Today, Google is tracking wherever your smartphone goes, and putting a neat red dot on a map to mark the occasion.
All you need to do is log in with the same account you use on your phone, and the record of everywhere you’ve been for the last day to month will erupt across your screen like chicken pox. If you have a Gmail account or use any of Google’s apps, there’s a good chance Google has some of your location data stored in its systems.
Luckily, there’s an easy way to see exactly what Google knows about where you’ve been, and you can even see a map of past locations you have visited. This all depends on whether you have enabled two settings tied to your Google account: location reporting and location history. Apparently this record only happens if you have ‘location services’ switched on in your phone; if you do and you’re finding you have no data, then it means that either you don’t exist or you’ve beaten the system.
To check whether location history is enabled on your account, go to the Google Maps Location history page and click the gear icon button to access History settings. You can disable or enable the service there. The easiest way to thoroughly search your location history is to change the “Show” ticker from 1 Day to 30 Days, which will let you see all of your location data by the month.
You can then work backward by the month until you start to see the red data points and lines pop up. Disabling location history however, does not remove your past history. If you’d like to erase the locations Google Maps has stored for the past 30 days, go back to the Location history page. The default time period shows location history for the current day, so you may not see any plots on the map.
Use the pull down menu below the calendar on the left to show your history, up to 30 days. If you choose a time period in which Google Maps has tracked your location, you’ll see the points where you’ve been on the map. Below the calendar, you’ll see options to delete your history from the time period you have chosen or to delete all history.