Rating: Some applications want to ensure it is present not missing
Following up on your recent story ‘Danger of cameraphone photos’ location data exposed‘, ironically, I have been worrying about the exact opposite problem, writes Geoff Dennis, a mobile software specialist. I want to tell people how to ensure that location based information is present and exposed in their photos. The data held in picture files taken with cameraphones, for example is called EXIF data. It is normally only contained in photos saved in JPEG and TIFF formats. There has been a lot of chat on the Net about accidentally losing EXIF data, as it appears this can often happen when using photo editing software. Perhaps this is what happened to the alleged hacker – Higinio O. Ochoa III? Naturally there are ways to expose this EXIF data should you want to.For example, there are EXIF viewers available that you can point at a picture file and it will display the data for you.
Opanda IExif is a professional EXIF viewer which works with Windows Internet Explorer and Firefox.
It’s free and can be obtained from here. As a tool, Opanda will also remove EXIF data for you when you save a new file.
EXIF covers basic info about the picture – that is the date and time the picture was taken.
It also covers photographic data (camera, shutter speed etc) plus location data when GPS is enabled in the device taking the photo. [Such as an iPhone].
You can see EXIF most readily by posting a picture on Google’s Picasa web album.
Visit the site and hen select a single picture and the picture’s information plus location (where present) is given.
The full set of information is also visible by selecting ‘Full details page’ alongside the picture information in Picasa.
Significantly, the iPhone/iPod Touch’s ‘Location Settings’ enable you to disable the GPS on an app-by-app basis – including the camera software.
When location is set to ‘On’, the device will record the location (or at least an approximate location) in the EXIF headers of the saved JPEG (photo) file,
Any decent picture editing software can see it. There are a number of iPhone apps that can do this. EXIF Wizard is free, for instance.
Although, the EXIF headers can be removed (or changed) by most photo editing packages, if you’re worried it’s easier to leave the function disabled in the iPhone.