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How to locate a photo

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How to locate a photo: All modern smartphones and the most advanced cameras use GPS to save the geographical coordinates of each shot taken (unless the user explicitly deactivates the function). This information is saved directly within the photos and can be easily recovered both from the computer and from portable devices.

With today’s guide, we will see therefore how to locate a photo on a Google map (or Apple Maps) using some free applications available for Windows, macOS, Android and iOS. These are extremely intuitive solutions that do not require any technical knowledge to be used, so don’t waste any more time and find out immediately how they work.

How do you say? Would you also like to discover the geographical origin of some shots that do not have GPS data incorporated? Well, it’s a fairly complex operation. The hopes of succeeding in such an undertaking are very few, but with a bit of luck and with the “magic” of advanced search engines such as Google Images you can do it. To find out more, read on.

How to locate a photo on Windows

If you want locate a photo on a map and you use a PC equipped with Windows, you can rely both on solutions internal to the operating system and on external applications.

If you use Windows 10, you can read the geographic information included in the photos using the Photos app included as “standard” in the operating system. The procedure you need to follow is very simple. After opening the image of your interest in the Photos app (if the Photos app does not start automatically when the image is opened, select the photo to be located with the right mouse button and choose the item Open with> Photos from the menu that opens), move the mouse cursor upwards, press the button (…) which appears at the top right and selects the item File info from the box that opens.

At this point, scroll down the menu that appears at the bottom and you will find the place where the photo taken on a map was taken. By double clicking on the map, you can also enlarge it and better visualize the location where the photo was taken.

How to locate a photo

If you use a version of Windows earlier than 10 or in any case you are not comfortable with the Photos app included in the Microsoft operating system, you can rely on XnView MP. If I have never heard of it, XnView MP is a free image viewer (for non-commercial purposes) that allows you to open all the main graphic file formats and includes a lot of interesting features, including viewing the GPS coordinates of the photos via a Google Maps map.

XnView MP is compatible with Windows, macOS and Linux and is also available in a portable version, which can be run on any PC without requiring installations. To download the standard version of the software for Windows, connected to its official website and click on one of the buttons located at the bottom left: Setup Win 32bit if you use a 32-bit operating system or Setup Win 64bit if you use a 64-bit one.

Download is complete open, double clicking on it, the file XnViewMP-win-xx.exe and, in the window that opens, click first on Yup and then on OK is Forward. Then accept the conditions of use of the software, placing the check mark next to the item I accept the terms of the license agreement, and complete the setup by clicking first on Forward four consecutive times and then up Install is end.

How to locate a photo

Now all you have to do is open the photo to be localized with XnView MP, click with the right mouse button anywhere on the latter and select the item property from the menu that appears. In the window that opens, select the tab GPS and you will see the location where the photo was taken on a Google Maps map.

How to locate a photo

If you don’t know how to open a photo with XnView MP, know that you have two ways at your disposal: if you want to open a single photo with the program without transforming the latter into the default image viewer on your PC, right click on the photo to be locate and select the item Open with> XnView MP from the menu that appears. If, on the other hand, you want to transform XnView MP into the default image viewer on your PC, right-click on an image belonging to the type of file you want to associate with XnView MP (e.g. JPG) and select the item Property from the menu that appears. In the window that opens, click on the button Open with, select XnView MP from the list of available programs and you’re done.

How to locate a photo on Mac

Do you use a Mac? You could also use XnView MP and locate the photos on a map as just seen together on Windows. However, I advise you to rely on Preview which is already included in macOS and does everything you need.

If you don’t believe it, try it now: open the image you want to locate geographically by double clicking on its icon, press the key combination cmd + i on the Mac keyboard (in order to bring up the window with the technical details of the image) and select the tab first (the) and then that GPS. That’s all!

How to locate a photo

If you intend to locate an image that is part of the library of Photo (the default app for organizing photos on Mac, iPhone and iPad), you can get the desired result by simply double clicking on the thumbnail of the photo and clicking on the button (the) located at the top right.

Also, I remind you that through the search bar placed at the top you can quickly find all the photos and videos taken in a specific location (e.g. by searching Milan you will be shown all the photos and videos taken in Milan). Comfortable, right?

How to locate a photo

How to locate a photo on Android

To know the geographical coordinates of a photo taken on an Android smartphone, you can use various applications. I recommend a couple: one should be included in most terminals equipped with the green robot operating system, another should always be downloaded separately from the Play Store. In both cases, however, we are talking about free and affordable solutions for everyone.

  • Google Photos which most likely is already installed on your phone and allows you to view the geographical information on a photo on a small map by simply selecting the image from the gallery, pressing the button (the) placed at the bottom and scrolling the screen that opens up and down.

How to locate a photo

  • Exif Toolkit which instead is produced by third parties and, as the name suggests, allows you to view all the EXIF ​​data of the photos in detail. Its operation is very simple, in fact, after installing it, just press on thephoto icon at the bottom right, select the folder with the images and choose the shot to be analyzed. The location where the photo was taken is shown both on the map and as an address.

How to locate a photo

How to locate a photo on iPhone / iPad

IPhone and iPad also offer different solutions for locating photos. First of all, I would like to point out that by opening the application Photo iOS, by selecting one click and taking one swipe from the bottom up a map is displayed with the precise location where the photo was taken.

Furthermore, pressing on the icon of the magnifying glass placed at the top you can search for all the photos and videos taken in a certain place (e.g. by searching Ischia you will be shown all the photos and videos taken in Ischia) and by going to the form Album of the Photos app and selecting the album titled Places you can view an interactive map with thumbnails of all the photos you have taken in the locations displayed on the latter.

How to locate a photo

If you are not comfortable with the Apple Photos app, know that there are convenient alternative apps available that allow you to accurately identify the location where a shot was taken. Among the easiest to use there is Photo Investigator which allows you to analyze in detail EXIF ​​data of the photos taken with the “melafonino” and locate them on an interactive map.

To use Photo Investigator, press on the icon photo at the bottom left, authorize its access to the iOS roll and select the image to be localized (you can only choose those with the world icon next to them). Finally, presses on the icon of globe And that’s it.

How to locate a photo

How to locate a photo without GPS data

You wish locate a photo which does not include data relating to the geographical location where it was taken? As mentioned at the beginning of the tutorial, this is an arduous, but not entirely impossible, undertaking.

Using the “brain” of Google Images, you may be able to identify the geographic location where a photo was taken by finding images similar to the latter. For example, if the photo you need to locate was taken in a place where there is a monument present in many other photos available online, Google will be able to recognize it and therefore tell you where the photo was taken.

How to locate a photo

To try to locate a photo via Google Images, connected to the main page of the service, click on the icon of the camera present in the center of the screen and select the tab Search for an image from the box that opens.

Then click on the button Choose file / Browse, select the photo to locate and wait for it to be uploaded online. If the photo is similar to other images present online and Google can identify the content, it could tell you the location where it was taken. Good luck!