Your Cat Photos Can Give Away Your Geographic Location

Jul 22, 2014 04:12 PM EDT | Jordan Ecarma

You might want to think twice about uploading more photos of your cat.

"I Know Where Your Cat Lives" is a site that shows the location of around 1 million cat photos plotted through latitude and longitude coordinates around the world, the New York Times reported.

The project, which comes from Owen Mundy of Florida State University, uses cat images shared through Flickr, Twitpic, Instagram and other services and finds the cats' location with the data attached to each image.

"It's this wonderful, fun, entertaining thing, but it also enters the conversation .... of data use on the Internet," said Mundy, who is an associate professor of art at Florida State, as quoted by USA TODAY.

The site doesn't put exact street addresses, but satellite images show geographic information. If people don't like having their cat's location on the site, they can remove their photos from the map through whichever app they used to put the picture online. Privacy settings on the app should let them take the picture off the site.

"The irony is that the more people who feel this is an invasion or this is creepy will contribute to the demise of the project because all the cats will disappear," said Mundy, as quoted by USA TODAY.

Mundy is working to keep the site alive through Kickstarter funding. The project has a $2,500 goal with 17 days to go. According to the project page, the money will go toward "a fast server and lots of bandwidth" to keep the site running smoothly.

"With 32GB of cat data we are expecting huge amounts of traffic," Mundy wrote. "While we're no Facebook, one million cats multiplied by tens of thousands of hits a day requires a beefy server to answer all those requests. Who doesn't love cats?"

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