Everyone you know is using their smartphones to capture amazing, funny, beautiful, and goofy moments in their lives. While there are a lot of ways to store these photos in the cloud, most of us are having trouble remembering where some of them were taken.
I used to resort to creating folders where each folder was named something like ‘place-year’. This never cut it until I started geo-tagging my photos. This was way better until I realized I don’t know how to read the EXIF data of my old pics. What’s that?
EXIF format is used to store important data such as date and time of the photo, ISO, shutter speed, white balance, and camera model. These are important values for photographers. Most smartphones, cameras, and DSLRs have this feature.
Now, we are all sorted. We are storing location data for each photo that we are taking but there is another issue. How do you access this data? Here are 6 sites to help you find the EXIF data of any pic you want.
Note that this method will also work for old photos that you took with a camera but can't remember the location.
1. Google Image Search
This may or may not work but is still worth a try. Google image search is pretty powerful. So when you load an image by dragging it into the search bar, Google will try and guess the location.
Since most of us are already using Google on a daily basis, this is the fastest way to find location from photos easily. But it is also the least accurate which is why we will discuss some other solutions too.
Photo Location is a simple looking site that will help you find the location of the photo quickly. Just drag and drop the image to the upload area. If the EXIF data contains the location, you will see the latitude and longitude details along with the street address.
Below that, the address of the location in the image will be plotted on a Google Map. What else can you do? You can also add the location details from the EXIF data on the image and share it directly to social media sites.
This is really cool and also useful because the next time you open that image, you won’t need a tool to tell you where the photo was clicked. It will be printed on it.
If you think the location data is not entirely accurate, you can edit the same before downloading or sharing the pic.
While Photo Location will only find location details of the pic, that is not the only info that is stored in EXIF. Want to know what else is hiding in there. You might be surprised. Metapicz will extract all the data it can find for you to view.
Below the Camera and Location column, you will see EXIF and XMP column where you will see more data than you can process if you are not a pro photographer. It knows I used Snapseed to edit the image, flash was set to auto, ISO, aperture, lens, focal length, and so much more. Apparently, I was sitting 20m above sea level!
Another site for you to find location data from EXIF of any photo. Pic2Map works the same like other sites that we saw earlier. You can drag and drop the image or select file location to upload the image. Once you do, it will show you photo's location and address along with an interactive map.
Like Metapicz, Pic2Map will also collect additional data from the photo like make and model of the device, ISO speed, focal length, shutter speed, GPS info, and so on. You will have to scroll a little below to find all this useful info.
Pic2Map goes a step further here and will also show a bunch of other images from nearby areas. I saw images from cities that were in the 600km radius. All the related pics were artistic in nature as if the developers wanted to refresh my memories.
Most sites that I used to find my home address were basic as far as design was concerned, except maybe Pic2Map. Where is the Picture has a good looking UI with plenty of famous landmark pics in a carousel.
Once you select your image in the upload area, the site will do it’s thing. There is no drag and drop functionality. Surprising seeing they gave some thought to the homepage design.
If you want additional details from the EXIF data bank, just click on the blue button that says Read image info near the top of the map. This will reveal a pop up with all the info like GPS, IFD0, file details, and EXIF data like speed, exposure, etc.
If you are a photographer who is constantly finding herself/himself uploading images to various sites, you should go for a browser extension.
If you are using Firefox, use the EXIF Viewer addon. Just install it like any other addon in Firefox. To use the addon, upload the image either on a site like Flickr or simply open a new tab and drag and drop the image there. Now, right-click on the image and select EXIF Viewer.
If you are using Chrome, install EXIF Viewer extension like any other extension from the Chrome store. Now, whenever you hover over an image, no matter where you are, you will see EXIF data on top of the image.
If the image has GPS coordinates, you will see a red GPS link. Click on it to open Google maps with the location plotted on the it. The Chrome extension was also working on Google Image search results.
Tracing Your Life Backwards
My parents were not so lucky. Back in their days, smartphones didn't even exist and they had to rely on traditional cameras to capture memories. We have so much tech available at our disposal. Capturing and storing essential data shouldn't be hard if you know the right tools for the job.
Next up: Don't want geolocation and EXIF data on every pic that you took on Android and iOS device? Here is a way to delete that info from your smartphone pics.