Document Type


Publication Date


Subject: LCSH

Computer crimes--Investigation, Application software, Mobile apps


Computer Engineering | Computer Sciences | Electrical and Computer Engineering | Forensic Science and Technology | Information Security


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.


This article was originally published in the Journal of Digital Forensics, Security and Law, in their Special Issue of Best Papers from the 11th International Conference on Systematic Approaches to Digital Forensic Engineering (SADFE 2016).

Dr. Baggili holds the University of New Haven's Elder Family Endowed Chair.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License

Publisher Citation

Moore, Jason; Baggili, Ibrahim; and Breitinger, Frank (2017). "Find Me If You Can: Mobile GPS Mapping Applications Forensic Analysis & SNAVP the Open Source, Modular, Extensible Parser," Journal of Digital Forensics, Security and Law: Vol. 12 : No. 1 , Article 8, pp. 15-30.

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