How to Find the Location of Photos ?
Most modern camera devices will embed GPS information for every photo that is taken. Every photo that you’ve ever taken is likely to include location data. You just haven’t been keen. For iPhone users, your photo album might go empty when you turn off location services for that particular app. You don’t want to include the location data if you intend to share sensitive information with other people. In this guide, we’re going to highlight some of the ways you can find out the location of where a photo was taken.
The GPS coordinates will be in the form of metadata. One way of finding such information is by viewing the properties of the file. If you’re on windows, you can right-click on the image, click on “Properties” then “Details”. You can check out the latitude and longitude information under GPS.
It’s also possible to get such information with an EXIF viewer but it is a lot easier if you’re using a common device as there will be in-built capabilities that serve the same function. The GPS coordinates will not be automatically recorded with every photo that is taken. There are people that will turn off the feature because of privacy. Most image-sharing platforms will also erase location details for the sake of the privacy of their users.
Since the coordinates are standard for what you’ll get on a map, all you’ll need to do is to match them to the exact location. There are mapping programs that can find out where a photo was taken without having to manually input the coordinates. It should be noted that such information can be falsified given the fact that it’s metadata. Another common problem with coordinates is that the geographical information might be inaccurate. If the phone or camera was offline, it might use the last known location for geotagging the photos.
If you’d want to do away with GPS entirely, all you need to do is to disable it in the camera settings on your phone. Removing EXIF data is also imperative so that you’re not sharing sensitive information even though it might not seem that obvious from the onset. There are tools that are in-built depending on the device you’re using. For iPhone, go settings, Privacy, Location Services, Camera, and then click on “Never”
The process will vary from one phone to another if you’re using an android device. You can try to figure out the camera settings and go through the privacy options. You don’t have to turn off the location entirely as the services can be useful in some circumstances. With Google Photos, it’s easy to organize the content based on location and time thus making it easy to browse. You also have the ability to do away with the location information if you’re not comfortable sharing your photos with the public.
It is crucial to find out if your camera has a GPS feature before you start searching for location details. Most modern smartphones will come with GPS as standard. This is the case for the latest digital cameras as well but it doesn’t hurt to find out. Point-shoot-cameras as much as they’re geared towards professionals will not come with GPS. Cameras that come with internet capabilities will most probably also include GPS information. There are special adapters that can be bought to work with cameras.
Any camera will come with a bunch of data for every picture or video that is taken. It will record focal distance, camera mode, ISO speed, shutter speed, and a lot more. Such information is what is termed as EXIF data. This data has been around since the advent of the digital camera. There wasn't a lot of data about images during the initial years. Modern cameras can tell you everything there is to know about the image, including the time and location that it was taken. EXIF data can also be found in audio and video formats as well.
There are people that will want to share the geotag with the rest of the world and using Panoramio is one way of doing so. All one needs to do is to sign up and the platform will do the heavy lifting. Once an image is uploaded, Panoramio will start crunching the numbers so as to match the photo with the exact location it was taken. Users can easily sort out the photos based on location and even time in some instances. Users can upload up to 10 photos in one instance. It is one of the easy and fun ways about finding the coordinates of a photo without having to do the manual work.
Reverse image search will only come in handy if it’s used in conjunction with other strategies. Reverse engineering can be used to identify the source of the image. The context can help in gathering more information about the image and could even shed light on the location if you’re lucky. There could be tags, and captions that can provide information on the person that first posted the image online.
Finding the location of a photo can take a few minutes or could be an exercise in futility. You might have to come up with strategies on how to figure out the exact location if the basic tips don’t do it. If it’s a matter of urgency, you'll have to exercise a bit of patience. The internet is in constant flux with new information added every second. An obscure image will not be so anymore when bits of information start to surface on the internet. Piecing the puzzle requires creativity just as it does common sense. The solution will not be obvious for some images but can be solved with workarounds.