OSINT Bites 1 - Architecture

Part 1 of our OSINT Bites Collection focuses on architecture and the role it plays in geolocation.

OSINT Bites 1 - Architecture
Artwork by Mr Misang

Welcome to OSINT bites, a collection of my interesting and hopefully useful OSINT tips and tricks to aid you in whatever you're doing. To make it short, my first part will concentrate specifically on the architecture of buildings.

Different architectural styles

Architectural styles can and did evolve from different circumstances, motivations and backgrounds. Architecture can reveal geographical location, but also different times, cultures and everything that comes along with it.

Practical examples

Instead of confusing half of the audience, I'd rather just give some examples that speak for themselves. While you may know what I'm getting at, you're still strongly encouraged to spend some time thinking about this for yourself.

A building known as a Khrushchyovka Source:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khrushchyovka#/media/File:Panel_Khrushchev_house_in_Tomsk.jpg

Khrushchyovka's were developed in the USSR around the 1960's and the most had 5 floors. What made them special was their low cost and completion rate, which obviously was in the interest of the Soviet Union.

Photo by Adnan Omicevic / Unsplash

Gothic architecture was popular in Europe from the late 12th to 16th century. You may recognize it from its well defined "ribs". Gothic architecture also was in a sense reserved for special occasions. Mostly places of or connected with power were built in a gothic style. Back then this included religious buildings, castles, town halls and universities.

A Tidewater house, common in south coastal areas of the USA Source:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tidewater_architecture#/media/File:EDGERLEY,_LIVINGSTON_COUNTY.jpg

Lastly I present to you the tidewater architecture, these buildings can be found in south coastal areas of the USA and were designed with a wet and hot climate in mind. Besides that, they also protect against low-level flooding.

Reflection time

Just in case you're still not quite sure what I'm trying to convey, it is that architecture is influenced by many factors. Some may be practical, others reflect the political climate, economy, religion etc. Going a step further down this path, its true to say that almost any photograph can be geolocated if you have enough architecture to look at, the architecture of the buildings can tell you a lot about the area and where it might be located. The more you look at photos of buildings from different countries and areas, the more familiar the architectural styles become to you over time. Soon you will be able to look at a building and make a rough stab at where it might be located by knowing where its architecture likely stemmed from.

I don't think it's practical to list every architectural factor,  instead I wanted you to get the idea behind it so I kept it really short here.

After all it's called an OSINT bite!

Final words

Without the information available on Wikipedia and the things my former teachers taught me about architecture, design, political movements and sociology this OSINT bite would probably not have been possible.  I wish to express my gratitude to all the genuine authors on the platform and making so much valuable information public.

The awesome artwork used in this article was crearted by Mr Misang. In this picture a burning man is escaping a from burning car, he sees a door and decides to go torward it.