Yesterday I went on a bit of a genealogical adventure (more on that in a later post). Unfortunately, I forgot to bring my camera along. It wasn't a total loss because I had the camera on my cell phone available though the quality of photos isn't as good.
Google+ account after being taken.
Upon my return I decided to check out how Google+ handled my photographs. Google+ allows me to share, tag, and do basic editing to my uploaded features.
When clicking on the photo details option I was surprised to discover an option called location. The location tab provided a zoomable map showing the exact location where the photo was taken.
When on a genealogical adventure this is pretty handy thing. I had gone to several cemeteries where I wasn't sure of there exact locations. Now I just have to click on the map to see where I was.
The thing that concerned me a bit was the thought of uploading photos to Google+ or any other site and having the locations available. I might not worry about the locations of cemeteries but there may be times that I don't want to share the location of a photo.
But that got me wondering, "Is the information really gone or just hidden?" Just to be sure I opened the public version of the photo in Adobe Bridge. I didn't see any location information listed in the meta file information. Then again, I didn't see any location options in the meta file information either. I'm not particularly savvy yet with Adobe Bridge so perhaps I just don't know where to find it.
Still I'm not convinced. Perhaps the gps information is still there and available to programmers who know how to get at this kind of detail. If you are more technical than I am please let me know if that is the case.
Overall, I am pleased that my phone provides me with location information for my photos and even more pleased that Google+ doesn't upload that information to share publicly. All the same, I'm still going to be very cautious about what photos I share publicly but this is a good start.
Dick Eastman has talked quite about about photography and privacy on Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter. Please let me know if you have more to share on this topic. Send me a link or leave me a comment.