the context of family and into the context of friends and acquaintances. For one thing, safety is generally less of a concern for a group of friends than for families, though the desire for safety is not necessarily lost – especially for single females. With a GPS tracking app on their phones they can be able to keep in contact with each other from before they get together to go out to the club to hanging out with each other at the club to monitoring each others’ journey home. Even if they go home with someone they meet at the club, friends can see where they are going and can check in with them at some mutually appointed time.

But by in large the most common way that this app will be used by friends is to let them get into contact with each other while they are on the move. If you are sitting at home on a Friday night with nothing much to do you can always pop out your cell phone and check Latitude to see if there is a group of your friends in the same area. If they are and you feel comfortable hanging with the group of friends you could always give them a ring and see what they are up. You probably don’t want to invite yourself over, but it might be good just to inquire what is going on to see if you can get in on the action.

Then there is the utility of being able to use it when you are in trouble and need a helping hand. If your tire gets flat or you are on a blind date that has flopped miserably and you need to get a ride then you can find a friend who close to you to give you hand. Being able to pick a close friend will ensure that you will be picked up quickly and will prevent you from rubbing a friend the wrong way by asking them to come all the way from across town to help you out.

Privacy is definitely more of a concern with a group of friends than it is with a family. If you would like to learn more about how to keep your activities private from certain friends you should check out the privacy section.

Google Latitude: Free GPS Cell Phone Tracking For Small Businesses

While the use of Google Latitude by small businesses does not appear to have been on the radar for the marketers of this product, it was one of the first things that popped into my mind when I heard about it. Small businesses, especially those with delivery or service components, could use this free GPS cell phone tracking service to help route individual workers and keep things working efficiently and smoothly. For example, a small plumbing business could use Latitude to make sure that the closest employee gets routed to the next emergency service call; a delivery provider could send the closest van to pick up a special package; or a security agency could know exactly where all of its agents are at a given moment. This could be a very powerful application for tech savvy small businesses seeking to find a cheap and effective way to implement some sort of GPS tracking solution.

While it probably would not be as robust as a commercial grade GPS fleet tracking service, you certainly cannot beat the free price tag associated with it. Another benefit over a commercial option is that you will not have to purchase any additional GPS tracking devices in order to make it work. All you need are cell phone that your workers or the business already own. This makes it even more cost effective when compared with a commercial grade tracking program. The only thing that you would have to do is set up Google accounts for all your employees so that they can utilize the service.

Google Latitude Privacy Options

Making sure that the data that you want to keep private is kept private is a concern for Google, the folks behind Latitude. They put together the following video to help consumers understand what they need to do to keep things private that need to be kept private:

Google Latitude in Summary

This is a good overall product that stands at the forefront of free GPS cell phone tracking applications. Coming from Google you know that the product is quality and will be backed by one of the most powerful Internet and cell phone companies in the world. They have a vested interest in creating top notch products that are consumer friendly and powerful. If you are thinking of using some type of GPS cell phone tracking for your family, group of friends, or small business and want to find something free to use then Google Latitude should definitely be near the top of your list of services to try out.

More Free GPS Cell Phone Trackers

BuddyWay Free GPS Cell Phone Tracker – BuddWay is a great free program for any traveler who might want to use tracking software to help enhance their traveling experience.  Its features fit right in with the avid traveler’s desire to share his experiences with family and friends, making BuddyWay a great GPS tracker for this type of person.