How To Find Out Where a Picture Was Taken
With so much content on the internet, it’s becoming more common to find incredible photos, and you may want more information about them. Sometimes the original poster doesn’t post the location information. At other times, you may not have access to the original post with that information. In these cases, you’ll want to be able to find out more details.
To learn how to find out where a picture was taken, read the article below.
Finding Out Where a Picture Was Taken
If you’ve come across a photo with little to no information, you have several options for finding more details. These options may not give you the exact coordinates of where a photo was taken. However, they can provide more context about the subject of the image.
Google Images are a powerful resource when searching for photos on the web. Typically, a user would type in a keyword to find a specific picture. However, it’s also possible to reverse search a known image to find close matches or its source.
To search for an image on Google, follow these steps.
- Go to the image.
- Right-click and choose “Copy image address.”
- Visit Google Images and paste the image address in the search bar. Click the magnifying glass to search.
- Scroll through the results until you find one you like. Click it to see additional information.
- Click the “Visit” button to go to the originating webpage.
Using a reverse image search does not guarantee that you will be able to find the location in the photo. This method relies on Google having access to the post to search. For example, if the content originated from a social media account, then Google Images may not be able to find it. Google will also show you similar images on the web and their sources.
When you take a picture with a smartphone, the photo automatically stores certain information about that photo, including camera details, date, file size, and location data. These details are EXIF data, but popular social media apps strip photos of this information when you upload.
However, that data remains intact for posts made to blogs, websites, or other online locations. You can find this information quickly on a Mac or Windows computer, but it is impossible to recover it if the photo owner removed the EXIF data.
If you have a Mac, follow these instructions to examine EXIF data:
- Right-click the photo and select “Save Image As.”
- The photo may try to save to your downloads folder automatically. Select the folder you want to save to and name the picture. Click “Save.”
- Go to the photo on your computer.
- Right-click the image and select “Get Info.”
- Scroll down until you find the “More Info” section. Click the arrow to extend the information.
- Find latitude and longitude at the end of the section. Copy the coordinates.
- Paste these coordinates into an internet search and click “Search.”
The exact location of the coordinates will pop right up.
To find the photo information on Windows, follow these steps:
- Right-click the photo and select “Save Image As.” The photo may try to save to your downloads folder automatically. Select the folder you want to save to and name the picture.
- Click “Save.”
- Go to the photo on your computer.
- Right-click the image and select “Properties.”
- Go to the “Details” tab.
- You can find the latitude and longitude in the GPS sections. Copy both coordinates.
- Paste the coordinates in an internet search and click “Search.” The exact location will be the first result.
Remember that you can only see these coordinates if the image wasn’t previously stripped of the EXIF data.
How to Find Out Where a Picture Was Taken on Instagram
Finding the location of a picture on Instagram can be hit and miss. The poster can tag Instagram photos with a place, but this is optional and self-reported. The location field doesn’t need to be filled in with the proper name. For example, users can tag their site as “My Hometown or “My Fave Place!”
Many Instagrammers prefer to tag the location with a hashtag rather than utilize the location field. This helps with the Instagram algorithm and creates more engagement than the location field.
If a user chooses to share the location of a photo, it will be visible at the top of the post. You can click on the site, and other Instagram photos tagged at the same place will appear.
Remember that there is no way to find where a picture was taken unless the poster discloses that information. It’s a safety feature that Instagram introduced, so users’ movements couldn’t be tracked against their will. When you post on Instagram, the app strips the photo of any identifying GPS metadata. Therefore, anyone who downloads the image from a person’s profile cannot find the location it was taken in.
How to Find Out Where a Picture Was Taken on Facebook
Like Instagram, Facebook allows users to add or remove a location to a photo. This “geotag” is the only way for you to find the site where the photo was taken. Also, the geotag is self-reported, which can lead to inaccuracies. For instance, users can use the location where the image was uploaded rather than where it was taken.
To see the location of a Facebook post photo:
- Go to the Facebook profile of the person who posted the photo.
- Navigate to “Photos” in their timeline.
- Select the image you wish to see and click “View Details.”
- Find “Location Information” and click on it.
- Any location data available will appear.
As mentioned before, this location data will either be where the photo was taken or uploaded. If it’s blank, the user chose not to provide any data when they posted.
How to Find Out Where a Picture Was Taken on Google Earth
If you have a photo from Google Earth, there is no direct way to find where that photo was taken. EXIF data is usually removed, so you can’t simply download the picture to your computer and find the information. You also can’t search for an image within Google Earth itself.
The best way to find the location of a Google Earth photo is to use a reverse image search.
- Right-click the image you wish to search and select “Copy image address.”
- Visit Google Images and click the camera icon on the search bar.
- Paste the image address into the search bar then click “Search” button.
- Scroll through the images until you find a result.
- Click the result to view a potential location.
You may not find a result for your image depending on if the image was previously published to the internet outside of Google Earth or Google Maps. For example, if you’re looking for the location of a single building that may not be famous, you will likely get no results.
Searching With Your Photos
If you’ve ever seen a beautiful landscape photo and wanted to know its location, you are not alone. There are many ways to find the place where a photo was taken. Unfortunately, some methods are blocked to protect people’s privacy but don’t forget you can always reach out to where you found the picture and ask about the location.
Were you able to find out where a picture was taken? Which method did you use? Let us know in the comments below!