Maps as Passwords

On September 21, 2010 · Comments Off on Maps as Passwords

I offer a tip of the hat to Geographic Travels for featuring an article from MSNBC called "Future online password could be a map."

It’s not necessary for me to repeat the contents of the blog post or the article here. They are interesting reads that you can examine on your own. They are enjoyable and I think you should. The basic premise is that longitude and latitude coordinates for very specific locations — known only to the user — could serve as the basis of extremely strong passwords.

This possibility simply thrills me more than anyone could likely imagine. I’m salivating, really I am. I envision an immediate application right here on the Twelve Mile Circle if the solution ever comes to fruition. You are all familiar with my ongoing battles against comment spam. Wouldn’t it be ever-so-satisfying to have a geography-based solution as a means to authenticate and validate comments on the website? Take that spammer – here’s a map in your face!

View Larger Map
Click Me

A rotating set of simple tests could be posed through online maps, uncomplicated geographic questions known universally by humans such as, "click London." A spambot won’t know London and a person who couldn’t find London on a map likely wouldn’t be interested in a geography-oriented website. If you can’t find London then I’m guessing your comment probably wouldn’t add much value. Problem solved.

Administrator passwords could be much more complicated. Of course I’d select an extremely unusual geo-oddity for mine. Maybe it would be the Delaware Wedge, the 18th hole of the world’s longest golf course, or the Drummully Polyp? Maybe it would be my in-law’s house? The possibilities would be endless. I am an extremely visual map-oriented person so the password would be much simple to remember and probably a lot stronger too. It’s time to bring the power of maps to the rest of the world.

I thought of one problem though: what about users who are visually impaired? Are there standards for rendering Braille-based maps from the Internet onto tactile screens?

On September 21, 2010 · Comments Off on Maps as Passwords

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