I returned from my holiday to discover people commenting on the post regarding the consolidated database. Suffice to say I’m quite happy for the attention. It turns out a tool has been developed which processes the data found in the database and places them as points on a map.
Friends and students familiar with my dissertation have believed that this is a direct copy of the tool I developed for my final year project, and I just wanted to state that although the tool is similar, they do different jobs. Yes my tool does analyse the consolidated database, but the aim of my tool is to track individual locations and piece together an individuals movements. This may be used in a forensic analysis to determine if the iPhone user was in a specific location at a specific time, where the data may be incriminating or prove the individual innocent.
Alasdair Allan and Pete Warden have developed a tool that specifically targets the consolidated database and outputs the data found in it onto a map. This data includes locations of cell towers and wifi access points. It it really impressive, and performs the task they made it for fantastically, using a very easy-to-use and beautiful user interface. Check it out here.
I would like to thank them for mentioning me in their FAQ!
Because they have alerted the world to this database, Apple have announced they will be changing iPhone functionality to reduce the amount of geolocations stored in this database. I do not know if this means they will be eradicating the file completely, or simply reducing the timeframe the locations are stored for. Naturally this affects the effectiveness of my dissertation tool. However, if they are simply just removing the data after a certain timeframe (e.g. deleting records after a week), then there may be potential for recovery (intended for my summer research).
I still intend on writing a small paper over summer describing what all the values in consolidated database mean. It is intended for forensic analysts to use as reference during an investigation, in order to determine which values can determine accurately where the device has been, and not confuse the location of a cell tower with a coordinate the phone has been.