Analyzing commute with Google Location History and Python

Map with commute

The article was updated 17.05.2018 with wind direction data.

Since I moved to Amsterdam I’m biking to work almost every morning. And as Google is always tracking the location of my phone, I thought that it might be interesting to do something with that data.

First of all, I’ve downloaded Location History data dump in json from Download your data page. The format of the dump is very simple, it’s a dict with locations key that contains a lot of entries like this in descendant order by date:

    "timestampMs" : "1525120611682",
    "latitudeE7" : 523508799,
    "longitudeE7" : 488938179,
    "accuracy" : 15,
    "altitude" : 49,
    "verticalAccuracy" : 2

It’s very easy to parse it with Python:

import json
from datetime import datetime
from collections import namedtuple

Point = namedtuple('Point', 'latitude, longitude, datetime')

def read_points():
    with open('data.json') as f:
        data = json.load(f)

    for point in data['locations']:
        yield Point(
            point['latitudeE7'] / 10 ** 7,
            point['longitudeE7'] / 10 ** 7,
            datetime.fromtimestamp(int(point['timestampMs']) / 1000)
points = read_points()
>>> [*points]
[Point(latitude=52.350879, longitude=4.893817, datetime=datetime.datetime(2018, 4, 30, 22, 36, 51, 682000)), ...]

As I moved to my current place in November, it’s safe to ignore all entries before:

from itertools import takewhile

from_date = datetime(2017, 11, 1)

after_move = takewhile(lambda point: point.datetime >= from_date, points)

And weekends:

work_days = (point for point in after_move
             if point.datetime.weekday() < 5)

Usually, I’m heading to work between 9 am and 10 am, but as the Netherlands are switching between summer and winter timezones, it will be safer to treat everything between 7 am and 9a m as possible commute time:

from_hour = 7
to_hour = 12

commute_time = (point for point in work_days
                if from_hour <= point.datetime.hour < to_hour)

Then I grouped everything by date:

from itertools import groupby

by_days = groupby(commute_time, key=lambda point:
>>> [(day, [*vals]) for day, vals in by_days]
[(, 4, 27),
 [Point(latitude=52.350879, longitude=4.893817, datetime=datetime.datetime(2018, 4, 27, 11, 58, 17, 189000)), ...]),

After that, I selected the last point at home and the first point at work for every day. A point considered home or work if it’s distance from home or work is smaller than 50 meters. The distance can be easily calculated with geopy:

from geopy.distance import geodesic

home = (52.350879, 4.893817)  # not really =)
work = (52.3657573, 4.8980648)

max_distance = 0.050

def last_at_home(points):
    result = None
    for point in points:
        if geodesic(home, point[:2]).km <= max_distance:
            result = point
    return result

def first_at_work(points, after):
    for point in points:
        if point.datetime > after.datetime and geodesic(work, point[:2]).km <= max_distance:
            return point

Commute = namedtuple('Commute', 'day, start, end, took')

def get_commute():
    for day, points in by_days:
        points = [*points][::-1]

        start = last_at_home(points)
        if start is None:

        end = first_at_work(points, start)
        if end is None:

        yield Commute(
            day, start.datetime, end.datetime, end.datetime - start.datetime,

commutes = [*get_commute()][::-1]
>>> commutes
[Commute(, 11, 2), start=datetime.datetime(2017, 11, 2, 9, 39, 13, 219000), end=datetime.datetime(2017, 11, 2, 9, 52, 53, 295000), took=datetime.timedelta(0, 820, 76000)), ...]

Now it’s easy to plot a graph of daily commute with matplotlib:

from matplotlib import pyplot

fig, ax = pyplot.subplots()
ax.plot([ for commute in commutes],
        [commute.took.total_seconds() / 60 for commute in commutes])

ax.set(xlabel='day', ylabel='commute (minutes)',
       title='Daily commute')

It’s easy to spot days when I had appointments in the morning:

Daily commute

Then I thought that it might be interesting to look for a correlation between temperature and commute time, and wind speed and commute time. I found data dump of daily weather that KNMI provides, the nearest meteorological station is in Schiphol airport, but I guess it’s close enough. The data is in easy to parse format:

# STN,YYYYMMDD,DDVEC,FHVEC,   FG,  FHX, FHXH,  FHN, FHNH,  FXX, FXXH,   TG,   TN,  TNH,   TX,  TXH, T10N,T10NH,   SQ,   SP,    Q,   DR,   RH,  RHX, RHXH,   PG,   PX,  PXH,   PN,  PNH,  VVN, VVNH,  VVX, VVXH,   NG,   UG,   UX,  UXH,   UN,  UNH, EV24

  240,19510101,  188,   77,   87,  195,   18,   41,   24,     ,     ,   12,  -13,    1,   26,   20,     ,     ,     ,     ,     ,     ,     ,     ,     , 9891, 9957,     , 9837,     ,     ,     ,     ,     ,    7,   90,   98,    6,   73,   20,     
  240,19510102,  153,   41,   41,   82,    4,   10,   21,     ,     ,   13,    7,    4,   18,   19,     ,     ,     ,     ,     ,     ,     ,     ,     , 9876, 9923,     , 9853,     ,     ,     ,     ,     ,    8,   93,   98,    9,   88,    1,     

I only used FG (Daily mean wind speed in 0.1 m/s), TG (Daily mean temperature in 0.1 degrees Celsius) and DDVEC (Vector mean wind direction in degrees):

from dateutil.parser import parse

Weather = namedtuple('Weather', 'windspeed, temperature, wind_direction')

def read_weather():
    result = {}

    with open('weather.txt') as f:
        for line in f.readlines():
            if not line.startswith(' '):

            data = [part.strip() for part in line.split(',')]
            result[parse(data[1]).date()] = Weather(
                int(data[4]) / 10,
                int(data[11]) / 10,

    return result

weather = read_weather()
>>> weather
{, 1, 1): Weather(windspeed=8.7, temperature=1.2, wind_direction=188),, 1, 2): Weather(windspeed=4.1, temperature=1.3, wind_direction=153),, 1, 3): Weather(windspeed=2.1, temperature=0.3, wind_direction=203),

Before doing this I’ve excluded spikes from days when I had appointments:

normalized = [commute for commute in commutes
              if commute.took.total_seconds() < 60 * 20]

Then I created a scatter plot of temperature and commute:

fig, ax = pyplot.subplots()
ax.scatter([commute.took.total_seconds() / 60 for commute in normalized],
           [weather[].temperature for commute in normalized])
ax.set(xlabel='Commute time', ylabel='Temperature',
       title='Commute and weather')

Correlation is slightly visible, on cold days commute is a bit faster:

Commute and temperature

With wind speed code is almost the same:

fig, ax = pyplot.subplots()
ax.scatter([commute.took.total_seconds() / 60 for commute in normalized],
           [weather[].windspeed for commute in normalized])
ax.set(xlabel='Commute time', ylabel='Wind speed',
       title='Commute and wind')

And the correlation is more visible, the commute is slower with stronger wind:

Commute and wind

Then I’ve tried to combine the previous two graphs in one 3d graph:

from mpl_toolkits.mplot3d import Axes3D

fig, ax = pyplot.subplots(subplot_kw={'projection': '3d'})
ax.scatter([weather[].temperature for commute in normalized],
           [weather[].windspeed for commute in normalized],
           [commute.took.total_seconds() / 60 for commute in normalized])
ax.set(xlabel='Temperature', ylabel='Wind speed', zlabel='Commute time',
       title='Commute and weather')

And the result didn’t give me anything:

Commute and weather in 3d

After that I thought that it would be interesting to look at a possible correlation of commute time, wind speed, and direction:

from matplotlib import cm

colors = iter(cm.Reds(np.linspace(0, 1, len(normalized))))

fig, ax = pyplot.subplots()

for commute in sorted(normalized, key=lambda commute: commute.took.total_seconds() / 60):

ax.set(xlabel='Wind speed', ylabel='Wind direction',
       title='Commute and wind')


Longer the commute, redder the dot:

Commute, wind speed and direction

Wind direction doesn’t look that well on that plot, so I’ve tried to use polar plot:

colors = iter(cm.Reds(np.linspace(0, 1, len(normalized))))

fig, ax = pyplot.subplots(subplot_kw={'projection': 'polar'})

for commute in sorted(normalized, key=lambda commute: commute.took.total_seconds() / 60):

ax.set(title='Commute and wind')


And it’s much more “readable”:

Polar commute, wind speed and direction

Gist with sources.

Alan A. A. Donovan,‎ Brian W. Kernighan: The Go Programming Language

book cover white Somehow I’ve started to use Go more and more, so I decided to read something fundamental about it. The Go Programming Language by Alan A. A. Donovan and‎ Brian W. Kernighan looked like a right choice. The book covers every aspect of the language from very basic things like statements and variables to reflection and interop with C. It also covers some best practices, and things that better not to do.

Although I’m not a big fan of Go and it’s best practices, the book at least helped me to understand why it’s done that way a bit better.

Rob Fitzpatrick: The Mom Test

book cover Recently I wanted to read something that can help with meetings and talks with non-technical people. And I was recommended to read The Mom Test by Rob Fitzpatrick. It’s a short book and it’s an easy reading, the book has a few valid points and ideas. It explains author’s points by showing example dialogs with highlighted bad and good parts.

From the other side, the book gives too startup-ish/entrepreneur-ish in a bad way aftertaste.

Anil Madhavapeddy, Jason Hickey, Yaron Minsky: Real World OCaml

book cover white Around a month ago I’ve started playing around Reason and for understanding it better I decided to read something about OCaml and chose Real World OCaml by Anil Madhavapeddy, Jason Hickey, and Yaron Minsky. The book explains OCaml syntax, core library, different aspects of language and how to write FP and OOP code in OCaml. The book has a lot of examples and easy to read, not that much repetitive as a lot of books about programming languages.

Although before reading the book I thought that OCaml isn’t that much over-bloated and is a better language, especially it’s syntax. It helped me to better understand concepts and ideas behind Reason.

Don Norman: The Design of Everyday Things

book cover Recently I wanted to read something about UI and UX and I was recommended to read The Design of Everyday Things by Don Norman. Even I’m not a UI/UX specialist at all, it’s one of the most interesting books I’ve read lately. It contains a lot of real-life examples with deep explanations why something is done wrongly and poorly, and it has points and ideas how to make it better.

Although the book is a bit repetitive.

James Turnbull: The Logstash Book

book cover white As I have an interest in monitoring and logging, I decided to read The Logstash Book by James Turnbull. And it’s kind of a nice book, with examples and explanations about working with Logstash and ELK stack. Also, it contains information about the ways to extend Logstash with plugins, even a few pages about writing plugins on your own.

From the other side, the book is a bit too basic and a lot of it is primitive information about deploying Logstash and related stack.

Jason Dixon: Monitoring with Graphite

book cover white Recently I wanted to read something about Graphite and monitoring in general, as I sometimes need to interact with it. And I’ve found Monitoring with Graphite by Jason Dixon and read it. It’s kind of a nice book with history, explanation of the architecture and use cases of Graphite. It’s not that long and easy to read.

Can contain a bit less information of Graphite’s ugly interface though.

Tom White: Hadoop: The Definitive Guide

book cover Around a month ago I’ve started working with Hadoop, so I decided that I need to read something about it, and chose Hadoop: The Definitive Guide by Tom White that I already had from the Humble Book Bundle. The book contains a lot of information about Hadoop internals and related stack with use cases and examples. And I guess there are too much huge code samples with all boilerplate. And too many pages are like some option – description, there’s already the documentation for things like that.

But overall the book is good. After reading it I feel way more confident with Hadoop.

Christmas lights on MacBook TouchBar

MacBook TouchBar is almost useless, so I decided to put Christmas lights on it. And apparently it was very easy. Electron has very simple API for TouchBar.

As Christmas lights should have distinctive colors, I hardcoded just seven of them:

const colors = [

And as only one colorable element in electron API is TouchBarButton, and there’s space for only eight buttons on the TouchBar, I generated them with defined colors:

const count = 8;

const lights = [];
for (let i = 0; i < count; i++) {
        new TouchBarButton({
            backgroundColor: colors[i * 3 % colors.length],

Centered them with an ugly hack with TouchBarLabel:

const touchBar = new TouchBar([
    new TouchBarLabel({label: "      "}),

Assigned TouchBar to a dummy electron app:

app.once('ready', () => {
  window = new BrowserWindow({
    frame: false,
    titleBarStyle: 'hiddenInset',
    width: 300,
    height: 100,
  window.loadURL('javascript:document.write("<br><h1>Christmas lights!!!</h1>")');

The last part is the logic of the lights. I made it very simple, every five milliseconds I’m increasing tick and updating colors of buttons with number have the same modulo of three as the tick:

const interval = 500;

let tick = 0;
setInterval(() => {
    for (let i = 0; i < count; i++) {
        if (i % 3 === tick % 3) {
            let index = colors.indexOf(lights[i].backgroundColor);
            index += 1;
            if (index >= colors.length) {
                index = 0;

            lights[i].backgroundColor = colors[index];

}, interval);

By the end I just run the script with electron and got semi-nice Christmas lights and kind of Christmas spirit:

electron macbook_touchbar_christmas_lights.js

Gist with sources.

Make KissCartoon usable with Chromecast

KissCartoon is a nice place to watch cartoons, but it’s not usable with Chromecast at all. It doesn’t play next episode automatically. But it’s very easy to fix with a small Chrome extension. TLDR: Castable KissCartoon.

So how it works?

When you open a page with a player, it’s starting to listen for an ended event:

const enableAutoplay = (player) => player.addEventListener('ended', () => {
  window.localStorage.setItem('autoPlayingBefore', location.href);
}, false);

When the event emits, it puts current URL in localStorage and clicks next button. After the next page is loaded, it ensures that the previous page is the page with the previous episode:

const isContinuingPlaying = () => {
  const previous = window.localStorage.getItem('autoPlayingBefore');

  const [previousBtn] = document.getElementsByClassName('preev');

  return previousBtn.href === previous;

If the extension is sure that we on the page with the next episode, it toggles fullscreen. But we can’t actually toggle fullscreen, it’s not possible to call requestFullscreen because it can be called only from a callback initiated by a user event. So the extension uses a little hack. It dims other elements on the page and expands the player by setting position: fixed. And it works well with Chromecast, the player fills the whole TV.

const enableFullscreen = (player) => {
  const offlight = document.getElementById('offlight');'position', 'fixed');;

  let isExited = false;
  document.addEventListener('keyup', ({keyCode}) => {
    if (keyCode === 27 && !isExited) {'position', '');;
      isExited = true;

And that’s all! Source code, Chrome extension.