Phone Camera Exif Data

Photos taken on an iPhone or Android have extra metadata called EXIF data. This includes information like the date when the photo was taken and the camera lens model. Because smart phones have GPS, the photos normally also have latitude and longitude information associated with it.

MASA relies on this information to automatically add the photos users upload to the street art map. Depending on your phone settings this functionality could be disabled, and your photos might not have GPS data. It can be confusing to figure out if the photos you’ve already taken have the data, or if your phone is set up to add GPS information to photos you take in the future.

Enable GPS Photos on iPhone and iOS

This page from Apple describes some of the built in functionality that will help you determine if a photo has GPS data. iOS has a great built in map functionality that will show all of your GPS enabled photos on an easy to browse map.

To figure out if an individual photo is geotagged with latitude and longitude, just swipe up while looking at the photo and if a map shows up then the photo has metadata. If there is no map, then you’re out of luck.

Settings > Privacy > Location Services > Camera

Enable geotagged GPS Photos on Android

Understand, find & edit your photos’ locations - Android - Google Photos Help

Control whether your camera adds location information

On your Android device, open the Camera app’s settings.

Turn the location setting on or off.

Additional notes

It’s important to remember you can always remove EXIF and GPS data from photos, but you cannot add GPS information to old photos.

Also note that if your phone is in airplane mode, or if you turn off GPS, this will likely override your camera settings, and your photo will not be geotagged.

  • Get an invite to the MASA app

    We'll send you an access code via email. Learn more about the app.