Google’s latest Maps feature shows you exactly where you’ve been. Whether you find this idea interesting or slightly creepy depends of course on your disposition, though the Web giant will be hoping you’ll see the offering as a useful (or simply fun) tool rather than something about which to be wary.
Called Your Timeline, the new feature lets you “revisit the world that you’ve explored,” as the company puts it. That’s right, with a simple swipe and tap you can access maps showing all the trips you’ve taken on any given day “to get a glimpse of the places where you spend your time.” The results even indicate if you walked, rode, went by car, or took a train, and how many minutes each portion of your journey took.
Currently for logged-in Android and desktop users, Google’s feature incorporates some neat little extras. For example, it syncs with the Web company’s recently launched photo service, so the Your Timeline maps that you pull up will also include images you snapped along your route. This could help you to resurface some of your memories, whether they link to an outing you made a very long time ago or one as recently as last weekend when you had one beer too many and have no idea how you made it home.
Google assures users that Your Timeline is private and only visible to you, adding that you also have the power to delete locations and add labels to places for later reference.
If you opted in to Location History and find Google Now notifications helpful, you’ll likely have no issue with Your Timeline. After all, your movements are already being recorded, but now it’s just more straightforward to access and view them.
Privacy-minded folks, meanwhile, may already have their security set up to prevent Your Timeline from activating, though if in the past you opted out but now want to check out the new feature, you can alter your preferences via Google’s recently launched privacy dashboard here.