Glympse: Tool For Set-Duration Location Sharing

For those who have avoided tools like Google Latitude or FourSquare because you don’t like telling people where you are at all times, Glympse might be the tool for you.

The app allows you to share your exact, realtime location with the people you specify for the amount of time you specify. This means people won’t be able stalk you all the time — only when you want them to. You don’t have to worry about checking in or keeping the app open; it updates automatically.

For the newsroom, there are a few practical uses I can think of:

1. Tracking groups of reporters/sources for real-time events. If you want to provide a way for readers to follow along while a reporter travels about, this kind of tool would enable that.  There’s social media integration, so you can share travels via Facebook or Twitter.

2. Internal planning for collaborative reporting. This idea comes to me from The Seattle Times’ social media editor, Sona Patel. I often forget about using these flashy new tools for internal purposes, rather than the forward-facing consumer product. When a newsroom is planning coverage for big events — say, a protest downtown, or another breaking-news situation — reporters and photographers can share their location with each other to ensure they don’t duplicate work.

3. Letting your editor know where you are. When will that reporter be back from assignment? Instead of making extra phone calls or sending an email, you can use the one-click functionality to send a Glympse that shows where you are and how long until you’ll get where you need to be.

The best part? This app works on many smartphones: iPhone, Android, Windows phones and Blackberries.

Hat tip to Sona Patel for letting me know about this tool. Let us know in the comments if you’re using location-sharing tools for reporting.

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