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

MailXaminer | February 13th, 2019 | 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. Thus, in this blog, we are going to explore some tricks to get location from an image.

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 tagged into the photo Geotag. This helps in location search by photo / image. One just has to access the GPS data attached to a picture and then use this data on Google Maps or other websites to detect location from photo from where it was taken.

Do you know how the location information stored on photos?

Whenever a question arises related to the location of image user always first search about whether there is any manual solution to find the location or manually how to find out where a photo was taken. Yes, there iare different types of manual solutions are exist to get gps information from pictures. The location data of 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 at which image 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:

Part A: How to get GPS information to detect location from photo?

One can access location info from photo via accessing the metadata attached to it. To view the information associated with the picture, one has to 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 imageand then click on the Properties option to extracting metadata from images.
  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 easily find location where image was taken exactly.

Part B: Detect location from photo via Google Maps

After get GPS information from pictures, with the help of Google Maps user can find the location at which image was taken. The photo location search function integrated into Google Maps allows searching for a specific location by entering its GPS coordinates.

1. First of all, you need to get the Latitude and Longitude information attached to the photo by following the method explained in Part A to know & extract location from photo.

2. Now, open Google Maps on 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.

Still Not Able to track exact location of image?

Normally manual methods are always time consuming so that many users find these methods are 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. So the user has to rely on an automated solution that is MailXaminer. With this utility, one can easily extract data from image file. Follow the steps given below to know how 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 geotag photo location

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 perfectly

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 photo and viewed on the other application such as Google Earth

Do you know about the 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 are a tag based structure with nested elements based on XML stranded. This is the file format supported by the geolocation finder software to track exact location of image.

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 get location from photo / image. In most of the 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 location from photo in just a few clicks.