Just one day after a top Google product manager promised users would see more location-based services from the company, Google released a dashboard view for its Location History feature in Google Latitude.
Google Latitude is the company’s friend-finding application, a tool that lets users see where others are on Google Maps.
Google in fall 2009 launched a controversial Location History feature to let users store, view and manage their past Latitude locations.
Users can see their history on Google Maps and Earth or play back a recent trip in order. But Location History to this point has been rendered as a string of locations for users to peruse.
The new dashboard view, a beta, puts the spotlight on interesting trends from existing location history, including any trips taken.
Google provided some examples of what the dashboard view looks like for a user’s trips:
Just as users can see their location data for specific days in Location History, users can pinpoint this data in a dashboard view:
Google Location History is still opt-in, which means users have to actively enable the service, and any data generated there is kept private for each user. Users can delete individual pieces of location data or all of their location history in the Manage History tab.
The Location History dashboard came one day after Vic Gundotra, vice president of engineering for Google’s mobile products, said at TechCrunch Disrupt the company would be sprucing up its location-based services to make them more attractive to users.
The feature also comes one week after Google released its Latitude API to let third-party programmers write location-based apps that integrate users’ Latitude location data into other applications and Web services (with users’ express consent, of course).
For example, Google said developers could build apps or services that alert users to potential fraud involving their credit card accounts when a purchase is made from a location remote from the card holder.
Other apps could enable home thermostats to turn on and off automatically when users are driving to and from home.
The point is that Google is boosting its location-based services at a time when Foursquare is racking up users with its check-in game mechanics, Twitter is geotagging tweets and Facebook is checking in with McDonald’s and other advertisers.