location history.json

Prints and lasercuts created from my phone's location history.

More art: memory cloud, cinemagraphs, consortium

Full installation

We are in the golden age of surveillance, and data collection is rampant.

For the first half of my senior exercise in Studio Art, I began thinking about data, specifically personal data.

Google has a tool called Takeout, which lets you download copies of all your account’s data. It’s stunning how many different things they collect. One of the datasets that surprised me most: my location history. My phone takes a GPS reading about once per minute, and sends it off to Google’s servers.

location_history.json
π˜‹π˜’π˜΅π˜’π˜±π˜°π˜ͺ𝘯𝘡𝘴: 610,323
𝘠𝘦𝘒𝘳𝘴: 2013-2019
𝘚π˜ͺ𝘻𝘦: 293.7MB
π˜™π˜¦π˜΅π˜³π˜ͺ𝘦𝘷𝘦π˜₯: 11-05-2019

Amsterdam plot map created in Python

Though I felt uneasy knowing this data was out there, I was compelled to examine it. Using some Python scripts, I generated high-resolution SVG scatterplots of the data.

Plot overlaid onto satellite imagery from Google Earth

I lasercut the scatterplots onto sheets of acrylic, masked, and spraypainted them.

Final installation detail with spraypainted lasercut acrylic

Detail of installation

Despite the Orwellian baggage that comes with this stuff, looking at the maps was an emotionally nostalgic experience for me, like looking at a map of memories.

Wide shot of senior art studio

Tools: acrylic, spraypaint, python, my Google location history, inkjet prints