Google maps timeline silliness

When I bought my Google phone a few years ago, I was intrigued by the timeline feature that showed where I had been over the last month. Eventually I stopped paying much attention to it, especially once the Covid lockdowns hit. Lately I began to pay more attention to it again, and realized another reason why I had stopped paying attention to it: it’s wildly inaccurate.

If I get in my car and drive somewhere, such as to a restaurant, the park, or a friend’s house, it accurately shows the location, although recently it thought I had been to the restaurant next door to the one I’d actually visited. However, the data that is completely off-the-mark and hard to explain are the figures given for walking, biking, and driving. The numbers it gave me for May were: 5 mi. on foot for 1 hour (based on the icon), 5 mi. on bicycle, and 117 mi. in the car. This makes no sense. I don’t even own a bicycle and haven’t ridden one in years. If I go the site and click on specific days, e.g. the days I run (with my phone), there are usually entries showing I ran several miles, although the same run, which I know is 6 miles, is shown anywhere from 5.6 to 7.6 miles in Timeline. Sometimes the distance driving in the car to the park is included in the run distance. Other times, the entire run and drive is categorized as a drive. Other days I do hike with a friend. How does that all add up to 1 hour in the summary page? I like to think that I run so fast it thinks I’m actually driving, but I know that’s not the case. Those days are long gone. Someone at Google needs to seriously upgrade their software for this feature.

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