People are constantly posting photos to social media without giving a second thought to what data they are sharing. We wanted to create a website that would show people how much data they were sharing online. We decided to use location tags that many people attach to photos instinctively to show how easy it would be to stalk someone by just looking at the location tags on their photos.

What it does

InstaTracker allows the user to enter an Instagram account name and then see the location of all the posts of that person displayed on a map. Users may then click on the pins on the map and view the posts. This shows how easy it easy to stalk someone just through their social media profile.

How we built it

We built InstaTracker using a front end made of HTML, CSS, Javascript, Vue.js, and Leaflet.js. It is powered by a Python web scraper to find location tags in the Instagram posts and a Flask server.

Challenges we ran into

There were many APIs we wanted to use that we could not access. We originally wanted to use the Instagram API to get location data, but we were not allowed to access the location data. Instead, we ended up web scrapping the Instagram site to get the location tags. We then wanted to use the Google Maps API to convert the location tag text to latitude and longitude (called geocoding) as well as display the map, but we needed to enter a credit card number to use it. We instead ended up using Mapbox for the geocoding and Leaflet to display the map.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We are proud that we were able to build a functional website in less than nine hours. We all learned new programming skills along the way and were able to apply them to our website.

What we learned

We all learned new applications of Python and Javascript.

What's next for InstaTracker

We plan to integrate InstaTracker with more social media sites, such as Facebook. We also want to add more search filters on the map itself, including limiting the region or time period of posts.

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