Google Location History? Wait…What?
You’re not going to believe this. I still can’t! Have you heard about the Google Location History Browser? This is one to file in the serious OMG, WTF category for sure. It’s so freakin’ cool but at the same time its extremely scary and sent chills up my spine.
Google Knows Where You Were Yesterday
In fact, Google knows where you were in the last hour. They know where you were pretty much everyday since you opted in to this service. If you own any mobile Android device such as an Android powered tablet or smartphone, you likely opted in to the Google Location History feature.
When you unwrapped and opened up your new Android device, likely just as exciting as when you opened your very first Mac iOS device before their software became glaringly inferior to the extremely useful and intuitive Android OS, IMO.
However I digress, my point is that you had to go through an initial set up of your device. In this initial set up there was a prompt that asked if it’s ok with you for Google to relay your location and other data to their servers.
Now remember, you’re excited to get things going with your new device, start downloading apps and games, setting up your email, and getting your social networks synced to your phone or tablet, so you likely may have agreed to this. I mean, what’s the big deal if Google knows where I’m at?
I never knew about this old Google feature…er, I should rephrase that, I realized Google had this feature but had no idea how it worked. To be honest, I didn’t really care. Apparently this feature is not new. It’s certainly not recent. It’s been around for years! According to TechCrunch:
“Google launched the first version of this tool around the same time that they launched Latitude. After they killed Latitude off, they kept their location browser around, polishing it up and adding new little tricks as time went on.”
What Is This Data Google Has On You?
According to the Google Location History Browser for my Google account, my location for part of my morning shows me at a client meeting and then back to the VPDM office. Want to know where Google says you were earlier today or anytime? Using Google’s Location History browser, you can find out for yourself!
I wouldn’t be able to tell you or access your location information and neither would anyone else, unless they are able to login to your Google account. So, just saying’, if you’re wife/husband or boyfriend/girlfriend has access to your Gmail account (or any other Google product), they can easily track where you were on pretty much any given day.
Oh by the way, you are able to delete this history or at least delete your location based on the tracked timestamps in this tool…just sayin’.
So, are you ready to see where Google knows you were. Here’s the link, and before you click it, use this helpful tip: “One particularly cool bit: scrub your mouse cursor over the graph at the bottom. The map above will play back your day, movement-by-movement.”
Warning: This could be a serious time suck. You’ll be able to relive the places you’ve been for the entire year and rack your brain trying to remember why you were even there in the first place.
Google Location History Browser: Be prepared to have your mind blown.
Then, come back here and let me know your thoughts about this feature in the comments below!