If you travel a lot for your job or happen to be in the type of delivery service where you get to wear brown shorts in the warm seasons, Google’s latest mapping tool could either be a great help or a great big pain in the backside depending on how your boss should implement it.
The new tool, Google Maps Coordinate, combines Google Maps with aspects of Google Latitude, the company’s tracking service that shows other people your location in real-time (you have to opt-in to Latitude and even then only people with whom you allow to see your location will be able to keep tabs on you, but that’s also only when it’s working). If an employer regularly has workers out in the field, whether its a cable company or a messenger service, she will be able to create tasks for the employees currently dispatched and then assign the tasks according to whichever worker is available and nearest.
On the employee’s side of things, they will be able to check in when they arrive at the job and then update the information whenever the job is complete. Employers will also be able to see each other’s location when out in the field so they can travel over to lend in a helping hand if need be (or just coordinate a good location to meet for their lunch break).
The service sounds a lot more benign than it potentially is in the intro video that Google put together, which is why Google probably used the example of an “alternative power business” instead of, say, a pimp or a hitman.
Google Maps Coordinate, perhaps obviously, works across mobile platforms and also integrates Google Indoor Maps.
While this is only available for businesses at the time, this could potentially be an amazing tool for organizing personal outings, too, such as when planning a protest or simply just trying to herd everybody together in a timely fashion for impromptu dinner plans.