Finding out where a picture was taken using EXIF info

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.

  1. Hey, thanks for the linkback and it seems to work a treat...almost scary stuff! 🙂

  2. avatar David Levine says:

    I'm not sure what I did differently, but m iPhone 3GS doesn't store that much EXIF data. I used both websites to view data of pictures I took with my iPhone and posted online and it doesn't give much and this is with the GPS turned on for the camera application.

    Pictures I've taken with a digital camera display more data, but not GPS coordinates because it doesn't have GPS.

    Definitely an interesting article.

  3. avatar Sarah says:

    Hi there, sorry I'm a bit dumb in this 🙂
    Using Jeffery’s EXIF viewer, I pasted the image location into the online tool and I'm almost there. I just can't do the next part which embeds a nice little Google Maps pin of where the image says it was taken. Where is the pin on the page?
    Another question: On the same page it says: Drag this button (Exif button) to your button bar, then while on a page displaying an image, just click the button in the bar to view the image's Exif data. Where is the button bar??
    Thank you,

  4. avatar Brody says:

    im having the same problem as sarah... i got all my pic info but it doesnt show a map or anything about where the pic was taken?

  5. avatar Derek says:

    In Windows 7 (or Vista maybe) , right click on your photo > Properties >Details.
    There you will find the same EXIF data, as well as the GPS data, and it does not even require you to install programs or going to a website.

  6. avatar Ranimo says:

    Does this work with a picture I found somewhere. I was wondering where it is taken.

  7. avatar sharri says:

    So this is what I have learned. You cannot unfortunately creepily stalk someone using a photo that they uploaded from their phone. You would have to get a hold of the actual photo on their phone. The moment it is emailed or uploaded, all of that information is stripped. I have been told that this is because viruses are usually embedded in the metadata of photos and to prevent people from being infected, they the sites strip all the info...

    I guess it would work if you could dump all the photos a person took on their phone onto your computer via usb cable, or if you did that with your own photos...

  8. avatar cristi says:

    thanks for link and thanks to jeffery.
    now i can enjoy even more my nikon p510.
    location on google map its Very precise.

  9. It easy to find the location of a picture taken using GPS enabled cameras like iPhone, galazy and other smart phones. Just upload the picture and see the google map of the location. Not every camera is GPS enabled.

  10. avatar Gece says:

    Does someone know how to atleast find the date a photo was first uploaded? Exigencies data shows modified date. Also is it possible to find a photo match using. Exigencies data. Info?

  11. avatar alex says:

    I've tested this and photos on tumblr carry gps exif data with them.

  12. avatar Mark says:

    Most modern cameras don't capture GPS data. If the photo does have GPS data, this program should help

    and it opens up google maps with the jpgs GPS data

  13. avatar Peter says:

    If you just want a quick and easy way to visualise a single image's location, I would suggest which utilizes EXIF GPS information to map a photo. For photos without GPS data, it can be used as a simple online EXIF viewer, that shows some basic information. I hope more cameras start using geotagging like smartphones do…

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