Android Google Maps Location

Since there seems to be so much attention right now on geo location data on Android and iOS devices, I’d thought I’d write a little piece on the location of the Google Maps navigation app data on Android.

There is a big requirement to getting at the Google Map data however – your phone needs to be rooted. Don’t worry though, extensive how-tos exist on the internet and you might luck out and have a solution in one click – with SuperOneClick.

SuperOneClick written by CLShortFuse is available on shortfuse.org or on the XDA Developers forum. I have tested it and it really does work on most phones. The software is at version 1.9.1, is super easy to use and is well documented on the XDA forum.

Of course you need to hear the warning: you can brick the phone by rooting it.

Not only that but although all the commercial vendors place an agent on an Android device to gather information, rooting the phone changes the firmware so it is fundamentally way more intrusive. Things to ponder.

Once you have your phone rooted, you need to navigate to the /data/data directory and find the com.google.android.app.maps directory. You will need a method of doing that. I suggest using the Android SDK and adb. You can find out how to install the SDK at http://developer.android.com/sdk/index.html. I’ll write up a how-to on using adb in another post but you should be able to figure out how to navigate to the directory and use adb to pull out the directories you are looking for to your local computer. You will need a functional knowledge of some linux commands however.

com.google.android.app.maps

com.google.android.app.maps

Navigation Databases Directory

Navigation Databases Directory

Once in the com.google.android.app.maps directory head over to the databases directory and pull out the SQLite databases in there. The ones in particular you are looking for is da_destination_history and search_history.db

Navigation app databases

SQLite Table da_dest database

SQLite Table da_dest database

Good luck in your forensic endeavors.

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4 comments

  1. Minesh

    It may have moved depending on your firmware version. On my 2.2.1 SGS, the files are stored at:

    /dbdata/databases/com.google.android.apps.maps

    Kind Regards,

    Minesh

    • numenorian

      Thanks Minesh. Its always a good reminder to make sure that you constantly validate your findings and your tools.

      With the speed that they update apps/OS is it any wonder that the location can change? Perhaps this is different for models of phones as well.

      iOS has also changed the way it stores information as it has evolved.

      Good findings!

  2. Matt

    Hi there. I am analysing this file and do you know how can I actually view the dest_lat and the dest_lng in say Google Map??? Thank you

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