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Only a few years ago, GPS was something that was used only by the military. Now it's become so mainstream that we can use it to find our King West condos, play games with it, and even combine it with social media programs on the internet. One of the newest uses for GPS data is geotagging, which is available on websites like Flickr and Facebook right now. Before you start geotagging your posts and photos, however, we advise you to learn a little bit more about how it works and what information you're giving away.

Geotagging a photo or post means adding location data to it in the form of GPS coordinates. This data is generally embedded within the image in the form of metadata, so it may not be immediately obvious to (such as in a caption) to anyone who is not using a program that can read this data and place it in context on the junction maps. Longitude and latitude are the most commonly embedded types of location information, but altitude, bearing, and distance to another marked point can also be included in certain programs.

Geotagging is mostly used on photographs to identify the location at which the photo was taken. When you take a photo on a normal digital camera, you will have to add the location metadata yourself through a program like gThumb or Flickr. However, many new cameras and camera phones are capable of automatically embedding GPS data. Geotagging is also used by travel bloggers and Twitter posters who have left their condo in Yorkville to go traveling and want their friends and followers to be able to track their progress through their posts.

For searching users, Geotagging is a way of easily searching for information on a specific place, such as an Edmonton salon spa. By searching for posts tagged with that location's information, searchers can turn up photos, reviews, and blog posts about the location that will help them evaluate whether they want to visit that place. Geotags can also help amateur and professional photographers find the location of their favorite online pics so they can take their own.

As you would expect from the descriptions above, there is a certain amount of abuse possible through Geotagging. Using geotags can give away the location of your Newmarket real estate, and make it easy for undesirable people to find your home or locate you while you're traveling. Be careful when using certain new digital cameras and smart phones, as they may automatically embed location data into their photos, which is a breach of your privacy. Incidents of celebrity stalking and theft of internet advertised items can be traced back to inadvertent geotagging.




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