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HAVE YOU TURNED GEO-TAGGING OFF BEFORE PHOTOGRAPHING WILDLIFE?

Have you uploaded images from your holiday to Southern Africa of our wildlife to Facebook or Instagram?

If so it's possible you're placing our wildlife (i.e Rhinoceros) in danger.

Last year some organisations made it public that uploading images from your cell phone or cellular device such as an Ipad with locators turned on, helps poachers locate the animal you photographed. 

Here's how it works: 
As the Rhino population dwindles poachers are finding it more frustrating to locate Rhinos quickly to stay ahead of the security services. Evidence has already shown that intelligent poaching organisations are using technology to locate the exact geo-tagging within your image to locate the rough GPS of Rhino's and other mammals. 

Game reserves, and national and international wildlife protection agencies, are warning that the use of sophisticated technology by poachers, including drones, is on the increase. What could be deemed to you as quite an innocent action could lead to an entire crash of Rhinos being poached. It really is that serious. Due to the seriousness of the problem South African parks have stopped publicly displaying information about rhino sightings.

GeoTagging: 
Geotagging (also written as GeoTagging) is the process of adding geographical identification metadata to various media such as a geotagged photograph or video, websites, SMS messages, QR Codes or RSS feeds and is a form of geospatial metadata. This data usually consists of latitude and longitude coordinates, though they can also include altitude, bearing, distance, accuracy data, and place names.

Geotagging can help users find a wide variety of location-specific information from your device. For instance, someone can find images taken near a given location by entering latitude and longitude coordinates into a suitable image search engine. Geotagging-enabled information services can also potentially be used to find location-based news, websites, or other resources. Geotagging can tell users the location of the content of a given picture or other media or the point of view, and conversely on some media platforms show media relevant to a given location.

There are two main options for geotagging photos; capturing GPS information at the time the photo is taken or “attaching” the photograph to a map after the picture is taken.

In order to capture GPS data at the time the photograph is captured, the user must have a camera with built in GPS or a standalone GPS along with a digital camera. Because of the requirement for wireless service providers in United States to supply more precise location information for 911 calls by September 11, 2012, more and more cell phones have built-in GPS chips. 

Most smart phones already use a GPS chip along with built-in cameras to allow users to automatically geotag photos. Others may have the GPS chip and camera but do not have internal software needed to embed the GPS information within the picture. 

A few digital cameras also have built-on or built-in GPS that allow for automatic geotagging. Devices use GPS, A-GPS or both. A-GPS can be faster getting an initial fix if you are within range of a cell phone tower, and may work better inside buildings. Traditional GPS does not need cell phone towers and uses standard GPS signals outside of urban areas. Traditional GPS tends to use more battery power. Almost any digital camera can be coupled with a stand alone GPS and post processed with photo mapping software, to write the location information to the image's exif header.

Please turn off Geotagging when photographing wildlife!






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