Data preparation

The more data sources you add to Timelinize, the better it gets. Ideally, add all the data you have from as many data sources that Timelinize supports.

Remember to preserve your exported data even after importing into Timelinize. While Timelinize is in development, it is unstable and you may have to start over. Please be sure to keep your original data backed up.

Find the data sources below that apply to you, and acquire your data from them. Additional documentation pages are available for each data source containing instructions and more details.

  • Phones
  • Google account: Use Google Takeout to export your (first click "Deselect All" then re-select these few individual services):
    • Contacts (vCard format recommended; their CSV exporter is broken as of 2023)
    • Google Photos (maybe just a few select albums to test with)
    • Location History (Timeline)
    • Mail (Gmail)
    • In step 2, you'll be asked for archive format. Use ".tgz" and "50 GB" for fewer, but larger, archives.
  • Locations: Generated by various apps and programs:
    • GPS Exchange files (.gpx)
    • KML-GX files (.kml), which is KML but with Google's extensions ("gx"). GPSLogger creates these files.
    • GeoJSON files (.geojson) created by GPSLogger (or anything, as long as it's a FeatureCollection with a list of points and their timestamps.)
    • Google Location History (see Google Takeout instructions above)
  • Social media: Timelinize supports various account export archives from social media sites:
  • Photo/video libraries: Any folder containing mostly photos, videos, and audio can be imported.
  • Contact lists / vCards: Prefer vCard, but common/standard CSV files can work too.
  • Telegram: On Telegram Desktop, go to Settings -> Advanced -> Export Telegram Data (way at the bottom). Be sure to select "Machine-readable JSON" at the very bottom. Then, I recommend checking all the other boxes, but if not, make sure at least "Account information" and "Contacts list" and "Personal chats" are selected.
  • Emails: Most .mbox and .eml files are supported. You can usually get these from your email service provider or client software.