How are location information stored in a photo?Many digital cameras and most modern mobile phones (smart phones) and tablets have a built-in GPS receiver that stores the location information in the file header the moment the photo is taken.
The file header is known as EXIF (exchangeable image file format) header and is a standard for storing various tags or metadata in photo files (only supported by JPG/JPEG and TIF picture formats).
The location information (also known as "geolocation") is stored with the use of latitude/longitude coordinate system mainly in the following tags:
- GPS Altitude: Stores the altitude in meters (plus for above or minus for below sea level) of the device.
- GPS Latitude: Stores the latitude coordinates (plus for North and minus for South of the Equator) of the device.
- GPS Longitude: Stores the longitude coordinates (plus for East and minus for West of the Prime-Greenwich Meridian) of the device.
- GPS Date and Time Stamp: Stores the date and time (adjusted to UTC).
How can I find out if my photos contain location information?You can use our free online service. Just by uploading one of your photos to our system, we will instantly check if your picture-photo contains any location information and if so, we will display them as latitude and longitude coordinates, human readable address-location and with a pin on a global map.
How can I remove the location information from my photo?You can use our free online service. Just upload your photo and click the "change or remove location" button. You will then have to click on the "remove location from photo file" button on the map's pin (marked C). All location information will be removed from your photo file the moment you download it back on your computer/mobile or share it using our website's social buttons.
Can I change the location information of my photo?Yes again! You can use our free online service. Upload your photo here and just click the "change or remove location" button. Then, by just clicking at any location on the map, a pin (marked S) will appear where you just click the "set selected location to photo file" button. The new location information will be stored back to your photo file the moment you download it back on your computer/mobile or share it using our website's social buttons.
My photo contains no location information. Can I set the location now?Yes, geotagging is available on our website! Upload your photo and just click the "set location on the map" button. Then, by just clicking on the any location on the map, a pin (marked S) will appear where you just click the "set selected location to photo file" button. The selected location information will be written to your photo file the moment you download it back on your computer/mobile or share it using our website's social buttons.
Can my photo's location information breach my privacy?This is private matter and everyone thinks of privacy in their own way. But keep in mind that once photos are uploaded or shared on the web, they reside in a world that almost everyone has access to. Even if you decide to remove your photos you can never know or control who had access to them in the meanwhile.
Okay, so you have nothing to hide. But what if someone else is lurking in the shadows to exploit the fact that you have been or not, or even that you are or not, somewhere-sometime?
Remember! Your photos can tell everyone who’s watching them many things like where you live, where you work, where you hang out, when you are not home and even where you are now.
Related research has shown that more than 50% of mobile phone users unknowingly provide their GPS location via uploading their photos on social and other websites and services.
Which cameras and mobile phones are geotagging photos?You can find a list of GPS digital cameras on this website. Almost all modern smart phones and tablets that have a built-in GPS or A-GPS receiver can store location information (geotagging). Whether geotagging is enabled or not depends on the maker, model, camera software, etc. You can check your phone or tablet manual to find out if geotagging is enabled or not.
How do I disable geotagging on my camera, phone or tablet?Most digital cameras provide the ability to enable/disable photo geotagging in their options menu.
Sadly, for smart phones and tablets things are not that clear and straight forward. The variations of makers, operating system types and camera applications make it impossible to have a full guide.
The exact directions on how to enable/disable may vary from phone to phone but a good place to start is to run your camera application-software and look under its options menu.
You can also try any kind of "Location" or "GPS" options under the phone's control panel.
On any phone the most secure way to disable geotagging is to disable the GPS or A-GPS receiver. Saves your battery too :-)