Research Output
A Comparison of Geo-tagging in Mobile Internet Browsing Applications on iOS and Android.
  Nowadays there is almost no crime committed without a trace of digital evidence,
and since the advanced functionality of mobile devices today can be exploited to
assist in crime, the need for mobile forensics is imperative. Many of the mobile
applications available today, including internet browsers, will request the user’s
permission to access their current location when in use. This geolocation data is
subsequently stored and managed by that application's underlying database files. If
recovered from a device during a forensic investigation, such GPS evidence and
track points could hold major evidentiary value for a case.
The aim of this paper is to examine and compare to what extent geolocation data is
available from the iOS and Android operating systems. We focus particularly on
geolocation data recovered from internet browsing applications, comparing the
native Safari and Browser apps with Google Chrome, downloaded on to both
platforms. All browsers were used over a period of several days at various
locations to generate comparable test data for analysis. Results show considerable
differences not only in the storage locations and formats, but also in the amount of
geolocation data stored by different browsers and on different operating systems.

  • Type:

    Conference Paper (unpublished)

  • Date:

    10 July 2014

  • Publication Status:


  • Library of Congress:

    QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science

  • Dewey Decimal Classification:

    005 Computer programming, programs & data


Comer, S., & Leimich, P. (2014, July). A Comparison of Geo-tagging in Mobile Internet Browsing Applications on iOS and Android. Paper presented at CFET 2014: 7th International Conference on Cybercrime Forensics Education & Training, Christ Church,



Geolocation data; GPS; Android forensics; iOS forensics;

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