Google Maps and Android: you can track your own location, view history minute-by-minute

December 20, 2013

Android device owners that use location-related services and apps a lot, and would like to track and access their own location for a change, can do so on Google Maps by going to location history.

One reddit thread discusses how Android device users can view their location history “minute-by-minute” by going to this Google Maps URL: maps.google.com/locationhistory. There, you can browse location history by day, which should show up on a map, assuming that you have location services enabled on your device.

Because Google does the actual tracking of your location, you’d have to agree to Google monitoring that data for you in order for the service to work. Otherwise, you’ll get a blank map, as shown below:

google-maps-location-history-1

In case you have no problem having your location tracked – well, someone, somewhere will track you no matter what – you may as well enjoy it, especially if you’re particularly interested about past trips or location you may have visited at a certain time since you purchased that shiny, GPS-enabled Android device.

You may want to record your long trips using this Google Maps feature, and even though they won’t be as cool as reddit user yadsendew‘s video above  (a 7-minute timelapse video out of almost 7250 miles of driving in the U.S.) they may still be useful for future reference. Such recorded data may get you out of a tricky situation like user glycationendproduct did with the police, when he was able to show to an officer his exact location on a given day:

tl;dr – Cops came to seize my car for a hit and run that ‘only I could have committed’. I handed the cop a laptop with the location history open and showed him that, at the very least, my phone was nowhere near the crime. A corroborating phone call confirmed my story. They let me go.

Naturally, at the end of the day it’s up to you to decide whether you want to have apps and services track your location or not. But if you’re heavily into Google products, including Google Now, this feature may certainly come in handy.

Comments

  • beboo

    i’m still on maps V. 6.14 i didn’t recive any update until now

    • samsparkin

      Lucky u. I updated by mistake. While getting directions to a place, I really miss the, ‘tap to choose a point on the map’ feature…. now I have to type in a closeby location known to Google maps. Can someone help?

  • Guest

    it’s stuff like this that make me disable “web history” for all google products.

  • Andrew

    I do find it cool, helpful, and disturbing. That being said, I’m annoyed that I’m not able to separate locations between my phone and tablet, making it crazy to look at that I’m able to travel back so quickly to my place.

    • QuickSilver

      Turn off location reporting in your tab

      • Andrew

        Did that already. It turned it off on my phone as well. They are screwy with the sync.

  • Nacos

    I simply fail to understand how most users can’t realize that while cell phone tracking has no, or very limited value for personal use, it’s being pushed for one and one puspose only – so that governments and marketing corporations can control, take advantage and profit.

  • bob

    does this feature needs “DATA” or just “GPS” in the phone?

  • Ralph Teckenburg

    It is frustrating how the most simple questions cannot be answered by google or are hidden somewhere deeeeep down in the instructions. How do I agree to the monitoring ?

  • Ralph Teckenburg

    I have agreed to the monitoring but still don´t see where I was today !

  • charu

    Hi,

    I lost my Google Nexus 4 recently at a beach. Not sure if it is stolen or if it got sunk in the waves there :(
    Since the moment I have lost it, for 4 days, it wasn’t reachable. but today, the 5th day, it is coming switched-off. I am unable to locate it using Android Device Manager :(
    Please tell me how can I be sure that it is stolen or sunk. It is not water proof.. so if it is sunk in water then y switched off message!!??

    -Charu

    • Virginia Stomm

      Because if its sunk it will be switched off :-)

  • http://www.soalib.com Soalib Jence

    You can track your position as well as your kid or any other android device by using a simple android app called Ghostrack. Its a very simple app with lots of features. Doesn’t even require Internet connection or data plan in the tracking end. Its free now and worthy of downloading. Just try it for once. Go to the Google play and give a search by “Ghostrack” developed by Soalib

  • cssnoopy76

    I’m using a Samsung galaxy 4s. GPS not on but location is. The other day I put me on the map with a large circle around me. When I went to location history and broke the timestamps down by the minute it put me somewhere else on the map. Then when I went to the next minute it put me back at the first point. Meanwhile these places are 10 miles apart. How can that be? Not very reliable.

  • Lloyd Johnson Sr

    This tracking does not make any sense. It has me in places that I have never been for that day. It says that I have been in Virginia Beach on the 23rd of May I have not been in Virginia Beach in five years so what’s up with that. My phone has been with you the whole time.