Collecting Data with Google Timeline

Setting up location data collection with a smartphone shouldn't take very long.

This method of collecting data will use Google Maps servers to store your location for the duration of the project. You can delete this data or pause tracking at any time by following the instructions here.

If you do have any issues or questions please feel free to send us an email at

  • You are regularly using a smartphone than can run Google Maps.
  • You have a google account or are willing to make one.
Please choose the instructions for your type of device:
Android Devices
  1. Open Google Maps
  2. Select the icon with three lines at the top left hand corner of the page. If you see the option to SIGN IN, do that and follow the instructions, otherwise skip this step.
  3. Now leave Google Maps and go to Settings.
  4. Once you are in the settings app, Tap Location > Google Location History. If this is disabled use the slider to enable it, also set the Mode to High accuracy.
  5. Scroll down to the bottom and select Google Location History
  6. Now using the sliders you can enable your device for Location History.

Apple Devices
  1. If you do not already have a google account, navigate to and create one.
  2. If you don't have google maps on your phone install it using your app store.
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  3. Return to the home screen and open google maps, in the top left corner of the screen select the icon with the three lines.
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  4. If you do not see the name of your google account, select SIGN IN and sign in to your google account.
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  5. Now return to the home screen and select settings. From Settings go to Privacy > Location Services > Google Maps and finally select Always to enable google maps to do Location History
  6. Now return to google maps, again press the settings button in the top left corner, scroll down, select Settings, scroll down again and then select Location History.
  7. Now enable the current device by ensuring the slider next to your device name is blue.
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After you're set up, you don't need to worry about collection anymore but you will need to send us the data. The instructions for this are on the Sending Data Back page.

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