What websites expose the camera body serial numbers from the original image EXIF?
Flickr is a photo sharing website that exposes lots of photo metadata (from the EXIF data) and even make it easy to access thanks to the Flickr API. Google's Picasaweb also offers some information from the EXIF but not the serial number.
Are there any other sites that may help me?
As a bit of background on what I'm doing, I'm trying to collate a database of camera serial numbers and the URLs of the images where they were found. This is just me doing something for free in the hope that we can catch some of the people that steal our precious cameras! I hope this isn't too off-topic as I'm not trying to sell anything, just trying to do some good!
Disclaimer: I'm the author of stolencamerafinder ;)
Update - As requested by fbuchinger, here's a quick update to the project status:
Many sites (including facebook unfortunately) strip the makernotes out of the EXIF. So far, I've found the richest source of serial numbers to be Flickr. I suppose it's because people often upload full-size (read "unedited") images. On my site (stolencamerafinder.com) I offer a java webstart app that harvests flickr data through its API. Since there is a cap on the rate at which I make API calls, I've written it so that the work is shared between the number of web start clients, thus reducing bandwidth and CPU on the clients the more people that run it. If you're reading this and you have, say, admin access to a server at work that doesn't do much, why not leave it running on there ;)
I have also written a Google Chrome plugin that just keeps an eye out for images on websites that have a serial number embedded. I don't expect a very high yield from this app, the main idea was to discover what websites may be good sources to write bespoke spidering tools for and then crawl them.
I've publicised my API for stolencamerafinder and am looking for other programmers to help me write programs that may serve as web crawlers.
I've collected lots of interesting data in doing this project that I will put on the website soon such as which camera models do and don't write useful serial numbers. The Nikon D50 for example just writes "D50" as its serial number!
I would be extremely grateful for any feedback (good or bad!) you may have on my project.