Geotagging – what is the buzz?

It is a fact that almost everybody owns a smartphone these days, including adults, older people and kids as young as 13. Smartphones also give its users the ability to capture stunning pictures with their high end cameras (aperture as ow as 1.8, dual tone flash and what not). Given that power, people always want to fulfill their craving of sharing those pictures on social media. With that said, you can also “geotag” that beautiful beach picture, telling your peers about how you are chilling in Goa! Now many of you here being GIS specialists, students or enthusiasts, must be aware of what geotagging is, this post is inclined towards giving an idea to the newbies.

What is Geotagging?

Geotagging might be something that intimidates the new entrant trying to learn various terminology or getting familiar with the whole GIS and location analytics scene, but it is something that you might be already doing without even realising. It is simply, tagging your content with a location point (facebook check-in, rings a bell?). In other words, tagging content like, status update, picture, video, tweet etc. with a location is Geotagging. The whole idea of geotagging flourished with the rise of portable devices like smartphones and tablets and most importantly with the ease of access to the Internet on these mobile devices.

Geotagging and Social Media.

Most of the prominent social networks are enabled with the feature of Geotagging now, as it has become so prevalent.

Facebook

The most common being the Facebook check-in feature where you can tag where you are hanging out with you friends. You get a dropdown of places that are near by you and you can tag one of them.

Twitter

You can tag your location the next time you tweet about a national issue! Just click that location pin and it will show below your tweet.

Instagram

Now instagram is all about traveling and pictures, geotagging becomes mandatory right? Moreover it is acquired by facebook now.

Many other social networking platforms like snapchat, vines, are also equipped with geotagging capabilities because nowadays people not only want to share the WHAT and WHEN but also the WHERE.

Be careful with what you share.

Now it is completely upto the user if they want to tag their location or not. Permission for location access as asked religiously by all the platforms. But one should always be very careful, when they share sensitive information.

Geo tagged data can be used for analytics!

This might not come as a surprise, but whatever you post on social media is used permissibly, for some kind of analytics or other. There are numerous tools available that use this geotagged data to perform in depth analysis according to what the desired output information is. No, this does not merely work with IP as they are not as accurate, but in the case of geotag the users themselves provide the location, to the content they share.

For example, assume you are a Cafe owner,  you can analyse in what month of the year your cafe has the most visits according to the ‘check-ins’, and tweets etc.

Not only this, geotagging has helped in the times of natural disasters as well.

Concluding, I would end with the note that yes it is a great feature to have, but being a bit cautious sharing such sensitive information wouldn’t harm anybody. You never know if someone might be stalking you.

 

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