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one.man

EXIF data should be removed

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I just solved a puzzle GC3HQ7Z and took a picture of the log to prove that I was there. I used the web site to do the log, and I was horrified to see that I just posted the corrected coordinates in bold, coloured font. I was sure that this issue had been discussed before, and the conclusion was that there was never any good reason to keep the coordinates on uploaded photos, let alone display them boldly.

First of all, the discussion is because some people think EXIF should be scrubbed off when the picture is posted, but other people don't think is should be, and it currently isn't.

 

But when you say "bold, coloured font", that's doesn't sound like EXIF info, which is hidden in an obscure area you have to go look for to find. "Bold font" sounds more like your camera stamped the coordinates into the picture itself. Anyway, I don't see it in the log you pointed to, so I assume you figured out how to get rid of it. Feel free to post your solution.

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I just solved a puzzle GC3HQ7Z and took a picture of the log to prove that I was there. I used the web site to do the log, and I was horrified to see that I just posted the corrected coordinates in bold, coloured font.

It sounds like you're describing the "Add a coordinate to this log" function, but that function is completely separate from the EXIF location data in photos. Uploading a geotagged photo shouldn't add the other setting unless you're using some 3rd-party tool that happens to do just that.

 

I'm assuming you've already edited your log, because I don't see the coordinates anywhere and the image that's attached doesn't have any location data.

I usually use GSAK for my logs and pictures, but this time I just used the Geocaching.Com web site. Since I don't do this often, I checked the results. I had to remove the EXIF data on my hard drive and load the sanitized photo.

I browsed around other people's logs and saw others with the red & blue coordinates.

I just recently loaded the GCCOMMENTS script to my browser.???

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I just solved a puzzle GC3HQ7Z and took a picture of the log to prove that I was there. I used the web site to do the log, and I was horrified to see that I just posted the corrected coordinates in bold, coloured font.

It sounds like you're describing the "Add a coordinate to this log" function, but that function is completely separate from the EXIF location data in photos. Uploading a geotagged photo shouldn't add the other setting unless you're using some 3rd-party tool that happens to do just that.

 

I'm assuming you've already edited your log, because I don't see the coordinates anywhere and the image that's attached doesn't have any location data.

I usually use GSAK for my logs and pictures, but this time I just used the Geocaching.Com web site. Since I don't do this often, I checked the results. I had to remove the EXIF data on my hard drive and load the sanitized photo.

I browsed around other people's logs and saw others with the red & blue coordinates.

I just recently loaded the GCCOMMENTS script to my browser.???

Just loaded another picture to GC254XG as an example.

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Just loaded another picture to GC254XG as an example.

 

What you are describing sounds like the functionality provided by the Project-GC GreaseMonkey script enhancement for Geocaching.com. Turn off that script and you are likely to see the coordinates disappear.

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Just loaded another picture to GC254XG as an example.

 

What you are describing sounds like the functionality provided by the Project-GC GreaseMonkey script enhancement for Geocaching.com. Turn off that script and you are likely to see the coordinates disappear.

 

You are right. Thanks.

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I just solved a puzzle GC3HQ7Z and took a picture of the log to prove that I was there. I used the web site to do the log, and I was horrified to see that I just posted the corrected coordinates in bold, coloured font.

It sounds like you're describing the "Add a coordinate to this log" function, but that function is completely separate from the EXIF location data in photos. Uploading a geotagged photo shouldn't add the other setting unless you're using some 3rd-party tool that happens to do just that.

 

I'm assuming you've already edited your log, because I don't see the coordinates anywhere and the image that's attached doesn't have any location data.

I usually use GSAK for my logs and pictures, but this time I just used the Geocaching.Com web site. Since I don't do this often, I checked the results. I had to remove the EXIF data on my hard drive and load the sanitized photo.

I browsed around other people's logs and saw others with the red & blue coordinates.

I just recently loaded the GCCOMMENTS script to my browser.???

Just loaded another picture to GC254XG as an example.

Yes - that photo does have coordinates in the exif data. Since I don't run any Greasemonkey scripts, then I only see those coordinates if I view the properties of the photo file.

 

If you are taking photos with your smartphone, then your photo camera app should have a setting to turn off location tagging. There are some reasons, besides cache photos, to turn this setting off.

Edited by noncentric

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For long multi caches the number of cachers who is willing to share final coordinates is considerably smaller than for puzzle caches. The majority of those who happen to post photos with exif information for such caches do it without knowing that their photos contain coordinates. That makes a huge difference to puzzle caches and the situations you describe above.

Because of ^this I also would like to see Groundspeak to remove the EXIF data from log photos.

At least I expect as owner being informed about such upload *and* being able to silently remove the photo.

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Just loaded another picture to GC254XG as an example.

 

What you are describing sounds like the functionality provided by the Project-GC GreaseMonkey script enhancement for Geocaching.com. Turn off that script and you are likely to see the coordinates disappear.

 

You are right. Thanks.

 

Of course Moun10Bike's right ! But just because one can no longer see the information doesn't mean it is no longer there ! That script made me aware that several of my mystery caches had the corrected coordinates in images potsed in the logs. That is not acceptable ! Of course, the people who post those images may not be aware that they spoil the mysteries. That's exactly the reason why the exif data, at least the coordinates part of them, have to be removed from images posted in logs. Only images from the owner should be allowed to contain the coordinates (as an owner, I can spoil my own cache).

I can only recommend mystery cache owners to use that project-gc script to monitor their caches, as it is highly unexpectable that this issue will be resolved anytime soon...

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I can only recommend mystery cache owners to use that project-gc script to monitor their caches, as it is highly unexpectable that this issue will be resolved anytime soon...

 

Agreed. That info was always there, but it took 'work' to get the info out (especially non-techie people). That script is a double-edged sword - very helpful! But very annoying. It was just a matter of time I suppose (no idea when that feature was added to the script tho :P) I've installed it and will making use of it...

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The issue affects longer multi caches at least as much than puzzle caches and so it is not a question of puzzle design. It's extremely annoying if people can obtain the final of a say 500km hiking cache by looking at a photo which has been posted by someone who did not even do it intentionally.

 

I had this happen recently on one of my longer field puzzle multis. Someone used the unintentional EXIF data in one of the FTF's photos to then brute force the checker - it took them a couple of weeks and over a hundred attempts before they finally hit on the right coordinates and got the green light.

 

The irony is that they cheated themselves out of what I'd consider the fun part of the cache - a scenic train trip alongside some of the Central Coast's waterways with some cute little puzzles to easily solve at three of the stations - but still left themselves with the tough T4 climb up the ridge and bush-bash through thick scrub along the top to GZ.

 

When I mentioned it to the FTF, who's also a good friend, he said he had no idea his phone was doing that or how to go about stripping it off in future.

 

If people want to subvert multis and puzzles this way I guess it's their business and it's no skin off my nose - to each his own I guess - but I feel for the poor finder who posted the photo in question without realising what he was doing.

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I had this happen recently on one of my longer field puzzle multis. Someone used the unintentional EXIF data in one of the FTF's photos to then brute force the checker - it took them a couple of weeks and over a hundred attempts before they finally hit on the right coordinates and got the green light.

Out of curiosity: Why would I need to solve a checker when I already have roughly decent coordinates of the final?

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Out of curiosity: Why would I need to solve a checker when I already have roughly decent coordinates of the final?

I think it would really depend on accuracy of both the photo-achieved coordinates and the cache coordinates, how well the cache is hidden at gz, and the nature of gz. Lots of factors :) Going with uncertain coordinates is a bigger risk than going with confirmed valid coordinates. But hey, some people have a super-honed geosense :)

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I had this happen recently on one of my longer field puzzle multis. Someone used the unintentional EXIF data in one of the FTF's photos to then brute force the checker - it took them a couple of weeks and over a hundred attempts before they finally hit on the right coordinates and got the green light.

Out of curiosity: Why would I need to solve a checker when I already have roughly decent coordinates of the final?

The photo wasn't of the cache, it was of something interesting somewhere in the vicinity.

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