What is EXIF – Exchangeable Image File Format is a standard defined for digital images captured by cameras or scanners. The EXIF contains detailed information regarding the camera model, camera settings and even the software details which might have been used to edit a particular picture. You can access this information via Windows Explorer or with a basic image editing software. You wouldnt believe, but for pictures taken from mobile phones, you can also extract information like location with exact geographic coordinates that will tell where the picture was taken.
There are free utilities available like ‘QuickFix‘ which will allow you to remove such personal information from pictures before making them public. An easier way to delete this information from multiple pictures is simply by selecting all of them in Windows Explorer, go to the details tab of the properties window and click on the “Remove Properties and Personal Information”.
Other day, I was listening to a chat show on my favorite FM channel and I heard them telling about an interesting website – stolencamerafinder.com. I was immediately interested since I had just lost my Sony digital camera during my Las Vegas trip. I browsed through the site and found it using the same EXIF file formats to decipher picture information to give you details of all the pictures that might have been taken from your camera after being lost. The interface is really simple, it prompts you to drag and drop any picture that was taken from your camera. Once it finds the camera details from the EXIF, it will browse through the various social networking sites and online photos to match the format. If it finds a match, it displays all those and you might even see the finder and where he is now. See below for a screenshot of how the website looks:
Of course, for my case, it failed since the tool doesnt support Sony cameras which I found later. Better luck with yours!!