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DocLab Shorts 24 Nov at 19:45

A program of short stories that would never have existed without the internet.

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I Know Where Your Cat Lives

Uploading photos isn’t as harmless as you might think, as demonstrated by this amusing but unsettling online data project.

Millions of cat lovers from all over the world upload pictures of their fluffy housemates. This data project makes it possible to find out exactly who those cats are. Almost a million feline photos plucked from various public sites have been passed through certain algorithms by a supercomputer. The result is a unique bank of cat data. If while viewing the project you feel the urge to see a surprise new cat, anywhere in the world, simply click on “Random cat.” If you want to know where the most cat photos are taken, just take a look at one of the sets of statistics. If you go searching for cats in your area, don’t be surprised if you lose yourself for an entire Sunday afternoon. But this website wants to be more than just a collection point for adorable cat pics. The project shows just how easily information that has been placed online can be collected and used by publicly accessible databanks. Rather than indicating how many cats live in the Netherlands, “Cats by country” shows how many cat photos have been uploaded (in the case of the Netherlands, that’s 10,468). This is why the makers themselves say that “the maps are perhaps a better representation of globalism, access to smart phones, and relaxed consideration for individual privacy.” At the time of writing, the number of cat photos uploaded from Syria was 80.

This competition project is part of the DocLab Expo: Immersive Reality presented by IDFA and De Brakke Grond.

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Year of development :2014
Created by:Owen Mundy

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