One of the long-running jokes on the internet is that it was created so we could look at cute cat pictures and videos. Now Owen Mundy has created a site that takes the pictures of those cats posted on the internet to create a data experiment. The goal is to show a million pictures of cats on a world map and situate them by latitude and longitude.
To learn more about the project head over to the About page. I suggest watching the video and then scrolling down and reading the FAQ. The idea behind this site is to share adorable cats, but also to paint decreasing privacy with a broad stroke that makes it obvious how much privacy on the net is decreasing. It’s important to note that these are all publicly shared photographs. So you can protect your data, in fact, it’s imperative that you are at least aware of what you’re agreeing to when you read privacy policies, and that you might want to set permissions on who can see your content (I’m thinking of social networks and photo sharing websites).
On the main page, you get a map full of cat pictures! There are tons of awesome cat pictures on the site, and most of them are seriously adorable like this cat from Berlin. Using the map is easy. You can either just keep clicking the blue Random Cat button at the top of the page. Or you can interact with the map with the zoom tools on the left side of the page.
I thought it was really interesting to zoom out till all you can see are the continents themselves because I wanted to see how many images came from each one. Then scroll in on the continent you want to view, down to the next level and see the numbers by country. After that I picked the location I wanted to explore and zoomed in till I had cat pictures again.
This is a really interesting experiment! I hope you’ll check it out for yourself today!