If you feel like you need to know where the friends, family, and acquaintances in your online social networks are, or have been, there's a free tool that can help you pinpoint their locations, and most info just requires a user ID. Sound Creepy? It is. Not only in its purpose but also because that's the name of this free online sleuthing program.
The application is so easy to use it's almost frightening how quickly you can get what the publisher calls geolocation aggregator data. The interface is clean and easy to follow, with only two tabs divided into Targets and Map Views, although the usage of the word "Targets" just adds to the general, well, creepiness. All you need to know is the user ID of a person's Twitter or Flickr account to get started. If you also have the user's password and ID, you can search Facebook as well. While you may not get much from the latitude, longitude, and timestamp data the app displays for each bit of information it finds, the Map tab uses Google Maps to give you an easy to understand view of the location for any data it pulls. Your target's location is even highlighted with a red marker when you choose one of the program's results, and you can see the source at the bottom of the list. If you're going to keep tabs on someone long-term, the searches will get faster because the data are stored in Creepy and only new information is retrieved by the app. There's no Help file built-in, and the Help button just takes you to a gift-hub site where issues about the app are discussed, but it doesn't take much guidance to enter a user ID.
Even if you don't use Creepy to locate others, you might want to check out what it shows about you. We did find some minor issues during testing, and the application installed a desktop icon without asking and left files behind when it was uninstalled.
Creepy is a geolocation aggregator. It searches for a users geolocation information that he /she has shared publicly in the social networking platforms that he / she uses. In the version released, twitter, flickr, foursquare (through twitter ) and a list of image hosting services are supported. You feed creepy with the twitter username and/or flickr id of the user and it retrieves all the locations the user has shared. Locations are determined by: Location information on twitter; foursquare checkins; exif tags from pictures uploaded to a number of image hosting services and posted to twitter; geolocation information from photos posted on Flickr.
Locations are presented as a list and are also shown in an embedded map ( courtesy of the awesome osmgpsmap widget) . For each location, the context is also presented ( i.e. the text that the user tweeted ) . Features include automatic caching of discovered information ( retrieved tweets, determined locations ) in order to minimize API calls to twitter and flickr, and a (not so nice) GUI in pygtk.