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Downloading your Google data

I've wanted to download all of my (Google) mails and look at things like how frequently I get mails, how frequently I send mails, how long it takes for me to reply to mails, how long my mails are and how long the mails I get are. Well, start pondering on what all interesting things your mails archive can reveal and i'm sure you'll come up with more interesting questions. The only problem is that the Google mail archive is bound to be a large one, especially given the fact that I've been actively using GMail for over 7 years now. Sometime in the middle, I found the link to create and download my Gmail archive and a day later, Google notified me that it was 4.7 GB in size. Note the GB. As I was at home, I didn't (rather couldn't) download that monster.

I finally got reminded of it yesterday in the evening when I was chatting with one of my mentors here at Enthought India about why I'm interested in learning and using programming. And when I went looking for the archive again, I realised that I could not only download my mail archive, I could also download a bunch of other things that Google has on me.

Go here to grab the data Google has on you. If that link doesn't work, for whatever reasons, go to your Google Personal Info & privacy page, specifically to the takeout option. You should see an option to Download your data or Create Archive or something on those lines. Once you click on it, you will then be shown what all things Google has on your and choose what to download!

Personally, I chose to download

  • Google Fit : For those of you who aren't Android users, Google Fit is an app that tracks your movement, counts how much distance you walk/run/cycle/drive everyday, how many calories you burn in the process and how long you sit on your ass. It's an awesome and easy way to track your daily activity!
  • Google Location History : Again, I don't know how many of you are Android users. Actually, I don't know if this feature is limited to Android phones. Anyway, if you tell it to, Google can prompt you to do things when you get home or when you get to work. This is because over time, based on your GPS location, Google can infer when you're at work and when you're home. After downloading the data, I realised that Google has my Location History for over the past year!
  • Youtube Videos : I don't know about you guys but I use Youtube everyday. Multiple times a day. To listen to songs. To watch trending videos. To watch movie trailers and to watch awesome videos over and over again. And Google, of course, has a list of all the searches you've made and all of the things you've watched, when you were logged into your account of course.
  • GMail : Do I really have to explain what this is?
  • Hangouts : Ditto.
Anyway, I downloaded the data and gone through the Fit, Location history and Hangouts data sets. Youtube, Location history and Hangouts data is stored using the json format, which was new to me and took a while to understand/use but I got the hang of it in the end. Fit data was in the form of simple csv files and some other weird xml derived format. I only dug through the csv files for now. I have basic histograms and plots for activity and chats. I'll dig through these data sets more thoroughly over the week to find some interesting metrics. Until then ...

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