If you have one cat or multiple cats in your home, you’ve probably taken a photo (or 10 million photos) and posted it to some type of social media website. Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and Flickr are all filled to the brim with adorable images of furry felines. In fact, we don’t think the Internet could survive without an unreasonable amount of cat photos.
But now a new data experiment by artist, designer, and programmer Owen Mundy is making many of those photos - one million to be exact - searchable using the latitude and longitude coordinates embedded in their metadata. So now people can stalk adorable cats by location and find out just where in the world these cats reside.
“I Know Where Your Cat Lives“ is a website that displays a map and a random cat photo. Users can continue loading random cat photos that will pull up different maps and locations, or they could zoom out on the map and discover other cute cat photos uploaded nearby. The photos only show the location where the image was taken and do not provide any personal data about the user who took the photo. The images also do not link out to social media accounts of the cat owners.
On the “I Know Where Your Cat Lives” website, Mundy explains that there are over 15 million images tagged with the word “cat” on public image hosting sites, and that more are being added every day. He created the cat-search site to show just how easy it is to access data and photos from the Internet and make them available to the general public. But the site also works as a way for cat fans to easily search and find photos to feed their feline addictions.
Although all the photos on the website can be found by searching the word “cat” on social media websites, “I Know Where Your Cat Lives” takes a different and unique approach for browsing and searching through them.
The site does not store usernames, does not share users’ information and will not sell information. However, if you happen to see a photo of your cat on the site and you’re bothered by the idea of random people seeing the location where that photo was taken, you can edit and increase your social media privacy settings and the image will be removed from “I Know Where Your Cat Lives” within 30 days.
So what do you think? Is this new cat-centric database a cool new way to browse great cat photos, or is it a creepy and weird invasion of privacy? Let us know in the comments.
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