Friday, December 1, 2023


Automatic maps of where you’ve been by Google Maps

We mostly travel by RV in the United States, but right now, we’re in Venice, Italy! The only way to get around here is to walk, or take a boat. I love the fact that, just by carrying my phone around, I can get a map of where we walked.

Map of where we walked

Map of where we walked in Venice

This comes from Google Maps. If you have location history turned on as a setting in your Google account, and you have GPS/Location services turned on in your phone, this map happens automatically.

I love that I have a record of where we walked and I didn’t have to do any work to get it. I especially love that I can see the name of that fabulous restaurant where we ate lunch – Ristorante Ai Barbacani. If we ever come here again I would definitely want to go back. Google Maps will remember it for me.

How to see your maps

You can see your maps on any device, computer web browser, Android device or Apple device.

  • Open Google Maps and be sure you are signed in to the same account as is used on your phone
  • Click the 3-line menu in upper left and choose Timeline
  • NOTE: Only you can see these maps – you must be signed in with your account. There is not even a way to share these timeline maps. I got the map above by taking a screenshot.
  • You will see something different now depending on whether you’re on a computer browser, or the mobile app.
    Computer: It starts by showing red dots for everywhere you’ve ever been. To select one day, use the date picker to select a year/month/day

    Mobile App: Starts out showing you the current day’s map. To pick a different day, tap the calendar icon in the upper right. Swipe left or right to get a different month. The back arrow takes you out of timeline and back to maps.

Turn Location History On or Off

If your map doesn’t show that you’ve been anywhere, then either you didn’t take your phone with you, or you have Location History turned off. To turn it on, you need to use the computer browser version of Google Maps / Timeline then click the gear icon in the lower right. To turn it on, click “Enable Location History.” If you don’t want Google Maps recording your location, click “Pause Location History.”

Here is the official help page for the timeline function.

Turn GPS/Location Services On or Off on your phone

Every smartphone has a GPS receiver as part of the device. Some people like to turn it off to conserve battery. I leave mine on at all times because I use Google Maps so much and I really like features like this map and geotagging my photos. To turn it on or off:

  • iPhone: Settings, Privacy, Location Services
  • Android: Settings, Privacy, Location / GPS
    OR Settings, Personal, Location
    OR find the shortcut icon for Location a map marker

P.S. If you want to see photos from our trip, here’s the photo album.

Chris Guld is President and Teacher-in-Chief at She and her husband, Jim, produce a free weekly online show called What Does This Button Do?  They have been Fulltime RVers, popular seminar presenters at RV Rallies, and regular contributors to, for many years.




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