How to Use Your Google Maps Timeline as a Travel Diary

If you use Google Maps, did you know that you have a built-in travel diary? Check out your Google Maps Timeline to relive your trips.

Day trips, weekend getaways, and family vacations are wonderful experiences we don’t want to forget. If you’re a Google Maps user, you can capture and keep all of those memories at your fingertips using the Timeline feature.

You can see every place you visited, a restaurant you ate at, the theater you enjoyed, and so much more. Take a trip down memory lane with a built-in travel diary in Google Maps.

Access Your Google Maps Timeline

Head over to the Google Maps website and sign in if necessary. Then, click the Menu icon on the top left of the Search box and select Your Timeline.

Google Maps Menu, Your Timeline

A new browser tab should open, displaying your Google Maps Timeline.

Enable Location History

Obviously, for Google Maps to capture your trips, you need location services enabled. So if you don’t see any locations on your Timeline, this is why. Either that or you haven’t left the house.

If you don’t want to keep your location services turned on, you can do it for your next adventure. Then, disable it when you return. To turn on Location History, follow these steps.

  1. At the bottom of your Timeline screen, click Manage Location History.Click Manage Location History
  2. Turn on the toggle for Location History.
  3. Check out the details regarding your data and click Turn On.
  4. You’ll see a confirmation that you enabled the feature. Click Got It.

Enable Location History

Now get out there and do some traveling so that your Google Maps Timeline fills up! To disable the feature later, follow the same steps to turn off the toggle.

Show Google Photos

While not an essential piece to your Google Maps Timeline, it is one of the benefits. You can enable the Timeline to show Google Photos related to your locations and trips. Cool, right? Here’s how to turn on the feature.

  1. Near the center of the Timeline screen, click the gear icon.
  2. Select Timeline settings.
  3. Check the box for Google Photos and click Save.

Google Maps Timeline Settings, Show Google Photos

Moving forward, when you capture pictures that you save to Google Photos, those will display with your Timeline trips (below).

Navigate Your Timeline

If you already had the Location History setting enabled, you should see some details at the bottom of your Timeline. So that’s where we’ll start.

Google Maps Timeline Places and Trips

Places Visited

On the left, you have several places you’ve visited. Click, and you can switch between your Most visited and all Visited spots. These display to the right, and you have some options.

  • Select a location to see it plotted on the map.
  • Click the three dots and choose Last visit in your timeline. This shows you the date, time, method of transportation, and duration.
  • Click the three dots and choose Place details. This shows you the Google Maps information for the spot, including a photo, type of location, address, hours, and more, depending on the location.

Places Visited

Trips Taken

Next in line is a box for the trips you’ve taken. Click More Trips to see them all. This is the best part of the Timeline for your travel diary because it automatically groups your trips.

Trips taken

Select a trip to see the details. You can pick a specific day during the trip at the bottom if you like. You can then review the details for that day on the left with dates, photos, methods of transport, and more. And on the right, you’ll see the day plotted on the map.

Trip details on Google Maps Timeline

Another helpful feature is that you can edit the details for a day on your trip. Because you see each stop with the method of transportation, you may want to make a change or two.

For example, maybe one of the stops was a rest area that you don’t really need to relive. Select the three dots to the right of the spot in the trip and click Remove stop from day.

Remove stop from day

You can also adjust the transportation option you use. For instance, the day may show you were “Moving” between stops. Click the box and choose from options like Driving, In a taxi, Walking, or Cycling.

Change transportation method

View Your Timeline by Date

Along with the options at the bottom for viewing your Timeline, you can choose to see specific dates. On the top left, pick a certain year, month, and/or date. You can also use the graph below the date options to jump to a day. Click the graph icon to display it.

Timeline by date using graph

Any trips you took during the selected period will also be displayed at the bottom. You can select one for details as described earlier.

Timeline by date

Take Advantage of Your Google Maps Timeline

If you already use Google Maps and even Google Photos, you can create an automatic travel diary without any effort using the Timeline feature. Relive your memorable trips with every step you take and the place you visit.

For help with planning, check out how you can plan your next road trip or hiking adventure with Google Maps.

On the other hand, if you are creeped out by the amount of Google stores on you, read our article on how to really stop Google from tracking your location.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Chad Bishop

    Thanks for this article. I was wondering if you knew of a way to make journal entries in the timeline, or a third party solution that would allow me to journal a day and see the map history tineline associated with it.

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