When you Google a certain store or restaurant and it gives you a bar chart of peak times, where does the data come from?


Is it provided by the store? Is it calculated by way of an average if it’s a chain and by weather/location?

In: Other

When you have Google Maps, you can turn on location tracking to help Google learn certain tasks. For example, it will learn where your home and work are, and what route you usually take to get there, so then it will send you a message when it’s time for you to leave for work based on current traffic.

When you have location tracking enabled, Google can use GPS to determine that you’re probably at a particular store or restaurant if you linger in that location for a while. So if Google notices that around 6pm, not many phones are announcing their location at a particular restaurant, but at 7pm, a lot are, then at 8pm, not many are pinging again, they can surmise that 6pm and 8pm aren’t very busy, but 7pm is.

Repeat that over weeks and weeks and they can build a pretty good idea of how busy a restaurant or store will be at any given time.

If you use google Maps, you can even look at where Google thinks/knows you have been. Go to Menu>Your Timeline and it will show a history if you have location tracking enabled. For instance,[ here’s some of my tracking from yesterday.](https://imgur.com/iFiaD3R) I didn’t have to do anything or even confirm I was at those places. Google Maps just knew from my GPS.

If you have an android device or Google maps, they track your location 24/7.

If you’re curious, Google lets you sign in and see the data they collected on their “Google Maps Timeline”: [https://support.google.com/maps/answer/6258979?co=GENIE.Platform%3DAndroid&hl=en](https://support.google.com/maps/answer/6258979?co=GENIE.Platform%3DAndroid&hl=en)

It’s incredible. Time-stamped, accurate to a few feet, going back YEARS.

So, when you see those peak usage times, that’s essentially a count of android phones inside the store at certain times.

They do something similar for the Google Maps traffic. Track the speed of phones, and you know the speed of traffic, live.

Simply put. Google knows where you are because you use Google apps and opted in for location tracking. So based on that data, they can predict the busy times by how many people are at that location at a given time.

**Please read this entire message**

Your submission has been removed for the following reason(s):

* Subjective or speculative replies are not allowed on ELI5. Only objective explanations are permitted here; your question is asking for speculation or subjective responses (Rule 2).

If you would like this removal reviewed, please read the [detailed rules](https://www.reddit.com/r/explainlikeimfive/wiki/detailed_rules) first. If you still feel the removal should be reviewed, please [message the moderators.](http://www.reddit.com/message/compose?to=%2Fr%2Fexplainlikeimfive&subject=Can%20you%20review%20my%20thread?)