If you are a Google Maps user on your smartphone as their primary GPS device, you may have enabled Location History in your Google account. Whether this is a useful feature or another outstanding tracking feature, it depends on your level of privacy protection.
I personally don’t mind Google tracking my location because I see the benefits far outweigh the negatives. In any case, if Location History is turned on, you can use Google Maps to see your exact travel path for any day on the map, which is great.
In this article, I will talk about how you can view this history and how to check if you have Location History turned on or off. If you just want to learn how to watch the timeline, skip it See the Time Map part.
Turn on / off location history
Depending on your device, there are several ways to enable or disable location history for your device. Note that each device you own can turn on or off location history. So if you have Google Maps installed on Android devices, iPhones, and tablets, each device will record location history and it will be associated when you view it by timeline.
If you use a laptop or desktop computer, the easiest way to change these settings is on Control Google activity.
Scroll down until you see Location History, and you can click the toggle to turn it on or off. Note that doing this will turn on / off location history for your entire account, regardless of which device has location history turned on.
Just FYI, this screen gives you full control over a lot of other settings like searching and viewing YouTube history, voice and audio history, web and app activity, and device information.
On Android devices, you must access Setting application. Click the icon for all applications in the center and then click Install.
Scroll down until you arrive Personal The first part and item must be Location. You can see something like ON / High accuracy If you have activated it.
Tap here and you will be able to turn off location history for this specific device. If you notice, there’s another option called Google location history.
If you click this option, you will see a list of all your enabled devices and you can turn off location history for the entire account.
On iPhone, there are several ways to change this setting. The first and easiest way is to simply open Google Maps and then click on the hamburger icon in the top left corner.
Then touch Setting bottom of the menu. Scroll down Location history and click on it.
You can now change the settings here only for the device or the whole account. If you already have the Google search app installed on your phone, you can go there, tap your email at the top left, then tap PrivateAnd after that Location.
Here you can manage Location history and Location report, those are two different features.
See Google Maps Timeline
OK, so now the fun part is really! To view your timeline, just visit Map links timeline. The main screen will give you an overview of your location history.
The first thing you notice is the large map in the center with a series of red dots. Each of these drops corresponds to a trip you have made. If you double click on the red dot, you will be taken to that specific time period and you will see the migration route.
In the example above, I traveled from New Orleans to Gadsden, AL on September 11, 2014. This is our trip from my parents’ home to our home in Maryland. We stopped one night in Alabama along the way.
On the bottom, you can click on any specific date to see your daily trip. The individual days are really great because if you happen to take pictures and you’ve saved them with Google Photos, they will also show up in the timeline.
As you can see, we walked around the lake area on this day and we took some pictures at the lake, appearing on the left hand side. It’s so great! It even tells you how far you have been and for how long!
If you return to the main screen, you can also click the two large icons at the bottom. People will say something like X Places, See the places you visit the most and the other will speak Other trip. This is a quick way to see the most popular places you go and to quickly see all your main trips / trips.
Overall, it’s great if you don’t pay attention to Google always knowing where you are. If you can live with that, you may find some pretty interesting information about yourself. It is worth noting that you can delete your location history anytime you want. Also see my article on how to view your Google Maps search history. Enjoy!
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