It’s no news that Google has kept a record of location data tracking each step you take with your android phone for a while now. It is also imperative to note that data is a new power and unlike what is obtainable with other high-value materials such as gold, or diamond, data does not have limits as a resource and more of it is being made per day.
There is however a question of what the custodians of this data choose to use it for. Some have a fear of it being used for the wrong reasons especially in the case of Google maps timeline. The big question on the lips of many however is: “how accurate is Google maps Timeline”
How accurate is Google maps Timeline?
The Google maps timeline can be best described as being fairly accurate and the reason for this answer is not farfetched. The fact is that operating a GPS receiver can be quite a power-consuming. Because Google maps are in-built and cannot be replaced easily, it should be easy to operate for everybody including those with little or no real understanding of how to manage the life of the battery.
Furthermore, when Google maps are operating in the background, it usually does not wake up regularly to get your location updated. This, therefore, leaves some jumps on the timeline. In addition to this, because the first fix GPS receives usually has great errors due to the wrong location.
What Makes Google Maps Special?
Google maps are simply a tool loaded with many attributes. It can tell you what unique deals you can get, plan a journey for you and also give you regular updates. However, several things Google maps can do, it does them without us having to ask. Google is aware when you stand at a bus stop or get to the office.
The whole idea behind this is known as Geofencing which involves cross-referencing location data together with the service locations while also giving notifications to a mobile device based on that. So basically, Google is aware that I am in the supermarket simply because my location adequately matches the area which the supermarket is known to occupy. The details may not be perfect but it’s outstanding and can even be a source of concern.
What Is The Big Deal With The Timeline Feature?
A simple check on the timeline feature of Google maps clearly shows that Google can determine where your daily routine. It can tell where you were initially, when you started the journey home and even quite scarily, the route you took home. By making use of the Geofencing programming, Google can calculate when we get to the bus stop while it cross-references the same data with other bus stops and bus routes to calculate to a certain degree if the users are using the bus.
However, Google doesn’t go to the length of guessing which of the buses but can at least make an educated guess.
What Is Google Location History?
This is simply an account-wide service that can track your movements just by using your Smartphone devices. What it does is to record your real-world activities and movements the moment you are signed in to your Google account, the location history gets activated and immediately the location reporting gets activated.
The whole idea behind this is that Google can give you improved services if it is aware of where you have been. However, not everyone is excited about Google keeping a record of all their movements. This may not be unconnected to the possible privacy issues as far as storing the details of the places you may have ever been online.
The aforementioned is the reason why Google Location history is always turned off by default and only activated upon the request of the users. It is, however, a common thing for users to enable Google’s location history accidentally via the Google maps application without actually knowing what they may have signed up to.
How Can You Ascertain Your Google Location History
There are several ways you can ascertain your location history on Google. First, if you have the Google Maps application, all you need to do is launch it after which you to hold down the hamburger icon which are 3 horizontal lines that are stacked upon each other.
Thereafter, you should proceed to the Timeline Tab where you will find the places you have visited during a specific date. You may be even more shocked if you have had your Google Location History turned on over a few years. The realization that Google has a well-documented map of your movements over the years can be quite scary; hence you may want to switch off the feature.
How Can I Turn Off The Google Location History?
You can rest assured that you can turn off the Google Location history at any time you so desire. The first thing you should do to achieve this would be to turn off web and activity tracking to prevent Google from knowing your location.
One negative thing about the markers is that they are usually interwoven with some other data hence making it quite complicated locating and deleting them. For you to turn it off, you simply have to click the link that leads to activity controls. After this, you will be able to deactivate the web and activity tracking on all Google apps, sites and services.
How can I make the most of my Google Maps?
This navigation tool is quite popular due to reasons such as its ease of use, as well as reliability in addition to loads of features. It, therefore, suffices to say that you may be missing out on some of the unique features of this application.
1. Include your work and home
This is indeed a cool trick if you are always on the go. Entering your work and home locations allows you to quickly navigate your way to either of them without you having to input the address each of the time. To have it set up, click on the editing work or edit home settings and input your details.
2. Travel through your timeline
Even though the idea of Google maps timeline tracking being a bit too creepy, it can, however, prove to a quite useful tool. However, if used the right way, it can indeed prove to be quite useful especially if you find yourself in a situation where you have forgotten the location of someplace important. All you just need to do is swipe to the left and view with accuracy from your timeline.
It would even go as far as telling you the length of time you have spent at a particular location and the time you spent walking. Also, if you take certain pictures at a spot, it will easily include them in your timeline.
Besides switching off your GPS which makes the application virtually useless, there is no way to deactivate this feature.
3. Transmit your location
This is a very vital but hidden feature contained within Google Maps. For you to transmit your location to another person, you will have to first click on the blue dot which sows were you currently are. After this, you will then have to swipe up and click on the three-dot menu at the upper right corner. You can then opt to share your preferred apps.
4. Save all offline maps on your phone
This is perhaps one of the most useful features of this app and one of the most difficult to locate. It can be quite useful for you to save the map of a certain area for you to be able to view it offline later. This is especially so when you are traveling overseas where the roaming charges can be quite prohibitive.
You can do this on the mobile app by simply navigating the area where you desire to get saved and click on the search field and delete all texts after which you should scroll down. At the lower part, you will see a part that says save a new offline map, click on it and the map will begin downloading.
You may, however, need to zoom it in a bit as you may not be able to download one city per time. You should, however, note that you won’t be able to navigate when you use the offline maps.
Having known how accurate Google map’s timeline is, you must understand that it is only as effective as the way you use it. Hence, knowing the right tips and tricks should be able to help you get the best user experience.
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