USA: Google has launched a cloud-based mapping service to enhance businesses’ management of mobile and field workers. The Australian-grown Maps Coordinate web service enables fleet managers to track mobile workers’ movements and assign tasks to them based on location. Instructions are delivered to workers through a native app on their Android devices. The app allows users to determine when they are tracked, and presents real-time information about their teammates and tasks on the familiar Google Maps interface.
Fleet managers may customise jobs before assigning them to mobile workers, to request the workers to input “whatever textual information” the organisation requires.
Product manager Daniel Chu said that the service targeted organisations in the mining, utilities, financial services, retail, delivery, manufacturing, real estate, home services, facilities management and security sectors. Australian organisations in those sectors had expressed interest in Google Maps Coordinate during early discussions.
Chu said location data from Google Maps Coordinate would be stored on Google’s cloud infrastructure but was unable to comment on whether that involved on- or off-shore data centres. He noted that the service was built with privacy and security in mind, with all location data fully encrypted and sent through the SSL web protocol.
“It’s paramount for us to respect the privacy of [a customer’s] data. That data is only for the use of the customer and it is not accessible to Google.” Chu added.
Chu said Google Maps Coordinate would be delivered with a suite of APIs – web services that “allow you to programmatically create, update and query a job”. Chu acknowledged that Coordinate could be marketed through third-party partnerships with integrators or manufacturers.