Google Maps’ Your Timeline keeps track of your travels

22 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Google Knows What You Did Last Summer, Now Shows It To You In Google Maps.

Social apps like Foursquare / Swarm are more about places you’re at or where you’re going. If you’re all-in on Google services — say, if you use Google Now on your smartphone — you’re likely aware of the fact that Google tracks your location to serve you useful information.

Google Maps for Android is getting quite the significant update today, bringing a handy new feature to the app that allows users to easily see their location history for any given day. Most notably, version 9.12 of the app adds a new interface called “Your timeline.” On this screen, which is accessible via the slide-out navigation drawer, you can see all of the places to which you’ve been, in a comprehensive timeline-like interface. That’s all well and good, but buried in the new timeline feature is one of the most-requested features that Google Maps has been lacking: custom place names. It’s not a social feature, as you’re the only one who sees the information… …It’s a reminder of how much freaking data Google has on us if we leave all of our defaults on.

Not only does the feature show where you’ve been, it also shows what specific times you were there and in some cases, the specific navigation route you took to get there. Thought leaders from the biggest brands and most disruptive companies will share winning growth strategies on the most pressing challenges marketing leaders face today.] Google today announced the introduction of a feature in Google Maps called Your Timeline. In fitting with Google’s typically excellent app design, Your Timeline shows up in a nice, scrollable format that reminds me of the new Google Calendar app, letting you swipe your way through a day to see where Google saw you. Selecting this will pull up a very detailed view of your travels, plotting out locations and places on a map, how much time you’ve spent there, and even photos you took while there.

Have you ever wanted a way to easily remember all the places you’ve been — whether it’s a museum you visited during your last vacation or that fun bar you stumbled upon a few months ago? Your Timeline is gradually rolling out on the Google Maps desktop website and Android app, product manager Gerard Sanz wrote in a blog post on the news. We suppose this could be helpful if you can’t remember the location of a new eatery you visited or something along those lines, but we think this especially useful for tracking possible cheating spouses (we’re looking at you Ashley Madison users).

On a particular day last week, I spent some time at work, then I traveled for 4 minutes to the coffee shop down the road, then traveled back to my work. If this freaks the ever living sh*t out of you (this is sure to spark tons of FUD across Facebook in the coming days/weeks/months), you can always opt out completely. Or in non-Googler speak…if your significant other knew your phone’s unlock password they could track your movements all the way to the Buckaroo Motel and back, if they wanted to.

If you love everything that Google Now provides, this probably won’t bother you — and I’m not going to lie, I got a kick out of seeing my various routines and how they vary from day to day or month to month. At the bottom of the edit place—which really only seems meant to edit your location history—will be a link that says “add a personal place.” This is the magic link that will let you name a place on the map, save it, and have the point display on the map along with your custom name.

As pointed out by Ars Technica’s Ron Amadeo, here’s how to add in a name for a custom place: tap on a location that you want to rename, and a place card should show up. You can edit any place that appears in Your Timeline, including removing a specific location or giving a frequented spot a private name like — Mom’s House or My Favorite Running Spot. As long as you have location history turned on, Google Maps will show you every place you’ve visited in the past – along with a few other (possibly creepy) details. For example, Google could remind you of your trip to the urologist for a prostate exam, the restaurant where your girlfriend dumped you, or the outing to the mortuary for a family member’s funeral. This new tool could actually make privacy-ignorant people aware of how Google tracks them and wisely convince them to opt out of location history tracking.

We’re really hoping the feature rolls out to the other Google Maps clients, and, as this just hit Android today, a staggered rollout would be typical of a Google update.

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