Open your Google Maps and click the menu in the top left corner. See the “Your Timeline” link? If you’re anything like the editors in the Traveler office, you’ve probably never used the feature, which keeps a log of everywhere you’ve been with your smartphone in hand, creating a historical path for your day.
Timeline has existed for more than a year now, but last week, Google Maps announced it had updated the feature. It’ll now not only keeping track of all of the places you stopped into during your day, but also divide them in categories like restaurants, hotels, shops, and attractions, to make rediscovering them even easier. From there, you can easily add them to your Google Maps starred lists (which Traveler editors meticulously use to keep track of where we’ve been, and where we want to go) so you can access them at any time. It comes in handy when you’ve strayed from your itinerary for a spontaneous shopping spree, neighborhood exploration, or general wandering, and want to remember the exact places you’ve been.
But the real perk comes in the new sharing feature. Now you’re able to export customized lists from your Timeline, selecting specific places you’ve visited on your tracked route with added notes, for when your friends or family ask for your well-traveled advice. Those very lucky people can then download your list directly to their Google Maps as a layer of starred destinations. The exact scenario a Google spokesperson gave us during a demo? That Timeline could replace that email you forward endlessly when someone asks your recommendations. (We have outboxes full of them over at Traveler.)
Back to the location privacy: to get access to the feature, Google Maps doesn’t have to always track your location. You can turn your location history on and off as needed for vacations, and delete certain date ranges of your location history data from within your app’s settings under “Activity Controls.” (If you turn it off, your existing Timeline places will stick around on your phone.) Location history is only turned on when you opt in, so if you haven’t used your Timeline before, it’s likely turned off. If you’re curious about what location data Google keeps, and what it doesn’t, check out the dedicated location history FAQ page.
- Create Timeline. When you turn on Location History, your Timeline will reflect the places you have gone with the devices in which your account is logged-in and which are reporting location. …
- See your travels. …
- Turn on or pause Location History. …
- Edit Timeline.
How to view your location history in Google Maps
- Launch Google Maps.
- Tap the more button (three horizontal lines) on the top left corner.
- Tap your timeline.
- Tap the calendar icon to view a particular day.
- Swipe left or right to switch months.
- Tap a date to view your location history.