Geotagging is the process of adding geographical identification data such as latitude and longitude coordinates to photos, videos, etc. Geotagging helps to find location specific photographs and video. some search engines can give you images and video related to an area if you search with the location attibutes like longitude and lattitude.
There are some cameras which have GPS chips which allow the the pictures to be automatically geotagged. Modern day smart phones have this built in. The Android based phones which has GPS chip and iPhone have these features in the camera software. Enabling the feature is as simple as having a checkmark selected for GeoTagging. Flickr and Panoramio allows users to add geographical information by simply clicking on the location on a map.
Why should I worry ?
Well think about how it could affect your privacy. If your are a regular social networker or a passinate photographer who posts photos to those websites, then there are some things that cold get you worried. The very first thing is that geotagging could be used to track you through the internet correlating with a host of other information that you give out on the social networks. A simple example that I read on the web is about a thief getting to know when your house would be empty. Since you have started posting a lot of photographs (geotagged) the criminal could exactly know when you are out on a vacation. the criminals could also locate you residence location from the geotags in your previous photographs.
Wait!!! If you think this is the only reason to be concerned about geotagging, you should read on. There has been study by Cornell University which states that geotagging not only reveals where you are, but also the people you might know. As per these researchers they could predict the social connectivity between two people with as few as 3 “co-locations”. They searched a database of nearly 38 million geotagged photos on Flickr website for this study. As per one of the researcher blurring the time and space information could be one way to mitigate privacy risks.
Geotagging obviously has some specific advantages with one of them being the ability to have location based advertising and marketing services. Share with us if you know about more advantages of geotagging.
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