Author Topic: Importing tracks from google timeline  (Read 1352 times)

AndyL

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Importing tracks from google timeline
« on: July 16, 2017, 06:07:32 PM »
This isn't really an Imatch problem, but I just wondered if anyone here has had any success converting a KML file from google timeline to a GPX file the Imatch will import.

I have tried various online and offline converters but they either won't convert the KML or generate a GPX file that Imatch won't read.

Investigation suggests google has messed with the KML format and stopped putting in timestamps with each coordinate, which breaks the original KML standard. So it's google's fault really, but they don't seem interested in fixing it. There is a suggestion you can download the entire timeline data set, but I'd rather just download tracks for individual days. It would be really useful if I could use the timeline data as it covers most of my photo taking.

Thanks for any help


Mario

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Re: Importing tracks from google timeline
« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2017, 06:26:48 PM »
Google is generally not interested in providing functions or features which make it easy for people to get data out of the Google universe. This is not in their interest because they make money from data you provide to them by using their software, tools and services.

Very important to keep that in mind. Remember Google abandoning the stand-alone Picasa software (no data access for them) in favor of Google photos (with full access to them to all your photos, the faces and persons contained in these photos and full availability of your photos and data to the Google AIs.

I'm unfortunately unable to help you here. If none of the many GPX converters can produce a standard GPX file (track or waipoint) from your KML, I'm at a loss. Maybe attach a sample file you have created so I get an idea about why IMatch cannot import it. The GPX format is standardized for many years and stable...

AndyL

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Re: Importing tracks from google timeline
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2017, 06:48:58 PM »
Thanks for the reply Mario. I wasn't expecting any help from you. As I said, it's not your problem. I was hoping that maybe someone here had found a way of getting round the pain that is google.

And yes, I'm well aware of how google is not interested in helping anyone but themselves. A shame, as they used to so good.

Regards

Andy

Carlo Didier

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Re: Importing tracks from google timeline
« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2017, 02:58:16 PM »
I have tried various online and offline converters but they either won't convert the KML or generate a GPX file that Imatch won't read.

Did you try GPSBabel?
https://www.gpsbabel.org/

Mario

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Re: Importing tracks from google timeline
« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2017, 04:10:29 PM »
The KML file exported by Google only contains a <Placemark> with a list of GPS coordinates. No timestamp information so no way to map the GPS coordinates to images.

Not usable for mapping images to GPS coordinates. Google surely has the timestamp data, but does not include it in the KML file for some reason. GPX export is not available.

AndyL

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Re: Importing tracks from google timeline
« Reply #5 on: July 17, 2017, 05:45:56 PM »
Did you try GPSBabel?
https://www.gpsbabel.org/

Yes, that was where I started. You get an error about not enough when events for the track events.

As Mario says, google have removed the timestamps for some reason. They used to be there, but about a year ago they removed them. You can download your entire timeline as a zip archive and GPSBabel will let you extract individual days, but it is more work and not completely error free.

It's a shame. There doesn't seem to be any way to make use of the track except within the google world. If you upload your photos to google, it will show them along your timeline, so they know. You just can't extract the information to use it anywhere else.

I was hoping there might be a way to interpolate the timestamps from what is in the KML file, but I guess not.

jch2103

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Re: Importing tracks from google timeline
« Reply #6 on: July 17, 2017, 06:22:53 PM »
This discussion explains some issues I had with Google Earth data. It reinforces the thought that it's best to stick to formats like GPX.
John

Mario

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Re: Importing tracks from google timeline
« Reply #7 on: July 17, 2017, 06:34:52 PM »
Quote
There doesn't seem to be any way to make use of the track except within the google world. If you upload your photos to google, it will show them along your timeline, so they know. You just can't extract the information to use it anywhere else.

I think we will see a similar behavior from other 'cloud' companies over the next years. Currently they are all in the 'get the users data into the cloud, even if it costs us money'. The next step should then be to make it inconvenient or very hard to get the data out again. Only then the users data becomes a true asset to monetize.

It may be me, but I want to stay in control of my data and store it on hardware I own. And I carefully control what I 'share' with companies like Google or Facebook or others. Most IT people I know behave similarly. 'Norma' people not so. As soon as you hang out the 'free' carrot, they follow...

You can use Google takeout to download your data as a JSON file. This JSON file could probably be parsed in JavaScript to somehow map images to coordinates (I assume that is what GPSBabel does). But that's another project...



<OT>

Just read an interesting story about a U.K. based company who smuggled an passus in their 'Get free Wi-Fi' terms of service. Every user who wanted free Wi-Fi had to agree to the terms and as such offered 1000 hours of work, cleaning festival toilets, clean public parks etc. Of course they have no plan to make the people wo signed the terms of service to actually do the work. But it shows that nobody really reads the terms when there is something for free. Only 1 of 45,000 users complained about this.

Have you read the Google terms of service, Facebook and WhatsApp terms or service. Or the library (!) of terms of services provided by Apple? Or, the IMatch license agreement?

</OT>
« Last Edit: July 17, 2017, 06:37:14 PM by Mario »