A Day in the Life
of Metadata

Mapping the Everyday Consequences of Smartphone Location Metadata

Who We Are


A Day in the Life of Metadata (ADITLOM) is a multidisciplinary collaboration between social scientists and computer scientists to: demystify hidden location metadata in smartphones, and critically investigate their socioeconomic and political consequences.

ADITLOM consists of three sub-projects, all of which are aligned to support non-expert students, educators, researchers, policy writers and civil rights groups to undertake their own research into location metadata-related issues.

ADITLOM is seeking collaborators from a wide variety of professions and academic fields. If you are interested in working with us, please click here to connect with our Principal Investigator, Dr. Tommy Cooke.


ADITLOM began at Queen's University in 2018 and is the result of over $200,000 CDN in combined funding support from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada,the Centre for Advanced Internet Studies, the Centre for Advanced Computing,and Queen's University's Wicked Ideas Competition.

Big Data Exposed


What stories do corporations tell about who we are by leveraging our location data? Big Data Exposed investigates the differences in location data inside five smartphones that are registered with home addresses in five distinctly different postal codes. We take these five devices on a one-hour journey across Kingston, Ontario, Canada to explore what differences each trip unravels.


Coming Soon

API Diving

If APIs and their algorithms are responsible for creating, circulating and changing location data, what precisely are they doing to that data? API Diving is a deep exploration of individual operations within Android and Google-cloud based location APIs to identify precisely what processes and mechanisms may be responsible for catalyizing specific social, political, economic, cultural and privacy issues.

Android Pathways

How is location data created, where does it go, and how does it change? Android Pathways is an experiment that documents and the creation, circulation and transformation of a small amount of GPS coordinate data. Using specifically designed visualization software at Queen's University, this project illuminates the pathway that location data takes during its lifecycle, and visually clarifies what changes it undergoes before it is given to an App.


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