Re-finding a forgotten beach: Årsta Havsbad with Google Location History

After moving to Sweden in fall 2011, I used travel a lot. The concept of a monthly travel card was totally new to me and the idea of traveling as much as you want with the single card felt just amazing. I thought, why not travel the whole area covered by that card?

Keeping that in mind, we traveled here and there to unknown places with bus, train, subway, ferry and tram. We visited distant places from where there are only one bus every two hours. Strange it sounds, but there are places in Stockholm which are very far far away from the city and there is only one bus leaves at morning and one at the evening.  All we did at that time was to type any destination which is far away and covered by SL and just go.

There was one place where we went over a weekend, it was an amazing sandy beach with an wedding place as well.

Years later, i was trying to revisit that place but couldn’t remember the name of that place.What haven’t I tried to find the name of that place again! 😦

  • My friends who went there with me were exchange students at that time and left Sweden after a year. Still I asked them but little did they remember.
  • I tried searching the list of beaches in Stockholm. Nope 😦
  • I tried to manually find the places near the sea around Stockholm and view them on Google maps, satellite view and street view and see if they look familiar. But Nah 😦
  • I tried analyzing the pictures if they have the Geo-Tagging. But at that time I had a Nokia N96 phone, it didn’t have the Geo-tagging feature.

I gave up long ago. Thought, some stones are better left unturned. May be I am not supposed to be there again. 😦

Tonight I was organizing my photos on the hard drive and found those photos. I stopped for a while and sighed. All on a sudden I realized, that the file name of the photo contained the date when the photo was taken and I can use Google Location History to find that place.

Screenshot 2014-10-20 04.03.54It was “28082011078.jpg” that means All I need to do is to find where I was on August 28, 2011. From the properties of that file, I saw that it was taken around 4pm. This made the job a lot easier.

I just hoping I had Google Location History enabled back then. It turned out that I did.
On that day, that particular time, I was in Årsta Havsbad. I quickly googled it and found the exact same place. 😀
That place is called Årsta Havsbad, (details and review),18.1655

The wedding place was still there.
IMG_1581P1130708I have that place starred immediately, but then I couldn’t save it with a custom name. This is how I solved that problem.

People are always complaining about Google tracking your every move, I don’t have a problem with that. Stockholm gave me Stockholm Syndrome?. I would happily provide my location data to Google, maybe browsing data as well. Almost every website is tracking you, but providing nothing in exchange. At least Google gives you something back.
They just use the data to analyze and present relevant ads to you. And I always use Adblock Plus. So, they can do whatever they want with that useless data except showing me adverts.

Am I wrong? Did I sound like “While giving blood samples, I didn’t have the syringe sterilized, I was wearing a condom. It prevents AIDS, right?”

Checkout some photos of that lovely place.


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