First and foremost, please forgive me if this is in the wrong section. I always seem to pick the wrong site when it comes to computer questions.
In the air of recent, wildly viral internet events, my buddy and I have formulated an idea to run an experiment to see how the phenomenon works. However, I am unsure of how the back-end would work.
We would host a single image file (.jpg/.png/.gif) on our server. The image is not intended to be hosted on a single web page - it is assumed this image will be cross posted, shared, etc. The fact that the image file itself is hosted on our server will remain constant (we're not taking into account situations where the image is saved/archived and hosted elsewhere, and then viewed).
We would like to be able to view a log of hits that the image gets, along with the IPs of viewing PCs (to figure out the progressive geographical spread of the image).
First, is this possible? I have seen many images that say 'your IP is blah blah blah, using Safari...', and I have also seen many instances where an image will "know" when its being hosted on a site other than its home (to prevent hotlinking).
Second, how would this be accomplished? Can an analytics program track such specific hits on a simple image file?