Can someone extract GPS coordinates from photos?

Can someone extract the data when the location services are off? I'm pretty sure the government is capable of doing it (I would be rather stunned if they couldn't), but could the average layman find the data? Or do you have to be a really savvy programmer to find out?

4 Answers

  • keerok
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    Some photos have their EXIF data intact. If the GPS coordinates are included there then that's it. Otherwise, no. 

    How to see the EXIF data? Open up your favorite graphics program and look for Image Information. Under that go to EXIF. Some programs have it, others not. In the same way that some pictures have that data while others have it erased. 

    If your program doesn't have that feature, download Irfanview (freeware).

  • 2 months ago

    Robert J is correct. It's only if the EXIF data is populated by the camera or smartphone.

  • Lv 7
    2 months ago

    camera app does not save location data in the files by default.

    that sort of data is stored on the network it is shared on, like Facebook or Instagram.

  • 2 months ago

    Just look at the EXIF data included in the photo files - there are plenty of free tools to do that.

    It will either contain a location (coordinates), or not.

    If it does not, the only way anyone can find the location is by matching the visible scenery in the photo, if there is any.

    Note that location services being off does not necessarily prevent the phone trying to determine a location - it may  still use IP geolocation, WiFi networks etc. to get an approximation - though that may be many miles from the actual place it is.

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