the beat

The Beat is a curious website — on one hand, it’s an interesting look at what is trending in Instagram and where On the other, it shows just how little it takes to find out a lot about a person from their public information. The site does a number of things. You search by a hashtag (it defaults to #christmas), and it pulls up Instagram photos using that hashtag, and then parses their public location data into Google Street View, giving you an image of where the photograph was taken.

For some things, like #timessquare, the results are obvious. However, some, like #GPOY, give you a photo of a person, and their exact location. Which is a tiny bit creepy, you have to admit. On the flip side, you could tie it to the powerful ability of Instagram to quickly disseminate information about disasters, like with using #sandy.

I just wonder how many of these people know they have location tagging turned on?