Prior Publisher

The Association of Digital Forensics, Security and Law (ADFSL)


The use of smartphones as navigation devices has become more prevalent. The ubiquity of hand-held navigation devices such as Garmins or Toms Toms has been falling whereas the ownership of smartphones and their adoption as GPS devices is growing. This work provides a comprehensive study of the most popular smartphone mapping applications, namely Google Maps, Apple Maps, Waze, MapQuest, Bing, and Scout, on both Android and iOS. It details what data was found, where it was found, and how it was acquired for each application. Based on the findings, the work allowed for the construction of a tool capable of parsing the data from all of the aforementioned applications as well as creating maps of the locations attained. It was discovered that much data relating to the user's navigation history, be it addresses, latitude longitude points, etc., were stored on the user's device. It was also found that in almost all cases, discerning whether the user had actually traveled to a destination from the mapping application data was not possible.



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