Friday, October 12, 2012

Latitude

Once upon a time, a few days ago, I fired up Google's Latitude website to see how information was collecting lately.

Google Latitude has a fun feature where, if you enable it, it will save your location history, using information from your phone.  The web site can draw a map of this history and show some colorful graphs.  It can also share your location with others so you can tell when all your friends have a party and don't invite you!

Neat!

But on this occasion, wow was I disappointed.  There was no fiend information, and no map or charts.  It showed my current location, but it was wildly wrong.

Puzzling...

I reload.  Logged in again.  Still nothing.

Then I remembered something I had noticed before, long, log ago.  I went to my phone (a Droid 2) and started the Latitude application.  Settings...  Location settings...  There are two check boxes in that panel.  One selects "track my location", and the other selects "track using this device" (I assume some chimps have more than one).  On my phone both these boxes had helpfully unchecked themselves automatically for me.

Yes, I have seen it do that before.

I then went right back to my PC and reloaded the Latitude page.  Wham!  There is all was!  Graphs, history, cool map, and friends!  Just like that!

I don't know when those boxes uncheck themselves.  It's possibly during a Latitude update on the phone.  Google likes to keep us on our toes.

It is kinds funny that all the history information was there, just not shown, while the boxes where unchecked, for some unknown period of time, possibly quite lingering...  But Google's like that.  They don't know the meaning of "rm".