How to Get Started with Google Maps and PACO (on iPhone)

Install and sign in with Google Maps

Install Google Maps on your iPhone and sign in with your study email address ([email protected]). If you already use a Gmail account for Maps, you can add another  account. Copy and paste the email and password on the login screen:

Illustration showing how to use the study email address to login to Google Maps by copying and pasting the email address and password that was sent in an email.


Next, update your Timeline settings in Google Maps. Go to the Maps Menu, and select Your Timeline. Click on the timeline menu, and choose Settings and Privacy

Make sure the following options are Click the dropdown labeled Devices on this account and make sure your current device is selected.: 

  • Web & App Activity
  • Location Services
    • Location services should be set to “Always”
    • Enable “Background refresh” and “Cellular data”
  • Location History

Illustration showing how to edit Google Maps Timeline settings. After clicking on the main menu bar in the top left corner and selecting "Your timeline," navigate to the settings menu from the top right corner.

Under Location History, click the dropdown labeled Devices on this account and make sure your current device is selected.

Go to the Google Maps menu, select Your places, and add your home and work locations. You can add another place you visit often if you don’t have a work location or leave the work location blank:

Illustration showing how to add personal places. Go to the main menu in Google Maps, and click "Your places" to add a home and work location

Install and login with PACO

Install the PACO app on your iPhone and accept the app permissions. 

When you open the app, sign in with the Our Mobility email account (the account should show up automatically now that you’ve saved it as a user account).

Illustration showing how to login to PACO. When you open the app for the first time, you will be prompted to login. You can copy and paste the study email address and password from your email.

On the day the travel diary begins, you will receive an experiment invitation in PACO. 

  • Click Find My Experiments from the home screen.
  • Click Join this Experiment. 
  • Read the consent statement and click I consent.
  • You can edit what time of day you want to receive notifications from the PACO app.
  • Click Join at the top right corner.
  • You will begin receiving daily alerts at the time you selected.

Illustration of joining the experiment in the PACO app


Check your Google Maps Timeline

For the first few days, we’ll be verifying that participants have their location settings enabled and that location history is being recorded. You’ll hear from the research team if something isn’t working.

Complete your travel diary for one week

You’ll receive an email when the travel diary begins and your PACO experiment invitation. After you join the experiment, you will receive daily PACO notifications. Please review these instructions for completing the travel diary and don’t forget to fill out the diary even if you didn’t take any trips. The process should take about 5 minutes a day.

Questions or support

Please contact Jessica Murray [email protected] or 214-454-6298 if you have questions or need technical support. Thank you for your participation!