5 iPhone Apps for Letting the World Know Where You Are

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Keeping track of where you are, or where your friends and family happen to be, is pretty easy if you have an iPhone. With the right apps you can control how your location information is shared, so we put together a list of five of our favorites -- and they're all free.

Find My Friends Apple's own Find My Friends lets you choose who sees your location and for how long. It also supports location-based notifications so you'll know when the friends and family you're following are near by, or when they leave or arrive at specific locations. Find My Friends is especially handy for families that need to keep track of their kid's locations, like knowing when they arrive at school in the morning.

Find My Friends is great for keeping tabs on family membersFind My Friends is great for keeping tabs on family members

Foursquare Instead of letting followers track your every move, Foursquare tags your location when you check in at specific places. If you hang out at your local coffee shop every day, for example, you can check in when you arrive so your friends know you're there. You approve who gets to follow your check ins so it's fairly easy to keep strangers from knowing where you are, you can check reviews and comments from other Foursquare users that have checked in at the same location, friends can comment on your check ins, and businesses that use Foursquare can offer special deals when you check in.

Foursquare (left) and Yelp (right) show your location only when you check inFoursquare (left) and Yelp (right) show your location only when you check in

Yelp Yelp and Foursquare are similar, but Yelp's big strength is in finding restaurants and other businesses and showing reviews and user rankings before you show up and check in. You can hunt for local deals before heading out to shop or eat, make OpenTable dining reservations in-app, and it uses Monocle for augmented reality overlays to show additional information about businesses you're actually looking at. Your friends can follow you, too, so it's easy to connect when you're out and about.

Waze Getting to and from your appointments and errands sometimes means using a map, and Waze handles that differently than other routing and direction apps. Waze collects real-time traffic data, routes, accident information, and more from its users. Just launch Waze when you get in your car and it sends and receives traffic data for you. Waze learns your which places you go most often, plus it learns which routes you prefer and when you're most likely to be on the road so it can give you better traffic information. You can also share you location with friends so they can find you or know when you'll be arriving for the big night out.

Waze (left) and Glympse (right) let you track and share your location in real timeWaze (left) and Glympse (right) let you track and share your location in real time

Glympse If you need to let someone know exactly where you are in real time Glympse has you covered. You choose exactly who sees your location and for how long. Every Glympse you share includes an expiration time. The default expiration is 30 minutes, but you can extend that up to four hours. You choose who sees your location and whether or not they see a destination, and then they get a text message or email link they can can view in their Web browser or in the Glympse app. It doesn't require you to sign up for another social network, and with built-in expirations you don't have to worry about people following your travels any longer than you want.

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Comments

John Dingler, artist

Considering that these are tracking apps, I wonder they were funded by the NSA or some other member of the National Security Police State Apparatus like the NRO? On the other hand, perhaps they were developed to appeal to the inherently narcissistic who feel honored that spy agencies are observing them.

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