Online Exif (Image Data) Viewer

Since I'm getting more interested in photography and understanding cameras and techniques, I find myself wanting to know the details under which a photo was taken. Modern digital cameras encode a lot of such data — shutter speed, lens focal length, etc. — into the image file, generally called “Exif Data” (“Exif” stands for “exchangeable image file format”).

So, I wrote a little online Exif viewer to view whatever data might be encoded. Here's a screenshot using the viewer on a picture from a recent post:

screen capture of Jeffrey's Exif viewer in action

That's just the summary — you can see the full data using the tool itself.

The amount of data encoded in the image is quite variable. Many times there's just about nothing, as the data is stripped somewhere along the way. Here's a version of the previous picture with most data missing. It's missing because it's a smaller version that's meant for web display, and for such use the data just makes the file bigger and slower to download.

Geoencoded photos get links in the summary area to Google Maps and the like, and below that is an embedded Google Maps pane. With either, you can switch between Satellite and Map, and zoom, etc..

You can also check images on your local hard drive — images directly from a camera generally have the most information. Give it a try!

If you're using Firefox or Safari, you have the added benefit that you can install an Exif-viewer button on your button-bar toolbar. Once you've done that, later, when you're viewing a page with an image you want to check out, just click the button and you'll be whisked to a new tab showing the image's data. I find this really useful. It doesn't work in IE, though, sorry.

I use the viewer a lot on images I see in the Digital Photography Review Samples and Galleries forum. Lots of nice pictures in there. Many have their Exif data stripped, but many do not.

Finally, I should note that my viewer makes use of Phil Harvey's most excellent Image::ExifTool library. Thanks Phil!


The 30 most-recent comments (out of 158; see all), most recent last...

may i know what is button bar is? and where can be located in the firefox browser?

I think you can position it in various locations, but on my system it’s between the address bar and the tab headers. —Jeffrey

— comment by Louie on November 27th, 2013 at 8:35am JST (1 year, 7 months ago) comment permalink

Jeffrey,

I’ve really enjoyed and learned so much by using your viewer. I did create a button on my tool bar and was able to just click to get info on photos. Then, some time ago it stopped working. Do I need to change the link? Please don’t tell me the viewer is gone! I just found this site and am hoping you’ll respond!

m

Nothing has changed on my side with respect to this in years, so perhaps it’s just a hiccup with your system (try reinstalling the button?), or perhaps a new level of javascript security is blocking it with your browser? I could never get it to work with IE’s javascript, but it’s been fine with other browsers… —Jeffrey

— comment by Mallory on December 13th, 2013 at 1:42pm JST (1 year, 7 months ago) comment permalink

This is perhaps an excellent online application for checking number of shutter clicks. However, it doesn’t seem to be working perfectly for Canon DSLRs. I failed to get the shutter actuation info for my Canon EOS 50D.

May I know your views on this?

Thanks and regards.

I think that a lot of Canon SLRs don’t encode the number of shutter clicks anywhere. —Jeffrey

— comment by Quazi Ahmed Hussain on January 5th, 2014 at 1:03am JST (1 year, 6 months ago) comment permalink

Hi Jeffrey
Great tool –
I have a question to the Exif viewer. Recently I have noted a green or a red square centered in the displayed image for two different images.
I wonder, what is the logic behind these squares? – I haven’t been able to find any description.

It’s an attempt to mark the face(s) detected by the camera. I thought there was a description of it in the Basic section, but it’s been a while since I added that so maybe I’m mistaken. IIRC, it sometimes goofs up the location, depending on whether the image has been cropped, and on the details of the make/model/mode… there’s no standard for how this stuff is encoded, so I went to a big electronics store and took sample shots with dozens of cameras, and did the best I could. —Jeffrey

— comment by seh on January 15th, 2014 at 7:47pm JST (1 year, 6 months ago) comment permalink

Hello,
Just wondering if the photos that are checked with your viewer are retained in a database or on hard drive somewhere. If I check the exit data of a photo is anyone else able to see it?
Thanks

Not unless they already have the image or the link. The site backend caches the images for a short time in order to serve the data and to avoid reloading often-requested images, but otherwise they automatically get swept clean after a while. —Jeffrey

— comment by Mark on February 6th, 2014 at 3:39am JST (1 year, 5 months ago) comment permalink

Thank you for making this wonderfully useful tool available. I have a few thoughts about it. For those of us who live in backward countries, could you please provide an optional conversion to feet? Can you report the camera-to-subject distance? I presume this is available because you do calculate depth of field. And that leads me to my last comment. When consulting another dof calculator, http://www.tawbaware.com/maxlyons/calc.htm, I get a much different result. How do I reconcile the two?

I can’t really speak to what another tool might do with respect to the DOF calculation, especially because I can’t speak to how my tool does it :-) because it merely passes along what ExifTool computes behind the scenes. I can tel you, though, that the “camera-to-subject distance” data encoded in image files is notoriously inaccurate to the extent that camera companies went so far as to ask Adobe to stop displaying it in their image-handling software. I don’t know why they even bother trying to encode such inaccurate data in the first place. —Jeffrey

— comment by Bob Silverstein on February 9th, 2014 at 11:13pm JST (1 year, 5 months ago) comment permalink

hey Jeff

Been using your exif viewer to learn more about mobile photography and its been very helpful. Have a query about the postimg image hosting site. It seems that URL’s of smaller versions of images work in your exif viewer. eg

http://s22.postimg.org/pcoku9cw1/image.jpg

But then i try the full resolution version of this same image ie the one with the exif data then i get the error message x “is a web page, not an image”.

http://s22.postimg.org/3q9kd8ebj/image.jpg

If you click the above url you will find it does resolve to the correct image but your tool for some reason cannot download it and analyse the exif.

Could you help to explain why this happens ? and what workaround if any should be used. Presently, i have to download the image and then upload it to your site which is more tedious than just feeding in the URL of the full resolution image itself.

Thx

They’re probably looking at referrers or cookies or something else and deciding that the access is a hotlink, which they apparently don’t like, so they try to flip what they think is a human user to the html container for the image. There’s not much that can be done except he workaround you’ve been doing… —Jeffrey

— comment by Dan on February 14th, 2014 at 5:36pm JST (1 year, 5 months ago) comment permalink

Jeffrey, have you ever look at doing something similar to this for IOS Safari?

I’m not sure what you mean… you can view this web page in Safari on IOS. —Jeffrey

— comment by John on February 19th, 2014 at 12:23pm JST (1 year, 5 months ago) comment permalink

Hi, this might seem like a simple or stupid question but I’m somewhat a novice when it comes to computers! Trying to find out the shutter count on my d7000 before putting it up for sale and was pointed towards your site, but I can’t see anything that fits the subject. I am probably just missing the obvious but please bare with me if so. Thank you.
Andy
England

If a search on the results page for “accusations” or “shutter” doesn’t show anything, then the information is likely not there. Not all cameras record that info. —Jeffrey

— comment by Andy on February 21st, 2014 at 8:57pm JST (1 year, 4 months ago) comment permalink

is any data from the uploaded images stored on your end? Can you see all the photos that people upload for the EXIF information?

Data is saved temporarily, to serve the images in the response. A robot clears things out several times a day. —Jeffrey

— comment by Joseph on March 8th, 2014 at 2:06am JST (1 year, 4 months ago) comment permalink

You are the man, I have already bought a bunch of stuff from you but I just searched on the web to see if there was something out there to show GPS coordinates from images online, and there you are again ! I tested with some images on my own website that I know have EXIF info and it works like a charm. Thank you.

— comment by Celso Diniz on April 14th, 2014 at 10:51am JST (1 year, 3 months ago) comment permalink

Jeffrey,
I am no longer able to select NEFs for upload. They are greyed out in the finder window. Another person has reported the sames thing for CR2s. Since there is not OSX app that does the job like two GUI apps available on Windows, I have come to rely on this website for an EXIF viewer for the Mac.

Can you help?

It seems OSX no longer considers raw files to be of an image MIME type. Very strange. I’ve removed the “image” guidance from the web page, so it’ll let you try to upload anything now, though the tool still works only with images. —Jeffrey

— comment by Cletus Lee on April 26th, 2014 at 9:15pm JST (1 year, 2 months ago) comment permalink

How do you get the location map to come up when you view a picture ?

Eddie from Texas

If a latitude/longitude is encoded within the photo’s data, a map appears. If not, it doesn’t. —Jeffrey

— comment by Eddie on May 28th, 2014 at 12:27am JST (1 year, 1 month ago) comment permalink

This is similar to what I had to do for my school’s project. You uses Javascript for this site right?

No, it’s Perl on the back end. —Jeffrey

— comment by Rayyy on June 15th, 2014 at 10:43pm JST (1 year ago) comment permalink

how come some pics show a date and others don’t? I can only get a date if it gives me the option at the bottom to “click for full details” — but some pages don’t have that — am I missing something? I’ve tried for hours now to pull up a date for a few pics…

Some photos have no date-metadata encoded in them. The amount of metadata varies wildly depending on the file. Photos on my blog have tons of metadata; photos on Facebook have almost none, because Facebook explicitly strips it out. There are many gradients in between. —Jeffrey

— comment by Anonymous on June 16th, 2014 at 2:32am JST (1 year ago) comment permalink

Brilliant! I have been trying, with great difficulty, to find a way to extract geo-reference data from the exif but your gadget does it effortlessly. It doesn’t quite do what I need, which is to extract the geo-references into a database and associate them with a photo but this has given me the incentive to keep on trying to do that.

Follow the link at the bottom to the ExifTool page, and check out its command-line version. —Jeffrey

— comment by Jeremy Peter Watson on June 23rd, 2014 at 9:17pm JST (1 year ago) comment permalink

Further to my last above, I see you have a map of your photos. I want to do that using the geo-referenced map of my choice. What did you use? The GPS data comes from an Olympus TG2, which has its own map system but Olympus doesn’t tell us how to extract the data to use with a map that might actually be useful.

— comment by Jeremy Peter Watson on June 23rd, 2014 at 9:21pm JST (1 year ago) comment permalink

Hi Jeffery,
Thanks for the great online tool. I’m a VERY non-technical person who uses her GPS-enabled camera-phone (Samsung Galaxy S4) to take before and after photos of completed on-farm works for government funding. After taking the photos, I need to find an easy way of extracting just the latitude and longitude from the camera so I can export to a CSV and then import into the GIS software we use for work.
This is all very new to me, and I have downloaded a LOT of EXIF metadata viewers to try to export BULK data (all the gps data from every photo) to a single CSV file, but so far, nothing seems to be able to do it. So I use your page to extract one at a time.
Also, yours is the only one that seems to provide the simple decimal +/- lat/long for easy import into our software.
I was wondering if you could point me to a suitable software package, or if you might consider making a multi-file export script?! :)
Thanks so much for the great online resources!

The command-line too ExifTool can do it, with a command along the lines of exiftool -csv -c “%+.6f” -gpslatitude -gpslongitude *.jpg > data.csv —Jeffrey

— comment by Andrea S on June 30th, 2014 at 3:30pm JST (1 year ago) comment permalink

OMG!! You are a GENIOUS!! :)
Thank you so much!

— comment by Andrea S on July 1st, 2014 at 9:55am JST (1 year ago) comment permalink

HI Jeffery
I want to save Google Maps satellite view images from a specific latitude and longitude. I also want particular date when the image has been taken. What are the possible ways to know the date of the image taken by the satellite.
Please help

To the best of my knowledge, Google doesn’t export that information via Google Maps (and it’s certainly not included in the raw image metadata). However, the same image via Google Earth do show at the bottom the imagery date. —Jeffrey

— comment by greyhats on July 12th, 2014 at 5:13am JST (11 months, 27 days ago) comment permalink

Hi Jeffrey, thank you so much for this, it’s amazing. One question, how do I get the location of the pictures taken ?

Thx

If the data’s there, it’s shown and pretty obvious. If you don’t see it, it’s not there. —Jeffrey

— comment by boogie on August 22nd, 2014 at 10:19pm JST (10 months, 17 days ago) comment permalink

Hi, i used the online exif viewer linked at the top of the page, didn’t seem to give much info, i uploaded from my laptop, is that for online photos only or something? is that why i’m not getting anything?
I’m trying to get geolocations from some photos and also read something about viewing the original image from cropped images? how do i do this? any help would be great

Thanks.

The viewer shows the data in the file; if it’s not showing much, there’s not much data in that copy of the file. Some image editors don’t update all the thumbnails when cropping an image, so you might see a small version of the uncropped version with these files. All thumbnails are shown, so if it’s there it’s there, if not it’s not. —Jeffrey

— comment by smile on September 10th, 2014 at 8:26am JST (9 months, 28 days ago) comment permalink

Thank you for making my life a little easier, excellent and simple to use, and the only one I need to simply see exactly where a picture was taken .

— comment by Kev Behr on October 21st, 2014 at 9:25pm JST (8 months, 18 days ago) comment permalink

Hi Jeffrey. Thank you so much for making this useful tool accesible for everyone ( we are writing from Spain ). We have just used it to get information about the date and place of the picture. Unfortunately it does not appear. But the rest of the information does. Can you please assist? Kind regards

If the date doesn’t appear, it’s not in the picture. Sorry. Perhaps the camera clock wasn’t set, or perhaps someone stripped it out along the way. —jeffrey

— comment by Cristina on December 15th, 2014 at 11:08pm JST (6 months, 24 days ago) comment permalink

Hi There,

Happy New Year !
I have a Nikon 3000 DSLR and the date setting was incorrect when I recently took some holiday pictures (about 100 or so). This has become annoying because when I try to index the pictures by date in the folder they are misplaced and out of order. Is there a way to change the date on the current pictures to work around this problem ? I’ve since set the date correct on the camera and I’ve tried to use the iPhoto tool to adjust the date/time – but that didn’t really make a change that stuck or was useful when sorting. Do you have any thoughts as to how I could fix this problem with the original 100 pictures that are misdated ? Thanks in advance.

The command-line version of exiftool lets you do this easily. —Jeffrey

— comment by Bob on January 1st, 2015 at 9:36pm JST (6 months, 7 days ago) comment permalink

can you post the command line args you use please, I am trying to replicate it in a for loop but it keeps just copying, thank

Do you mean with respect to the previous comment, about fixing dates? It depends on the details of what you want to change, but (for example), if you the camera was off by a day and you want the dates to be the next day, run something like “exiftool -AllDates+=24 *.jpg“. —Jeffrey

— comment by jimmy on February 8th, 2015 at 1:39am JST (5 months ago) comment permalink

Sorry I meant when your exif tool viewer extracts/composes images from Composite:ThumbnailImage, thanks for the quick reply

My viewer doesn’t use the command-line tool… it works with the library directly. For command-line examples, search for “thumbnail” on Phil’s docs. —Jeffrey

— comment by jimmy on February 9th, 2015 at 4:12am JST (4 months, 27 days ago) comment permalink

Hi Jeff

Would like to know how the “Light Value” in the composite data section is calculated.

Thanks

According to the Exiftool docs it’s “similar to exposure value but normalized to ISO 100“. The source code says (2*log(Aperture) - log(ShutterSpeed) - log(ISO/100)) / log(2)“. —Jeffrey

— comment by John on April 5th, 2015 at 8:22pm JST (3 months, 3 days ago) comment permalink

Hi!
If the original thumbnail is not showing when using your webprogram, is there a way to retrive it? I mean the maker notes preview image. I hope you understand me haha :)

The page shows everything I know how to extract; if you know there’s a thumbnail of some sort in there that I’m not showing, please mail the image to me along with details. Thansk. —Jeffrey

— comment by James on May 4th, 2015 at 7:21am JST (2 months, 4 days ago) comment permalink

Hi,
This is an amazing and helpful tool. I tried it for the first time today and it exceeded my expectations. The problem I have is that before I could record the metadata of an image I uploaded, I hit the wrong key (new OS X user here) and shut the page down.

The question is: Can I recover the image and or meta data, is it stored somewhere or does it get deleted.?

Thanks

It’s not stored on my server, but you can just check the image again to see the metadata again. —Jeffrey

— comment by Roy on June 5th, 2015 at 11:04am JST (1 month, 3 days ago) comment permalink
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