Creepy or Cool? New Website Lets You Peek Into Any Building

Thursday, 4 Oct 2012 | 12:19 PM ET

If you could take a look inside any building that's off limits, where would you look?

Perhaps, you'd take a gander into Apple's headquarters, or check out what's going on at the PlayBoy Mansion. Maybe you would rather just see what's going on at CNBC's headquarters. Well, now there is a website that is aiming to let people do just that and its using Facebook owned Instagram to make it happen.

Basically, Worldcam is aggregating images posted in Instagram that are tagged with a location to feed users' searches. Users enter the general location and name of building they want to check out, and then images that have been tagged with the desired location appear, giving the user a rare glimpse of what's going on at that building.

The website also uses information from FourSquare, Geonames and Geoplugin.

While the premise of Worldcam is admittedly pretty cool, it could potentially also be very creepy.

First, Instagram users may not be aware that their images are being published elsewhere. Second, even though Worldcom only uses images from people who both tag their pictures with a location and who have a public profile, it doesn't necessarily mean people who do both of those things will want their Instagram images posted elsewhere.

While Worldcam uses Instagram's application program interface (API), or information for its own purposes, it is not endorsed or certified by Instagram, according to the Worldcom website.

If Instagram users want to keep their geotagged images off the the new website they need to change the privacy settings on their Instagram account.

Worldcam did not immediately respond for request for comment.

email: tech@cnbc.com

  Price   Change %Change


Contact Technology


    Get the best of CNBC in your inbox

    › Learn More
  • Matt Hunter is the senior technology editor at CNBC.com.

  • Cadie Thompson is a tech reporter for the Enterprise Team for CNBC.com.

  • Working from Los Angeles, Boorstin is CNBC's media and entertainment reporter and editor of CNBC.com's Media Money section.

  • Jon Fortt is an on-air editor. He covers the companies, start-ups, and trends that are driving innovation in the industry.

  • Lipton is CNBC's technology correspondent, working from CNBC's Silicon Valley bureau.

  • Mark is CNBC's Silicon Valley/San Francisco Bureau Chief covering technology and digital media.