YouTube Geolocation: Analysing YouTube geolocation data
Following-on from our previous article which focused on extracting metadata from YouTube videos, playlists and channels; in this latest OSINT Tool Review, we look at another highly recommended tool that enables Digital Investigators and OSINT Analysts to extract geolocation data from YouTube videos, channels and playlists. ‘YouTube Geolocation’ is another Ruby-on-Rails-based tool developed by the same individual behind ‘YouTube Comment Suite‘ and ‘YouTube Metadata‘. Again, to use this tool, you will need to download and install Ruby; if you haven’t learnt how to do so by now, this is your chance!
YouTube Geolocation comes with a very wide range of capabilities that are of great use for Digital Investigations. According to the tool’s Github repository page, it indicates the following capabilities:
- Conduct channel searches and allow you to check all the uploads on a channel for geotags and displays them on a map.
- Conduct topic searches and allows you to check if any uploads found by regular searching or keywords have geotags.
- Conduct location searches and allow you to find videos with geotags within your chosen radius and timeframe.
- Export results to save your findings and use them elsewhere.
- Directly open results in the YouTube Metadata tool – enabling you to extract and analyse all associated metadata concerning the video and the author.
- Query API to share a search or linked custom search from your own site/tool
Deploying YouTube Geolocation is relatively straightforward. All that is required is some basic knowledge of installing Ruby and its associated developer tools on your local machine. From here, you can run Ruby through Command Prompt, navigate to the repository folder on your local machine and use bundle install to install the user interface, then run it and view it via http://localhost:4000.
Testing this tool was a huge pleasure, and the developer behind it (Matt Wright) certainly all the credit for his hard work. The user interface for the tool is flawless – though I did encounter a very minor issue with regards to the in-built map when it was used to query a considerably large volume of pins. That aside, the tool’s overall functionality is excellent, it enabled me to investigate several YouTube channels, visualise geolocations and export my results to a comma-separated value file. For some fun, I also conducted a geolocation search over my hometown of Llanfairpwll, North Wales, to see all of the available results – an interesting trip down memory lane. Fun aside, the capability to conduct geolocation searches is incredibly useful for any Digital Investigator or OSINT Analyst.
Overall, Matt Wright has developed an amazing tool that provides a great amount of capabilities towards Digital Investigations. As such, this tool comes highly recommended!