I’m not here to bash Google or Google Maps. I use both regularly and I definitely appreciate the convenience they’ve added to my life (the time before Google Search seems more and more like the dark ages these days).
But with added convenience often comes added cost. One of those costs is allowing Google to track your movements using GPS satellites.
This allows them to give you a very high level of accuracy during navigation, but it also allows them to store your movement history, just like they’ve stored every Google search since the website launched. We can only speculate on what they do with that data.
The good news is, there’s a way to see everywhere that Google knows you’ve been: an interactive map that allows you to see your tracking history.
The map includes a timeline (below it) that you can scroll over to see exactly where you were at certain times, as well as how far away you were from your home base at that time.
But the coolest feature: the map can be “played” as an animation, allowing you to go back in time and watch your movements as they unfolded.
Login to whichever Google account you use the most (or if you have a specific one for your phone, use that one), and then click on the picture below to try it out.
Tip: Use the calender to the left of the map to select a wider range of days and see a more complete picture of your movements:
For any of you that are familiar with Austin, Texas, I promise I don’t go to 6th as often as the map above makes it seem. Apparently, I just always seem to need my location services when I’m there for some reason…
What things will you learn about yourself when you check out your own tracking history?
BONUS: While doing research for this post, I tried to find the total number of Google searches since Google’s official first year in 1998.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t find that number, at least not from a credible source. But I did, however find some statistics about recent years.
In 2013, for example, there were nearly 6 billion Google searches every day, for a total of about 2.16 trillion searches for the year.
(h/t Business Insider)