Geospatial metadata of an image file collected from the web can help you emerge from your OSINT research with a powerful story about a place, a person of interest, an event, or changes in a location over time.
What is Geospatial Metadata?
A circular definition for geospatial metadata is “data about data.” Geospatial metadata is just that—it is technical and descriptive information embedded in web images. This data can include information such as timestamps, addresses, GPS coordinates, and other data linked to the image.
Geospatial metadata can help OSINT researchers see patterns of change over time, distance and proximity relationships, identify the validity of photos versus deepfakes, and pinpoint the precise location of an object or person of interest.
Why is Geospatial Metadata Helpful?
Geospatial metadata can help you determine the finer details an image You can:
- Identify the street, city, state or territory, and country of subway station entrance where these details are not obvious in the image.
- Analyze the validity of an image displaying effects from a natural disaster—discern authentic images from deepfakes.
Analyzing the objects within an image, in combination with geospatial metadata, can help you determine where, when, and of whom an image was captured.
- Assess the position of the shadows in an image to determine time of day.
- Compare images and maps against deep web research to name individuals spotted at a protest.
Conducting geospatial OSINT can be a massive undertaking. Here are five tips to help you get started:
1: Make a Plan
What resources you will utilize for your research? There are a variety of mapping tools available, including numerous open-source geographic information systems (GIS)—such as Google Earth, QGIS, ArcGIS Online, and MapWindow. Get organized by planning your research goals, tools, and strategy, to save time during the collection and analysis phase.
2: Consider Automation
To quickly collect, process, and analyze a large volume of images, consider automating your geospatial investigation. With integrated Artificial Intelligence (AI) applications, researchers can more efficiently filter through and collect relevant imagery and identify trends across the data.
3: Register for Academy Learning Center
Ntrepid offers on-demand courses covering best practices for OSINT operations on the deep, dark, and surface web. Ask your account manager about registering to learn about tips, techniques, and procedures for geospatial analysis related to your mission.
4: Practice Safety-First
Protect your digital footprint and behavioral fingerprint with Ntrepid’s managed attribution platform. Nfusion encourages security and ease during online exploration while constantly expanding the functionality of your trusted data collection, management, and analysis applications.
5: Utilize Account Management Services
We are honored to serve customers who use our technologies for missions of national security. Our dedicated account managers are entrusted to support your requirements through mission-focused operative assistance, hands-on technical training and troubleshooting, and access to extensive Ntrepid resources. These facets of account management guarantee operational continuity and responsive product enhancements.