In this guide I tell you what are the main methods to know the location and date of capture of an image that you have on your mobile or PC.
In this guide I am going to explain how know the location of a photo and when it was taken. I tell you the main methods, depending on the operating system of your device, to discover what the metadata associated with an image is. Additionally, I will explain why sometimes this information does not appear in some photos, especially those you receive via WhatsApp or downloads from Instagram.
In short, if you want know all the details behind an image, stay until the end. In this publication I provide you with the most convenient procedures to thoroughly analyze a photographic file. Do not miss it!
- Know the location of a photo and the date it was captured
- Why doesn’t the location or date of capture appear on a photo?
Know the location of a photo and the date it was captured
There are various methods to find out the location of a photograph. These vary depending on the operating system you are using and the applications available in each case. Next, I am going to analyze each case in detail, providing you with the appropriate steps depending on whether you are working on a Windows computer or an Android mobile. My advice is that you scroll to the section that interests you most to quickly know what you need to do to discover the details of each photo.
On Android, the best way to know all the details of an image is with one of the simplest Google Photos tricks. In fact, it is not surprising that this image acts as the default gallery for most users. If that is your case, then it is the best option.
Once you are in Google Photos, simply follow these steps:
- Select the image for which you want to know all the information.
- Swipe up on the photo to open the Google Photos menu.
- Fully open the bottom menu to see all the details of the image.
- If this data is available, in this section you will see both the capture date and the location of the image.
Regarding this method, there are two things I must tell you:
- In the cloud and on the device. With Google Photos you can know where a photo that is stored in the cloud was taken, but also the one that you save on your phone.
- Map view. Another possibility is to go to the search area to have an overview of your photos located on a map. Locations synchronized between Google Photos and Google Maps also appear here.
Google Photos is also available on iOS. However, if you usually use the native app, Apple Photos, then you have a very simple way to know where an image was taken. Likewise, it will help you know what the capture date is.
This is how you do it:
- Open an image in the Photos app.
- Scroll the image up.
- Consult all the associated information.
This method works with any images you have stored in the photo library. If the photo is in your iPhone files, the easiest way is to save it to your photo library to check the metadata.
If you’re on a Windows PC, you have two options to view the location of an image:
- File Browser. Locate the image in file explorer, right click on it and select Properties. In the pop-up window you will be able to see all the EXIF data, including the capture date and location coordinates.
- Photo app. Windows includes a Photos app that lets you view information about your pictures, including those on your computer and those stored in OneDrive.
Finally, on a macOS computer, the options you have to view image information, including location and capture date, are these:
- Photos. The Photos app works much like it does on the iPhone. So, if you sync images between devices using iCloud, you can go to this application to find out where an image was taken. Just like on iOS, scroll up to see the map.
- Preview. When you open an image from the Finder, you’ll have an i (info) button in the Preview app. When you click on it, a small window will appear showing all the EXIF metadata.
Why doesn’t the location or date of capture appear on a photo?
You have already seen that, in most cases, discovering the exact place where an image was captured is really simple. You won’t even have to download any additional applications: everything is done with the programs included in each system operational.
Now, it is possible that, by following the steps mentioned, you have realized that location information is not available. You may also have noticed that the date that appears is not real. Why does that happen?
There are several reasons why an image may be lacking the corresponding metadata. These are the most common:
- Photo sent by WhatsApp. When you send an image via WhatsApp (and also via Telegram), compression is applied to it to reduce the weight of the file. This process causes the photo you send to be, in reality, a new file. one in which all metadata will be removed. Therefore, the images you have received or sent through this platform do not have location information and their capture date is incorrect. The only exception is that the method to send images via WhatsApp without losing quality has been followed, which is not the most common.
- Social media photos. Something similar happens with images that are uploaded to social networks, such as Instagram. As they go through a compression process, the photos lose the associated metadata and it is not possible to know exactly where it was taken.
- Images without metadata. Most images circulating on the Internet do not have associated metadata. Many of them have been previously compressed or simply did not have additional information from their origin. On the other hand, perhaps the user who took the image deactivated the geolocation or completely deleted the data regarding the capture date.
As can be seen from what has been analyzed, the majority of the images you receive or see on the Internet they will not have metadata that allow you to discover more information about the location or date of capture.
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