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About the Beat

We use Instagram pictures users added to their map, and combine them with the corresponding Google StreetView location to help explore topics in a new way. Feel free to explore your own beat by putting a new topic in the search box.

Privacy

This project uses entirely public Instagram information, available from the Instagram API and viewable in various way in many other Instagram applications.Street addresses are only proximate, and the photo location is randomly altered within a small radius. See additional information under "Your Privacy".

Contact

For press inquiries contact Ken Branson at kbranson AT ur.rutgers.edu.

Credits

This is a project of the Social Media Information Lab (SMIL), at the School of Communications and Information at Rutgers University, led by Mor Naaman.

Read more about SMIL at sm.rutgers.edu or

The app was built by Jerry Reptak (@JetFault) , Abe Stanway (@abestanway) , and Ian Jennings (@sw1tch).

The Beat, Instagram and Your Privacy

This project uses entirely public Instagram information, available from the Instagram API and viewable in various way in many other Instagram applications including the Instagram mobile app. We simply show it in a different way.

Street addresses are only proximate, and the photo location is randomly altered within a small radius.

Protect Your Privacy

Below are instructions on how to make sure your photos on Instagram have the privacy settings you see fit. Instagram is making it easy for you to protect your content; make sure you do that as needed. Information such as shown on this page is available publicly. That means that if your account is public on Instagram, and if you add a photo to your PhotoMap, that photo and its location are available via the Instagram app, as well as (via the Instagram API) to other apps and services such as ours.

We want people to continue to contribute to their Instagram PhotoMap -- these photos can tell us so much about the world, and about each other -- but we also want to make sure consumers are aware of the dangers and are protected. Our research team had studied implications of location information and privacy in social media. Here is one of our studies on Flickr user's behavior and attitudes regarding location and privacy.

Protecting Your Privacy on Instagram: A Guide

- You can make sure your photos are not availble publicly by going to your Instagram App settings, and turn "Photos Are Private" to "ON". Only people you give permission to explicitly will be able to see your photos.

- When sharing a photo with the Instagram App, you can prevent the photo from appearing on your photo map by turning "Add to your Photo Map" to "OFF" on the Share Photo screen; the photo location will not be available to other users and services.

- The Instagram App lets you remove photos from your Photo Map. Go to your account settings on the App, click "Photo Map" and "Edit".

Protecting Your Privacy: Best Practices

- Consider whether you want to upload photos taken at home, work, or other senstive locations to any service. Consider turning off "adding to photo map" for these pictures if you do upload them.

- Remember that photos you share are available instantly to anyone. If you don't want people to know where you are, do not upload the photo or do not add them to your photo map.

- Respect others' privacy: do not upload photos of others without their permissions.

- Have more tips? Tweet them to us at @sminfolab and we will add them to this page.