Digital Footprints

Dilbert: Oct 14, 2010

Following up on our discussion earlier this week about online privacy, here’s a challenge for you all digital detectives out there.

Yesterday after school, I took some photos and posted them in an online album. Here’s the link: Joyriding.

See if you can track where I went and what I did from these photos. (It is possible, from just the photos. Hint: think geotagging.) If you can, make a Google Map with the locations plotted, or even a Google Earth tour of my route.

Notice that I was careful NOT to include the names of any of the places from their signs in the photos, so you can’t just identify the sites by recognizing the place from the image contents. You have to do some digital sleuthing.

  • Can you figure out the names of the places in the photos?
  • Can you tell exactly when I was at each place?

Anyone who identifies all the locations gets to show us all how she or he did it and earns extra credit points for the course.

Some questions should come to mind:

  1. What are the implications of this little exercise?
  2. What else can you figure out from the data?
  3. How could I have posted the photos but prevented you from tracking me?
  4. Does it make you think differently about what you will share about yourself online?

We’ll discuss these issues in class.

And note this story I just read about HTML5: W3C: Hold off on deploying HTML5 in websites.


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