Probe Metadata

Photo Gopher was created for a singular purpose: to guide me back to the location of a favorite photograph. It's a simple desire, but I never found a solution, thus the Gopher was born. The App lets you pick a picture from your Photos library, and then goes digging for metadata information about that picture, which it then displays. Assuming the picture contains GPS information, simply choose the Show Route action to begin your journey.


Picture Metadata

A non-exhaustive list of the metadata that Photo Gopher can show:

  • EXIF, Exchangeable Image File Format data.
  • TIFF, Tagged Image File Format data.
  • PNG, Portable Network Graphics data.
  • JFIF, JPEG File Interchange Format data.
  • Places, GPS coordinates, an annotated map, and if location services are enabled, turn-by-turn walking or driving directions back to that favorite location.
  • Apple specific metadata:
    • EXIFAux, EXIF Auxiliary Faces data, the bounding box of detected face regions.
    • MakerApple, Apple MakerNote data.
  • General information such as creation date, orientation, resolution, etcetera.



The Photo Gopher window consists of three tabs: Photos, Favorites and Settings. The primary tab is Photos, where you select pictures for inspection. The pictures are chosen from your Photos library, although for macOS only you may also open image files outside the library using the File / Gopher... menu item.

Once a picture is chosen a Gopher view appears that shows an image thumbnail, detailed metadata, and a map centered on the location where the picture was taken, assuming the picture has a geotag with GPS coordinates. These location coordinates (latitude,longitude) are automatically copied to the pasteboard, which you can paste into Maps. You may also manually copy any other asset metadata ferreted-out by the Gopher (long-press for iOS, control-click for macOS).

From a Gopher view various actions relating to the picture are available, described in the next section Gopher Actions. One action is Make Favorite; favorite pictures can be quickly recalled from the Favorites tab. Selecting a favorite opens a new Gopher view.

Finally, the Settings tab contains preference settings and this help information.

Gopher Actions

After selecting a picture a Gopher view appears; touch the Action button and the Gopher shows the allowable actions, from the following list:

  • Make Favorite - add the picture to the Favorites tab. The maximum number of favorites is selectable in Settings, and if adding a favorite exceeds that maximal count then the first favorite is deleted.
  • Show Route - if the picture's metadata contains GPS information then invoke Maps to display travel directions, using that location as the destination and the current location as the starting point. You may select the route type and map type in Settings.
  • Mail - invokes Mail with the picture's metadata in two attachments: a textual representation of the data structure used by the Gopher, and an image of that structure tailored for human consumption.
  • Print - prints the picture's metadata in human readable form, formatted for 8.5" x 11" paper in landscape orientation.


The Picture That Started It All

I was on a bike ride, following an unkown route printed on a piece of paper when I came upon this picturesque scene. I promised myself I'd come back for a closer look, and, eventually, I did. Add this image to your Photo Library1, run Photo Gopher on it and follow the yellow brick road to where I snapped the picture!

1. [ For iOS long touch the image and select Add to Photos; for macOS drag the image and drop onto Photos. In either case, check the Recents folder for the imported picture. ]


What's New?

4.0 - 2020.03.13

  • Photo Gopher is now available for macOS Catalina.
  • Minimum iOS version is 11.
  • Support Dark mode.
  • Improve display of Apple MakerNote metadata.
  • Improve printing: output designed for 8.5x11" paper, landscape.
  • APIs: out with the old, in with the new.
  • Update for iOS 13.3.1 and macOS 10.15.3.

3.6 - 2019.03.23

  • Update for iOS 12.1.4.
  • Documentation now supports BigCatOs Appearances.

3.5 - 2018.09.14

  • Update for iOS 12.0.
  • Documentation updates.

3.4 - 2018.01.12

  • Update for iOS 11.2.2.
  • Use your iDevice's maximum screen resolution when capturing metadata results for Print or Mail actions.

3.3 - 2017.11.01

  • Update for iOS 11.1 and iPhone X.

3.2 - 2017.10.25

  • Update for iOS 11.0.3.
  • Full support for iPhone X.

3.1 - 2017.07.23

  • Documentation updates.
  • Update for iOS 10.3.3.
  • Bug fixes.

3.0 - 2016.12.14

  • Update for iOS 10.2.
  • The Sharing In App Purchase option is now free.
  • Photo Gopher now requires that your iDevice run an iOS version >= 8.



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