Did you ever think of this -- someone might be stalking your cat? It's not so far-fetched, that cute photo of your cat hanging upside down in your tree just might be on I KnowWhereYourCatLives.com.
If you're not a cat lover it's probably as exciting as a big hairball in your living room. But keep in mind there are millions of cats worldwide, 1 million of them catalogued on IKnow etc., a quarter million of them in the U.S.
The cat photos are pinned to a street-level satellite image of the earth where the photo was taken. The site plots the location coordinates from each photo (which are automatically added when an image is taken) against a map to show where each cat lives.
According to their website, it's just a big data experiment that visualizes a sample of 1 million public pics of cats on a world map, locating them by the latitude and longitude coordinates embedded in their metadata. The cats were accessed via publicly available APIs provided by popular photo sharing websites.
The photos were then run through various clustering algorithms using a supercomputer at Florida State University in order to represent the enormity of the data source.The whole project was put together by Florida State University professor Owen Mundy. He collected the photos by searching the internet for images tagged "cat" on popular photo-hosting sites.
It's a great deal of work to see where your cat lives, but the scary thing is that this technology could be used to create IKnowWhereYour KidLives.com or any number of combinations. It's a reminder that not only is that independent cat not safe roaming the streets but you and those you love could be vulnerable as well.