Geotagging could help find missing persons

As the data-retention debate continues in Australia and cyclones approach its coastlines, authorities are asking citizens to geotag themselves on social media, in case they need to be located.

As cyclones bear down on parts of northern Australia, Queensland Police is urging people to switch on geotagging on their mobile phones in order to help emergency services track them down in the case of an emergency.

The warning comes as Cyclone Lam in the Northern Territory moves on the coast of the northern Top End and Cyclone Marcia barrels towards Queensland's Capricornia coast.

The function logs the geographical coordinates of users' photos when shared on social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook, and provides a map to lead police to where the photo was uploaded.

Geotagging can also be used to help stay on top of other issues that can arise during severe weather events.

Photos of fires, floods, and downed power lines shared online with their metadata will also give emergency services instantaneous information on the problem and where it's located.

AAP