Google wants to help you remember all the places you’ve ever visited by tracking your every move. To that end, the company launched Your Timeline a Google Maps feature that pulls your location data and creates a map of your routes on any given day.
If you’re logged in to your Google account and opt-in to connect your location history, the company will start tracking your travel on Android and on the Web. Google did not say when this feature will be available on iOS.
Once collected, you can go back and see where you spent the most time, and analyze popular routes taken, like from work or school, and remember unusual destinations that are outside of your routine. Additionally, Your Timeline works with Google Photos—Maps will pull your geo-tagged photos from a current day and place them in the timeline, too.
It might be helpful to maintain a list of your travel history, especially for those times you forget the name of a great restaurant or boutique, but remember what day it was you visited; it’s the same service provided by check-in apps for years.
Essentially Google is creating an automated check-in application, but instead of broadcasting your data to friends, Your Timeline is only available to you. It’s also completely customizable, so you can delete your travel data at any time and create personalized locations that aren’t already stored in Google, like a friend’s house.
Your Timeline also serves as a reminder of the extent to which we let technology infiltrate our lives and monitor our behavior. Already we document life experiences to share with Instagram and Facebook, while our workouts are logged and saved by a number of mobile applications. Now Google will monitor and save every place you go, creating a tapestry of experiences only illustrated by lines on a screen, or photos connected to them. Arguably, we’re giving up our data for the ability to forget places we’ve been, because Google will remember for us.
Sure, it will be easier to relive or remember places you went, but if we rely on technology to keep track of our behaviors too much, perhaps we might begin to consolidate memories into those which Google tells us exist.
Photo via mil8/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)