Archive for August, 2010

Finding out where a picture was taken using EXIF info

Posted in Blog, Random, Tech, Tutorial on August 18th, 2010 by Matt – 13 Comments

Alternate title: How to creepily stalk people using their pictures.

Since I've gotten an iPhone 4 I've stopped carrying a normal camera with me on outings. I find the iPhone's camera more than sufficient for most of my photo needs. Many other people are also doing the same. The fun thing about most camera phones now, is that they tag image information with GPS coordinates. Thanks to some easy online tools, you can now track people only by their pictures.

Lets get an example. I did a Google Search for "shots taken with my iPhone" and the first result is a blog with "9 Cracking Shots Taken With My iPhone". The second picture posted is a pic taken on a road supposedly in Death Valley. Lets see if it is.

A test image for GPS EXIF inforation

We can download a program to view where the photo was taken via its EXIF information. Programs like "Simple EXIF Viewer for Mac OSX" work well. Or you could install a FireFox extension like "EXIF Viewer", it's a very nice way to quickly view information for any image embedded on a web page. But both of these seem silly to install when you probably only need to view EXIF info once in a blue moon.

My new favorite way to view where photos were taken is to use online tools like "Jeffery's EXIF Viewer" or the "Find EXIF" website. So, using our example, we would: Right click the image, Copy Image Location, Paste the image location into one of the online tools. In this example I've used Jeffery's EXIF viewer that embeds a nice little Google Maps pin of where the image says it was taken. Results from the EXIF GPS information

And if you follow the links over to Google Maps, and drop a street view pin as close to GPS data as possible, you get this:

Results from the iPhone's GPS EXIF info

You can view the actual Google Street view location here. Pretty cool.

Some information about laptop docks

Posted in Blog, Tech on August 13th, 2010 by Matt – Be the first to comment

There are two types of docks available for laptops:

Dock for the Dell Latitude Series

  1. Docks that require your laptop to be open and running to use and use a low performance method of connection. These docks are available for almost any laptop and use a single USB cable to hook up. I really won’t recommend them for a couple of reasons: They’re low performance and they require that the laptop be sitting open and have the laptop screen on when plugged into them. This means if you want to type on your other screen with a real keyboard and mouse, you’ll have to have your laptop sitting out and open on the desk.
  2. Docks that have a dedicated port and sit in a cradle. These are high performance and do not require your computer to be open when in use. In addition these docks usually include significantly more connectivity options. This is the type of dock I use every day here at work. I recommend this style over the USB style.

If you want to go with a cradle style dock then that limits your options. There aren’t many 17” laptops compatible with a cradle style of dock. The Dell Latitude laptop series is the best choice at this time. Their larger size laptop has a 15.6” screen.

If you really want a larger computer and don’t mind having your laptop sitting out while docked or just want to skip the dock all together, then you have more options.

Targus Universal USB Dock

Targus Universal USB Dock

USB docks like the the Targus Universal USB Dock allow almost any size and style computer the ability to have a dock.