the home of online investigations

Category: Case Studies

September 22, 2015

By Eliot Higgins

Geolocating Russian Military Aircraft in Syria

Over the last week there’s been a great deal of interest in the movement of Russian military equipment and troops to Syria, with images published by AllSource Analysis of al-Assad International Airport showing the arrival of military aircraft supporting Russia’s growing presence. Today a photograph was shared on Twitter showing what claimed to be the aircraft visible in…

Read Full Post


August 19, 2015

By Aric Toler

Yachtspotting: OSINT Methods in Navalny’s Corruption Investigation

Recently, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s press secretary, Dmitry Peskov, found himself embroiled in a scandal over his wristwatch, which was prominently displayed during his wedding to former Olympic ice dancer Tatiana Navka. Anti-corruption activist and Kremlin opponent Aleksey Navalny revealed that a watch worn by Peskov was worth upwards of $600,000, despite Peskov’s approximate annual…

Read Full Post


August 7, 2015

By Aric Toler

Shadow of a Doubt: Crowdsourcing Time Verification of the MH17 Missile Launch Photo

While much open source investigation is done through crowd sourcing, the administrator of the MH17 forum has taken a unique approach: a single-blind poll to collaboratively determine the timing of a photograph. While this experiment does not have the scientific rigor of a pharmaceutical trial, the methodology of administrator “bootblack” is worthwhile of some examination. The…

Read Full Post


May 28, 2015

By Aric Toler

Geolocating Stanislav Tarasov

When searching for images near Pavlovka, a site of artillery attacks from Russia to Ukraine, we find a series of images from a soldier named Stanislav Tarasov. These photos can be found on various geomapping services for photos posted to Instagram, including Gramfeed. By looking at other images in his Instagram, one stands out, showing…

Read Full Post


April 12, 2015

By Andrew Haggard

Geolocating the Walter Scott Shooting

On April 4, 2015, a police officer named Michael Slager of the North Chaleston Police Department shot and killed Walter Scott as he attempted to flee from the officer. The case has made national headlines in the United States and has been picked up in international media as well. Since the shooting, several major events…

Read Full Post


March 18, 2015

By Bellingcat Investigation Team

Geolocating the Location Where the Syrian “Caesar” Photographs Were Taken

Bashar al-Assad and his regime are suspected to be behind the disappearance of many thousands of persons in recent years, many of whom are presumed to have been tortured and killed. Following prisoners’ deaths, a team of forensic photographers would be dispatched to document the bodies of the victims of the Assad regime. Defectors have…

Read Full Post