Using Google Maps to Track Your Travel

Real Estate Agent with Progressive Realty (Boise Idaho) DB-17066

If you have anything to hide regarding your personal travel habits, be sure to NOT let Google track your location.  However, since I don't have anything to hide, I have a lot of fun letting Google track where I have been.

This is a map of places I have been in the continental US in the past 10 years.  You can even click on "Timeline" and choose which specific year or day you would like to see.

Did you forget or lose your mileage log?  No worries, it is kind of hard for the IRS to argue that you didn't go to these places when Google tracked you. There are a lot of places here in Idaho that don't have good coverage in the mountains going through the canyons, etc., so it isn't going to get everything.  I went rafting down the Grand Canyon last year and had no cell coverage the whole time so that 477 mile trip downstream won't show up but it was worth it!

Another good feature is "location sharing".  If you are traveling to meet someone, they can see how close you are getting so you don't have to keep checking in.  If your location doesn't keep changing while you are on a road trip, you can call to make sure they are OK.  You can also set your kids up to share their location and see if they actually are going where they say they are.  I am glad my parents didn't have that since I might have been skiing or surfing on a few school days.

As I start promoting the real estate classes I teach for the National Association of Realtors and for the National Association of Home Builders, I hope to start adding a lot more red dots!





Comments (10)

George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Jim Paulson I was not aware Google Maps could do that.  Good information to know.

Jun 05, 2022 05:07 PM
Jim Paulson
Progressive Realty (Boise Idaho) - Boise, ID

George Souto  Google Maps is an amazing program.  Most people only use it to get from point A to point B, but you can also adjust the time of day to figure out the best potential commute times; search along the route for points of interest; etc.  I have fun posting photos to Google Maps to help others see the insides of restaurants, etc.  My photos have amassed over 40 million views on Google Maps.  

Jun 05, 2022 06:01 PM
Ray Henson
eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277) - Elk Grove, CA

I do allow Google to track me and knew I could see it all on the map.  I did not know about location sharing.  That is a great tip.  Thank you!

Jun 05, 2022 06:12 PM
Jim Paulson

Ray Henson the location sharing option can be pretty helpful.  If my sons share their location with me, I can tell when they make the long drive home successfully.  If they get a late start, they don't have to call in the middle of the night to let me know they made it home OK.  

Jun 05, 2022 10:15 PM
Brian England
Arizona Focus Realty - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

I remember the first few times I received the email from google with the places I had been, it felt a bit creepy, haha.  I look at it out of curiosity and often find that it isn't always 100% accurate since it lists places I have never been.

Jun 06, 2022 06:17 AM
Jim Paulson

Brian England that is the first I have heard about it posting places you haven't been.  I know mine has been off a few blocks sometimes as my phone tries to triangulate location of cell towers.  Was yours in wrong location in the same town or have you taking trips you didn't take out of town?

Jun 10, 2022 07:44 PM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
Probate Real Estate

Oh boy, this is scary (LOL).  It is not that I did not know this technology is available. It is seeing it on the map. The technology was used in the 2000 mules documentary. 

I do not have it set up - or maybe there is nothing to set up - it just automatically does it. 

Jun 06, 2022 06:54 AM
Jim Paulson

I need to watch 2000 mules.  With an android phone, you do need to enable location tracking for it to work.  Thanks for the heads up on the documentary Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist 

Jun 10, 2022 07:50 PM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Jim, I actually used Google maps to map out my trip later this year to Calgary, and wanted to know how many miles it will be, and what the gas bill could be....UGH!

Jun 06, 2022 09:37 AM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Retired Home Stager/Redesign

Hi Jim- I love Google. Not totally related to maps but we needed to find the location setting of a bluebird box we moved. I went to Google photos and could see the GPS coordinates for the location. 

Jun 06, 2022 06:23 PM
Jim Paulson

Kathy Streib yes the GPS coordinates can be enlightening in photos.  I love it when I can see exactly where people caught their priced fish in "No Tellum" Creek etc.  

Jun 10, 2022 07:54 PM
Harry Flow

I don't really care about Google tracking my location, I think it's pretty interesting to check the places I've been a few years ago. I'm a huge fan of traveling, and I'm sure my map will be full of red dots. Now I'm planning to work with a travel agent specialized in Amazon riverboat trips, and I can't wait for the trip to start because I haven't been abroad for a while.

Jun 14, 2022 04:31 AM
Jim Paulson

Harry Flow that trip sounds wonderful. Enjoy it.

Jun 16, 2022 11:15 AM
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Jim Paulson - step-by-step we are being tracked but the criminals that need to be caught never really are, or are they? Now I know why many want to go off the grid. 

Jun 30, 2022 01:04 AM
Jim Paulson
Progressive Realty (Boise Idaho) - Boise, ID

Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP  I think we need to publish a lot more about criminals being caught.  If the media focused on that for a while, people would possibly think twice about being a criminal.  For example, I can't think of a single person that has been brought to justice for abusing the federal Do Not Call list.  Oh wait, in over a decade, they have only brought 151 enforcement actions again the abusers since it's inception. 

Jun 30, 2022 04:17 PM