Do You Know How to Find Out Where A Photo Was Taken: Check Out Here!

MailXaminer | February 17th, 2020 | Forensics

Most of the people may be wondering how to find out where a photo was taken exactly. However, it is not a complicated task to manually track exact location of image. But when it comes to forensic purpose, then it is a very complex task to identify location from old photos in batch. Thus, in this blog, we are going to explore some tricks to get location from an image or a photo.

Nowadays, all most every camera on Smartphones have GPS function built into them. When a person clicks any picture, then the camera records the GPS coordinates of the location at which the photo was taken. This information will be embed as Geotag information in photos . This function will help to find GPS coordinates in photo / image . One only has to get geotag info from a photo to identify location from photo. Simply access the embed GPS coordinates in photos and enter it on Google Maps, Google Earth, etc. websites to manually detect location from photo from where it was taken.

Note : Only GPS enabled devices provides the Geo-tag information for images. If the location privacy in the smartphone is ON, then only the clicked image will include the different attributes of GPS in the form of longitude, latitude and altitude within the picture.

Do You Know How the Location Information Stored on Photos?

Whenever a question arises related to identify location from photo, user always first search to find the location of picture or manually how to find out where a photo was taken. Yes, there are exist various manual solutions to see exactly where a photo was taken. The embed GPS coordinates in a photo taken with a Smartphone camera is stored in the form of Latitude and Longitude coordinates in metadata or properties of the image. These coordinates reflect the location to find out where a photo was taken. One can also get the information related to Camera Aperture Size, Shutter Speed, Focal Length, ISO speed, Camera Mode etc.

Now, You Must Be Thinking:

How to Get GPS Information to Detect Location from Photo?

The answer to “how to find out where a photo was taken” can be obtained accessing the location info from photo with the metadata attached to it. To view the information associated with the picture, follow the steps given below.

  1. First, you need to download the Image on your Windows system to track exact location of image from where it was taken
  2. Now, right-click on the image and then click on the Properties option to extract metadata from pictures
  1. Next, click on the Details tab and scroll down to the GPS section
  2. In the GPS section, you will be able to see the GPS coordinates i.e. Latitude and Longitude

By accessing the geolocation data from image the user can see exactly where a photo was taken. It also helps to find date and time of photo.

Detect Location from Photo via Google Maps

After getting GPS information of the pictures, a user can find the location where picture was taken using Google Maps . The photo location search function integrated into Google Maps allows searching for a specific location by entering its GPS coordinates. Following are the steps for how to find out where a photo was taken.

1. First of all, you need to get the Latitude and Longitude coordinates from Geotag information of the photo

2. Now, open Google Maps in the system and enter the GPS information from the image into the search bar of Google Maps

3. Next, press Enter key on your computer and click on the Search icon

4. After a few seconds, Google Maps will point to the exact location, corresponding to the GPS coordinates that you have entered.

5. Google Maps accept coordinates in any of the formats given below:

  • Degrees, Minutes and Seconds (DMS): 41°28’14.2?N 2°10’24.5?E
  • Degrees and Decimal Minutes (DMM): 41 24.7036, 2 40. 6612
  • Decimal Degrees (DD): 41.40228, 2. 17592

Note: Also, make sure that you have entered coordinates correctly using the correct symbols for minutes, degrees, and seconds.

Advance Way for Forensics Extraction & Mapping of Geolocation from Multiple Images

Normally manual methods are always time consuming and quite disappointing. As a result, many users find these methods troublesome to detect location from photo in a timely manner. Sometimes, one has to fetch the exact location of a picture for the forensic investigation purposes. In such situations, Google Maps are not able to provide the perfect location of a photo. Therefore, users has to rely on an automated solution that is MailXaminer. With this utility, one can easily extract data from image file. Below-mentioned steps helps to find out where a photo was taken using MailXaminer

1. Download and install MailXaminer software on your system and launch it

2. Now, you need to switch to the Media Tab that displays all the available media item attachments in the mailbox

3. After that, the utility displays the complete list of all media data stored in the file format

4. Next, you need to Select the desired file to view the exact geotag location of the image

5. Click on the Options button and select Geo Location

6. The tool will display the GPS of the image along with details. You can easily Zoom In and Zoom Out to view the details seamlessly

7. If no GPS data associated with the image is found then the software will display the GPS location

8. The user can also export image file into KML format. This will help the user to identify location from the photo and view it in some other application like Google Earth

Do You Know About KML file?

KML is a Keyhole Markup Language File with the .kml file extension. To express geographic annotation and visualization by storing locations, video links, image overlays, and modeling information such as 3D images, points, lines etc. KML files have a tag based structure with nested elements based on XML stranded. This is the file format supported by the picture location finder software to find out where the photo was taken.

Finally, Found the Exact Location of a Picture!

In the above blog, we discussed “how to find out where a photo was taken” with most appropriate solutions. Most of the users need to find the minute details such as date of creation, location etc. associated with the images for analysis purposes. The problem occurs when a user is not able to find the exact location where the photo was taken. Thus, the user can resolve the problem by implementing the manual way to find the information associated with the photo and then using Google Maps to identify location from photo. In most of cases, the users are not able to get the exact location via manual method, thus it is recommended to opt for an automated way. One can make use of MailXaminer software to find the location of the photo in just a few clicks.