Echosec is an amazingly powerful tool that I first discovered while visiting Victoria and doing research on a local company nearby.
The way it works is you select an area of the world from a map by drawing a shape with basic selection tools. Once your area is identified, all of the publicly available social media that contains a geotag will be presented to you in an easy to navigate page. This includes Tweets, Instagram posts, Picassa/Flickr photos, Youtube videos, and more. The free version is available here but is limited in the results it gives.
Here’s what the map looks like when you make a selection:
And here’s a screenshot of some of the results, photos from the recent Fan Expo event that happened at the Convention Centre:
Other than now having the ability to spy on your friends, Echosec is being used in very creative ways to help police. This article from 2014 shows a possible workflow, with real evidence, of how a police force might investigate the public social media feeds to find more concrete evidence of illegal activity.
A little bit big-brother? Definitely. But it’s probably not in your best interest as a drug dealer to geotag and Instagram the progress of your illegal plant operation.
Maps continue to amaze 🙂