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miniil

How can I keep EXIF informations

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Hi,

All is said in the title?

How can I keep EXIF information when I upload a picture on geocaching.com.
Some cache page have picture with EXIF informations but I don't.  And those pictures are from geocaching.com, not from another site.

Another question is about the edit section of an uploaded image.  We can put some informations there (location if waypoint and description) but how the player can view it?

Thanks for your help.

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If I understand correctly, those uploaded by cachers with their logs are "scrubbed".  Those uploaded to the cache page by the CO are not.  Perhaps you would need to host your image on a different site...?

Someone know for sure?

Edited by J Grouchy

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Use the original uploaded image, not the shrinked version.

 

Shrinked version:

 

https://s3.amazonaws.com/gs-geo-images/ba84dc33-cb6c-4d2a-8d2b-893a863791ea_l.jpg

 

Original version:

 

https://s3.amazonaws.com/gs-geo-images/ba84dc33-cb6c-4d2a-8d2b-893a863791ea.jpg

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Thanks for your response but in fact I am creating a new cache and I want the picture have some EXIF informations.

 

So I edit those informations on my computer (windows > properties) and upload my image to geocaching.com

Then if I view the draft page and download my image again, all EXIF informations are lost.

 

(I don't know for those posted when logging the cache).

I tried the two links but it's the same.

 

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25 minutes ago, arisoft said:

Use the original uploaded image, not the shrinked version.

 

Shrinked version:

 

https://s3.amazonaws.com/gs-geo-images/ba84dc33-cb6c-4d2a-8d2b-893a863791ea_l.jpg

 

Original version:

 

https://s3.amazonaws.com/gs-geo-images/ba84dc33-cb6c-4d2a-8d2b-893a863791ea.jpg

 

There's no EXIF information. Miniil is right, it appears to me that Geocaching.com is removing it now during image upload process.

I noticed this recently .. for example:

This image I uploaded in July 2018, it has EXIF info: https://s3.amazonaws.com/gs-geo-images/887a1393-be71-4e2d-a472-057237a06985.jpg

This image I uploaded in October 2018, EXIF was removed in the process: https://s3.amazonaws.com/gs-geo-images/f193cad1-df29-42e9-a38e-d373957e7b32.jpg

 

Maybe I'm wrong, but that's what appears to be from my testing. Can anyone else test it?

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Yes Rikitan, you're right.
EXIF in the first one and nothing in the second.

Does it mean that geocaching.com now removed those informations? And is it permanent?  And what about old cache, EXIF will be removed or not?

Does it mean that it allowed it in the past?

Does-it mean there is another technique to upload images?

 

There is a lot of things that I don't understand about images on geocaching.com.  Another is that when creating a cache page and adding images there is a information about allowed format "File upload supports the following formats: jpg, gif, and png."  But I tried and we can upload other format : gif, bmp for example.  Why?

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I tried and can confirm that the original image is now modified after upload.To have exif data you must use your own or 3th party server.

 

This is good change because it happens to remove also coordinates from spoiler photos.

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Yes it's a good thing for that :)
But maybe not for the description.
But if it's now like that...

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Thank you for testing and confirmation. For me, it does not matter too much and it's rather good thing.

Those who want / need to share EXIF info (i.e for owned mystery cache), they can upload it to 3rd party server.

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5 hours ago, Rikitan said:

Those who want / need to share EXIF info (i.e for owned mystery cache), they can upload it to 3rd party server.

 

And we all know how successful that was with Photobucket recently. I thought COs were being encouraged to put their images on the GC site to avoid future problems like that, but if EXIF data is being stripped that's a problem for puzzles that rely on it.

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5 hours ago, miniil said:

Does it mean that geocaching.com now removed those informations? And is it permanent?  And what about old cache, EXIF will be removed or not?

Does it mean that it allowed it in the past?

 

It looks like caches that already uploaded photos with EXIF have not been retroactively scrubbed.  I just looked at a Mystery cache I "solved" almost 4 years ago and the image in the cache description still has the EXIF info (coords for final).  That image has the regular  https://s3.amazonaws.com/gs-geo-images/xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.jpg  location.  That is good that pre-existing caches have not been changed.

 

 

 

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I thought GS explicitly explained this change a long time ago. I'm not going to search for it, but from what I remember, yes, the EXIF info is stripped in the upload process, so older pictures were not affected.

 

I don't think this is a big deal since 99% of the people uploading a picture will have no idea there's EXIF info to strip and won't know about the dangers of uploading that info. The other 1% know the information can be dangerous and that it isn't very useful except in the rare case of a puzzle cache that depends on it. I'm not too worried about puzzle caches: stuff in EXIF info is both done rarely and done too often, so both argue against worrying about how easy it is.

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2 hours ago, dprovan said:

I thought GS explicitly explained this change a long time ago. I'm not going to search for it, but from what I remember, yes, the EXIF info is stripped in the upload process, so older pictures were not affected.

 

I don't think this is a big deal since 99% of the people uploading a picture will have no idea there's EXIF info to strip and won't know about the dangers of uploading that info. The other 1% know the information can be dangerous and that it isn't very useful except in the rare case of a puzzle cache that depends on it. I'm not too worried about puzzle caches: stuff in EXIF info is both done rarely and done too often, so both argue against worrying about how easy it is.

 

I'm not sure what you mean by "a long time ago", but I created a puzzle cache in February this year which has an EXIF hint in the image. It uploaded with the EXIF data intact then, but I just tried uploading the exact same image to another cache page and the EXIF data has been stripped. So this automatic stripping of data on cache page images that's happening now has been a fairly recent and, to the best of my recollection, unannounced change.

 

EXIF data is used quite a bit in puzzle caches around here, often as one element of a multi-faceted puzzle, and I don't just mean geolocation data. Often there are clues in other data fields like Author, Date Taken, Copyright, Camera Information, etc., that need to be worked into the puzzle solution.

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5 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

I'm not sure what you mean by "a long time ago", but I created a puzzle cache in February this year which has an EXIF hint in the image.

I guess I meant "not last week". It could have been this summer, although I admit I was thinking it was more like a year ago.

 

5 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

EXIF data is used quite a bit in puzzle caches around here, often as one element of a multi-faceted puzzle, and I don't just mean geolocation data. Often there are clues in other data fields like Author, Date Taken, Copyright, Camera Information, etc., that need to be worked into the puzzle solution.

OK. I guess people got bored with it around here since everyone knew to look for it. It's not unheard of here, but it still can't involve more than 0.1% of all pictures uploaded, can it?

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9 hours ago, dprovan said:

I thought GS explicitly explained this change a long time ago. I'm not going to search for it, but from what I remember, yes, the EXIF info is stripped in the upload process, so older pictures were not affected.

 

I only remember that a long time ago users of this geocaching site demanded this feature many times because players posted photos with coordinates to the final waypoint.

 

The previous change I remember was the forceful conversion of gif and png images to jpg images which disabled animation etc. That was explained to be necessary for security reasons as usual when the real explanation is something else.

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1 minute ago, arisoft said:

 

I only remember that a long time ago users of this geocaching site demanded this feature many times because players posted photos with coordinates to the final waypoint.

 

My simple mind suggests the obvious solution (and I think one that was actually in operation at one time) is to strip EXIF data from photos uploaded to logs but leave it untouched in photos uploaded to cache pages. That gets rid of the accidental giveaways in logs but keeps the door open for use by puzzle-setters.

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10 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

 

My simple mind suggests the obvious solution (and I think one that was actually in operation at one time) is to strip EXIF data from photos uploaded to logs but leave it untouched in photos uploaded to cache pages. That gets rid of the accidental giveaways in logs but keeps the door open for use by puzzle-setters.

 

Puzzle-setters and cache owners are not very high on the priority of new features because they are very tiny minority of all users. Possibility to hide information in EXIF is not essential for puzzle setters anyway.

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12 minutes ago, arisoft said:

 

Puzzle-setters and cache owners are not very high on the priority of new features because they are very tiny minority of all users. Possibility to hide information in EXIF is not essential for puzzle setters anyway.

 

Yet another little thing that's been removed from the game because only a tiny minority were deemed to be using it.

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4 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

Yet another little thing that's been removed from the game because only a tiny minority were deemed to be using it.

I'm not a big fan of the EXIF stripping, but I think you're being unfair. The claim is that EXIF information poses a significant privacy risk to people unaware of it, which is most people. Those people are being protected at the cost of making things a little harder for those people sophisticated enough to use the EXIF information. Feel free to disagree with the high priority they're giving protecting the privacy of the unwary, but it seems unreasonable to act as if they're throwing people under the bus for no good reason. This isn't like, say, challenge caches based on cache name that were thrown out simply because people were having fun wrong.

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I had a chance to poke around the forums, and I apologize for suggesting this change has ever been documented by GS. I've found in the forum that the website has flip-flopped many times on this, and we debate it at every flip, but I didn't find any official announcement or description of the behavior, only forum contributors speculating about why it was being done. The only reference to EXIF in the release notes forum is someone complaining about the EXIF being scrubbed after a release in 2011.

 

While I've always assumed the motivation was simply to keep people from posting all the information about the picture and the camera that modern cameras record because it's unimportant yet could be an inadvertent privacy leak, almost everyone speculating in the 2 or 3 threads I looked at thought the motive was purely to keep pictures posted to logs from spoiling puzzle solutions. I find it amusing to think that the main motive could to do something nice for puzzle COs, probably requested by puzzle COs, yet puzzle COs are the ones complaining about it. Here's a thread from a couple years ago specifically requesting the feature: EXIF data should be removed

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3 hours ago, dprovan said:

I've found in the forum that the website has flip-flopped many times on this

 

Maybe the most recent flip was a GDPR thing.

 

Maybe next all faces will be blurred out.

 

Edited by Viajero Perdido
Splling, linky
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On 11/21/2018 at 8:02 AM, miniil said:

Hi,

Another question is about the edit section of an uploaded image.  We can put some informations there (location if waypoint and description) but how the player can view it?

Thanks for your help.

You can be really creative in what you add to the description section of a photo you upload to the cache page. Anyone who views it on the gallery and actually clicks on the photo will see the description you included.  This may be a  way around your issue. Just a thought.

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4 hours ago, dprovan said:

While I've always assumed the motivation was simply to keep people from posting all the information about the picture and the camera that modern cameras record because it's unimportant yet could be an inadvertent privacy leak, almost everyone speculating in the 2 or 3 threads I looked at thought the motive was purely to keep pictures posted to logs from spoiling puzzle solutions. I find it amusing to think that the main motive could to do something nice for puzzle COs, probably requested by puzzle COs, yet puzzle COs are the ones complaining about it. Here's a thread from a couple years ago specifically requesting the feature: EXIF data should be removed

 

As I said, I don't have any problem with EXIF stripping from log photos, in fact I think it's a good idea, having had the FTF on one of my multis inadvertently post a photo with geolocation data taken near GZ resulting in someone else brute-forcing the checker over a period of a couple of weeks to finally crack it. But that's completely different to a CO uploading photos to a cache page. Only the CO can do that, and it's done through a different procedure to uploading log photos. Indeed, the very first sentence in the OP of that forum thread you linked to says "All EXIF data should be removed from all uploadet to the log photos." Has there been anyone at all calling for EXIF data to be removed from cache page images?

 

In my own puzzle cache that uses EXIF data, the hint it's concealing consists of a fictional business address full of double meanings, and putting it in the EXIF copyright field seemed the logical place for it, as it's somewhere you'd expect to see a business address. I still can't think of anywhere else that hint could go where it wouldn't either stand out like a sore thumb or be too obscure. There's even what I think is a neat hint to the hint in an html comment in the page source, so it all just fitted together really well. Sure this is just one cache in three million, a drop in the bucket, but there've been many puzzles I've done where some element of the puzzle involved information concealed in an image, be it EXIF data or some other form (it's not clear whether this latest change is just stripping EXIF data or if the rest of the image file is modified as well), so it was something that was being well used by a small segment of COs.

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6 hours ago, dprovan said:

I've found in the forum that the website has flip-flopped many times on this, and we debate it at every flip, but I didn't find any official announcement or description of the behavior, only forum contributors speculating about why it was being done. The only reference to EXIF in the release notes forum is someone complaining about the EXIF being scrubbed after a release in 2011.

Yes, the stripping of EXIF data for log photos has flip-flopped several times over the years, always with no notice. We're currently in a state of no-EXIF, but past history shows that we may not necessarily remain in that state.

 

As for cache page images, I believe EXIF data has consistently been retained for many, many years until this recent change.

 

I agree with barefootjeff that while it makes sense to strip the EXIF data from log photos due to puzzle spoiling (which I've taken advantage of on a couple of occasions, in a way), the same logic doesn't apply to cache page images.

 

...or has there been a recent increase in COs adding images to their puzzle descriptions that inadvertently spoil their own puzzles and the site is now protecting these COs from themselves? I certainly hope that isn't the reason...

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1 hour ago, barefootjeff said:

I still can't think of anywhere else that hint could go where it wouldn't either stand out like a sore thumb or be too obscure.

Not that my opinion is very important to the EXIF stripping question, but I find it's not neither but both: it stands out like a sore thumb to people that know to look for it, and it's too obscure for people that haven't been told about that trick yet. Yeah, it's fun once in a while, but when it starts to be done habitually, it feels a little like a way to keep newbies out of the club. But whatever. You're the CO. I'm not going to complain since I'm already in the club.

 

9 minutes ago, The A-Team said:

As for cache page images, I believe EXIF data has consistently been retained for many, many years until this recent change.

I admit I didn't do any serious studying, but I could have sworn that all three of the discussions I looked at included someone pointing out that they could do it just for log pictures, but instead they did it for everything. But who knows? As far as I can tell, they never said what they were doing, so it could have changed day by day as everyone was complaining about it.

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24 minutes ago, dprovan said:

Yeah, it's fun once in a while, but when it starts to be done habitually, it feels a little like a way to keep newbies out of the club.

Huh?  An EXIF puzzle was one of the first ones I solved when I was a newbie.  Does an EXIF puzzle exclude newbies any more than a View Page Source puzzle, or a white-on-white text puzzle?

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9 minutes ago, dprovan said:

Not that my opinion is very important to the EXIF stripping question, but I find it's not neither but both: it stands out like a sore thumb to people that know to look for it, and it's too obscure for people that haven't been told about that trick yet. Yeah, it's fun once in a while, but when it starts to be done habitually, it feels a little like a way to keep newbies out of the club. But whatever. You're the CO. I'm not going to complain since I'm already in the club.

 

Well it's a D4 puzzle with several steps involved in reaching the solution; the hint in the EXIF data is just a hint, it's neither the solution itself nor required to reach the solution. I wanted the solution to unfold in layers like peeling an onion, with the html source's hint-to-the-hint and the EXIF hint itself a part of that unpeeling process. I certainly didn't create the puzzle to keep newbies out; there are just as few newbies (i.e. none) who've done my straightforward traditional a few hundred metres further along the track, in fact to date everyone who's found the traditional (all three of them) has also found the puzzle. I wanted something that might be interesting and a bit challenging to work through step by step, and included the chain of hints to help those who mightn't have had enough experience with or knowledge of some of the puzzle elements to solve it directly. The EXIF copyright field in the puzzle image seemed the most appropriate place for a hint of that type (a fictional business address). But I guess such caches aren't in keeping with today's philosophy of easy P&Gs with a guaranteed smiley for all.

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I’m trawling this forum today because I was creating a puzzle and intended to make use of exif data. Seems it’s no longer an option. Lots of recent changes to the geocaching website and features. Nothing useful, some annoying. But when I contacted Groundspeak to suggest a useful feature the response suggested they were flat out making updates. Oh well. 

Edited by Ms Maddy

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5 hours ago, Ms Maddy said:

I’m trawling this forum today because I was creating a puzzle and intended to make use of exif data. Seems it’s no longer an option

 

It is still an option but you have to store the image somewhere else for example Dropbox etc.

This is actually not a big deal at all and there is a good reason to drop exif data from uploaded images.

Edited by arisoft
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9 hours ago, arisoft said:

This is actually not a big deal at all and there is a good reason to drop exif data from uploaded images.

 

There may be good reason to strip EXIF data from log images, but what's the good reason for doing so on uploaded cache page images?

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20 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

 

There may be good reason to strip EXIF data from log images, but what's the good reason for doing so on uploaded cache page images?

 

I speculate that the reason is twofold:

1) it's easier and hence cheaper to simply strip it everywhere, rather than to allow here, but not there

2) many of the spoiler logs with EXIF data were uploaded by cachers with no clue that they were doing it. I expect a high percentage of cache owners who uploaded cache page images would likewise be clueless

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2 hours ago, Isonzo Karst said:

 

I speculate that the reason is twofold:

1) it's easier and hence cheaper to simply strip it everywhere, rather than to allow here, but not there 

2) many of the spoiler logs with EXIF data were uploaded by cachers with no clue that they were doing it. I expect a high percentage of cache owners who uploaded cache page images would likewise be clueless

 

1) Unless I'm remembering wrong, I think at one time EXIF data was allowed on cache pages but stripped from logs. They're two separate user interfaces with no overlap, and there are heaps of other differences between cache pages and logs (html vs markdown, etc.) so I'm not really sure if making image handling the same is saving much in the great scheme of things.

 

2) I think it'd be difficult for EXIF data to spoil a traditional as the cache's coordinates are already visible, and how many multis or puzzles are there where the CO has included a photo taken at GZ on the cache page? There might be the odd one here and there, but is it enough of a problem for a blanket stripping of EXIF to prevent clueless COs from spoiling their own caches?

 

Sure, it's probably not a big deal but it just irks me that it's yet another little thing that's nibbling away at the variety of caching experience.

Edited by barefootjeff
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4 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

Sure, it's probably not a big deal but it just irks me that it's yet another little thing that's nibbling away at the variety of caching experience.

 

Everything you have done before can be done now, but you need different means. For me, removing support for animated GIFs was a bigger thing than removing EXIF data, but I have overcome both problems and finally there is no difference in the variety of caching experience.

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