How to explore the past using Google Maps Timeline feature

Relive moments from the past by exploring Google Maps Timeline

Do you know what you did last summer? Google does! At least if you have an Android phone. You can explore the past with Google Maps and find out what you did on any day. It’s fascinating.

A trip to the seaside, a day in Wales. Google knows what you did last summer!

Some people might call it creepy the way that Google tracks your location, but it can also be useful and entertaining too. It all depends on your perspective and how you view the modern world.

It is impossible to cover your tracks if you use a phone, tablet or computer, and someone somewhere will know exactly where you are at any time. As long as the information isn’t shared, I personally don’t worry about it. Where I went on a particular day is no secret. In fact, I probably posted the photos on Facebook or Instagram anyway.

If you can get over the fact that your location is being tracked, it can be quite entertaining looking back at the activities you did last year, the year before and so on.

Google Maps

To see where you were at any time, open a browser and go to maps.google.com. Open the panel at the side by clicking the menu button in the top left corner, and click Your timeline.

Google Maps Timeline shows where you were and where you went on any day in the past

If you haven’t used it before, you will see some introductory slides. As it says, only you can see your timeline.

Google Maps Timeline shows where you were and where you went on any day in the past

 

Pick a time

There are controls in the top left corner of the map to select the year, month and day. You don’t have to use them all and you could just choose a year, such as 2014. The places you visited in the selected year are shown as red dots on the map.

Google Maps Timeline shows where you were and where you went on any day in the past

 

Your activities

Down at the bottom of the screen are the activities you engaged in, such as trips, walks, places of interest you visited, and so on. Click one of the activities.

Google Maps Timeline shows where you were and where you went on any day in the past

 

View an activity

A trip or holiday might last several days and the days are displayed at the bottom of the screen. Click a day to see what you did and where you went on that day.

Google Maps Timeline shows where you were and where you went on any day in the past

When an activity is clicked, the Timeline panel on the left shows where you went and what the time was. It even shows thumbnail images of the photographs you took at the time. (I looked at Google Photos recently and found some amazing search features.)

It also shows the means of travel, such as the time spent walking and how far you walked. On the right is a map showing the route you took and places you visited. You can zoom in and explore this in the usual ways.

Your thoughts?

I like it and it is fascinating to see what I got up to on this day last year or two years ago. I can relive trips and holidays, and see what I was doing. It’s a fun feature.

Is this a brilliant feature or creepy as hell? Comment below and let us know your thoughts on this.


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1 Comment on How to explore the past using Google Maps Timeline feature

  1. Steven Goodwin // 2016/10/06 at 20:26 // Reply

    Yeah, iOS does something similar with their maps too for recent history. Probably not as in depth as this is though! Thanks for sharing, I didn’t know that!

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