I’m a sucker for anything that takes text data and turns it into something visual. This week I came across Location History Visualizer, a tool that creates a heat map using your Google Location History.
To create your own, you’ll have to first download your location history from Google. You do that by going to Google Takeout. All your Google data is toggled on by default, so first select “Select None” on the page and then scroll down to select “Location History” from the list. From there click “Next” and then “Create archive”.
Depending on how much data you have this could take a while, so Google will email you when it’s done. Mine took about 5 minutes to create. Afterwards, you’ll get a zip file to download. When you unzip it you want to go into the Location History folder and then find the .json file. That file is what you’ll want to upload to the Visualizer’s website.
Depending on how long Google’s been tracking your location, creating your heat map might take a long time (or a short one). The site suggests you grab a cup of tea while you wait. That said, my map, which includes 796,172 different data points, took about a minute to produce. Here it is:
Once it loads, you can also zoom in on individual areas. Here’s my heat map of just the United States:
All of the processing a visualisation for this happens on your computer, so no one will be able to access your location history except you, and well, Google, who had it in the first place.
If you’re a visual person like me it can pretty neat to look at and play around with. Click here to get started!