Modern mobile devices such as smart phones, tablets and portable navigation devices can contain a history of a user’s location for many months and sometimes many years depending on the device characteristics.

The location data stored in the device memory can originate from many sources with the most common being Global Positioning System (GPS) information. The Global Positioning System (GPS) uses satellites orbiting the earth to determine the location of a GPS enabled device.  GPS is more accurate than other sources of location data, and this data can be plotted on a map including date and time.

The GPS data could reside in many different types of data. The GPS location information could be contained in the metadata of a photo or video, from the use of an installed third-party application, and from web browsing or a mapping program. So if you have access to the device it’s easy to forensically image and triage it to look for location data, user settings, installed applications and metadata fields.

For more information IRIS LLC Toolbox-Location Data