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Open collaboration is fundamental for this project, a single person can't encounter and document all edge cases of the files. Additionally, Google periodically updates the format and structure of the files without prior warning, so updates to the format definitions will also be needed periodically but might be easy to miss.

All source code, documentation files, and schemas can be found in the project's GitHub repository. If you notice incorrect, out-of-date, or missing information, you can help by creating a new issue or creating a pull request.

Note that Google's Location History data presents unique challenges that make spotting, formalizing, and accurately keeping track of the changes to the format significantly difficult. In particular, there is no known versioning system for the file format (or other indirect versioning clues), and changes to the format of the extracted files are usually not rolled out at the same time for all Google users.

Improving the JSON Schemas

All JSON schemas can be found in the schemas/ folder of the repository. Pull requests are welcome. Ideally contributors should be familiar with the structure of JSON Schema files.

All documented objects and properties should at least have the following fields:

  • title: In most cases it is just a "humanized" version of the key.

  • type: One of "object", "array", "string", "number", "boolean", "null".

  • description: Can make use of common basic Markdown syntax. It can be an empty string if no information is known (in which case a helpWanted field should be present).

In addition to other basic JSON Schema fields, the following non-standard fields are also supported:

  • helpWanted: Short description to inform that the information provided for this object/property is incomplete and help from the community is welcome. Example: "The meaning of this field is uncertain. Are other values possible?"

  • added: Approximate date that this object/property was added to the format, if known. Example: "around January 2022".

  • removed: Approximate date that this object/property was removed from the format, if known. Example: "around January 2022".

  • replacedBy: For objects/properties that have been removed, the URI-reference of the new object/property that replaced it, if it applies. Example: "#/$defs/locationRecord/properties/timestamp"

To convert the JSON Schema files to Markdown files (which are then used for the documentation site) a custom Python script is used (see tools/jsonschema_to_md/).


Not all standard JSON Schema language features are supported when building the site (and it is not in the scope of this project to build a complete JSON Schema to Markdown generator). If you miss some JSON Schema feature in the Markdown generator create a new issue or a pull request.

Improving the Guides

To improve the documentation guides provided in this site modify the Markdown files found in the docs/guides/ folder and submit a pull request. Most common Markdown syntax is supported, plus additional syntax extensions provided by the Material for MkDocs theme.

Testing Locally

In order to set-up a local environment to preview and test changes to the site first clone the GitHub repository, then:

To install all requirements run:

pip install -r requirements.txt

To transform the JSON schemas in the schemas/ folder to Markdown files run:

make build


The generated Markdown files are stored in the /docs/reference folder. Note that these dynamically generated Markdown files should not be included in the repository.

To start a local web server and view the site run:

mkdocs serve

Last update: 2023-06-30