Google Maps timeline location history not working & Google Takeout KML file format export greyed out (JSON only) for some users
Used by more than 1 billion people worldwide, Google Maps is the most popular navigation app on the internet. Initially released in February of 2005, it has become the go-to navigation software for millions.
However, because of constant updates and changes to the platform, it is common for Google Maps users to encounter bugs and glitches.
That being said, Google Maps has a timeline location history feature that allows you to keep track of where you went and where you were on a particular date and time.
Google Maps timeline location history not working
But Google Maps users are now saying that they are unable to turn on timeline location history. Others say that the feature is not recording any travels or places for them.
While some are blaming age verification for the problem, others say that despite meeting all the requirements, location history is not updating for them.
Sinds late september 2021, location history has been disabled on my phone. When I attempt to reenable it, I am brought to a page which states “The setting you are looking for, is not available for your account.” (Translated from Dutch). I’m currently in the Netherlands and according to the Google help website the age requirement for location history is 16, which is a requirement the account meets. I read online that a failed age verification might be the problem, but when I change my birthday in account settings no verification is asked of me. How can I solve this and re-enable location history?
Ever since maps updated the timeline layout and all it has been so inaccurate and frustrating to navigate. I will use Google maps for directions to a place hit done and answer whether it got me there in a timely manner or whatever and a few days later I go to my timeline to confirm where I was and the place Google maps gave me directions to is not there. For example it says home-driving-home. Maps gave me directions but my timeline has no record of it or any place for that matter.
Google Takeout not letting users change file format
As it turns out, there is another issue with location history. It looks like Google Takeout is not letting users change the file format for location history.
Many say that they had the option to choose between JSON and KML, but now the option is greyed out and the only option is to use JSON.
In the past, when you go to Google Takeout and scroll to the Location History section, it let you choose either “JSON only” or “JSON and KML”. Now, the dropdown arrow is greyed out and it won’t let you change from the default (which is just JSON). There is currently no way to export your Location History as KML, which is the file format that I need. It seems as if you can still download individual days as KML from your Timeline, but that is extremely tedious to do one day at a time.
As it turns out, JSON to KML converters are not working either since they are unable to parse Google’s JSON format.
Thankfully, there seems to be a temporary workaround shared by a user that allows users to download the data in KML format.
And Mingyu, go to timeline in a wide and high res desktop view (tested on 16:9, 1080p), select a date (you should see the vertical timeline on the left half of the screen).
There should be a gear on the bottom right, and download KML should be near the top.
Since Google is yet to comment on the matter, it is unclear if Google intentionally removed the KML option or if it is a glitch.
Nonetheless, we will be keeping an eye out on the Google Maps timeline location history and Google Takeout KML file issues and update this space as and when required, so stay tuned.
Note: We have more such stories in our dedicated Google Maps Section so be sure to follow them as well.
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