Travel Tip: Take Photos of Places of Interest with Your Mobile Phone

As much as I enjoy taking photos of things when I travel, there is another important reason why I take pictures. The reason is, so I am able to know how to get to that place in the future if I want to or give others the location of a certain place so they can enjoy what I enjoyed.

Let me explain what I mean. When I take a picture with my mobile phone and as long as the GPS is active, the image is saved with the geolocation data.

This data is saved in the EXIF of the image (metadata) and can be accessed in different apps. For example, my most used photo app is Google Photos. In Google Photos you have an ‘Info’ button when viewing an image. You tap on it, and it shows you some info and the location where the photo was taken. You then tap the map and it opens the location in Google Maps.

Here are three screens on the mobile phone. Look from left to right.

GPS info in Google Photos
Tap Info, Tap the Map, Choose Directions.

Let’s say that I saw that beautiful sunset image from Nara and I want to know how to get there again or to show someone where it is. I can do that easily by tapping the ‘Info’ button, tap the map and then share the location, save it or choose ‘Directions’ to know how to get there.

This can be an image of a tasty meal that you’ve eaten in a restaurant, a Japanese garden that you can’t remember its name, a book store, anything. This is how I found out where I ate that delicious hamburger in Tokyo. I couldn’t remember where it was, but looking at the photos I could easily locate it.

This is not all though. One of the big advantages of using Google Photos like this is that you don’t need to manually find a specific photo. Google scans your images and uses AI for searching for photos in your collection based on keywords you supply.

For example, I won’t search in all of my tens of thousands of photos just to see where that hamburger photo is. I can just write ‘Hamburger’ or ‘Hamburger in Tokyo’ and Google might be able to locate it. I can also find images by writing a specific location if I remember the location. It can be the name of the city or street for example.

Even for my blog, I search for things by area. For example, I remember being in a gaming shop near Namba, instead of browsing through all the photos, I can just wite ‘Namba 2019’ and let Google bring up those photos from Namba, and those pictures were taken in 2019.

The smarter the search algorithm becomes, the easier it is to find photos like that and Google, of course, puts a lot of effort in making their image recognition algorithm smarter for indexing images in its image search engine.

I hope you find this travel tip useful and don’t be shy about taking a lot of pictures.

IMPORTANT! The important thing is to make sure you have a GPS on your phone, most smartphones do and make sure it’s active and it’s active for the specific app you are using to take the photos.

Thanks for reading.

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