Easily Remove GPS Location and Other Information from Photographs Using Exiftool

Most cell phones nowadays stamp each digital photograph with the GPS coordinates of where the photo was taken. If you upload this to Google Photos, google will happily pinpoint the location on Google Maps with a click or two (and some applications may show this information when you view the photo). In addition the photograph will have other metadata such as camera make and model, etc. If you are going to share the photo with others or post it publicly, many times you don’t want this information, particularly, your location information, posted to the web.

Exiftool offers an easy and straightforward method of stripping metadata and is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux.

Make sure you have a backup of all of your original photos with all metadata before you start and only strip information from a copy of the photo (although by default it also makes a backup of the photo, adding “_original” to the extension).

  1. View All Meta Data in Photo

  2. On command line (in windows use CMD):

    This produces output like this:

  3. Remove Only the Location Information from Photo

  4. Remove Location Plus (caution, will strip other useful information)

  5. Adding an extra flag makes sure other xmp information that may contain gps location is also stripped. Unfortunately, this will also remove other information you may want to keep:

  6. Remove All Metadata from Photo

  7. Type the following

    Same photo as above, but with ll exif metadata information stripped, leaving only file and technical information:

    For the full set of features and documentation see the Exiftool website.

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ShareX Screenshot Tool and Torn Edge Effect

ShareX is a great free and open source screen shot tool that rivals TechSmith’s Snagit. ShareX is packed with features but not very user friendly. I wanted to have screen captures automatically add a “torn edge” effect to a screen shot similar to what Snagit can do easily. It took me awhile to figure out how to achieve the effect, and then some more time to figure out how to automatically apply it after a capture.

Torn Edge Effect

  1. Right click on the tray icon, select “Task Settings”.
  2. On the Task Settings dialog, click “Effects” under “Image”. Check the “Show image effects window after capture”. This will allow you to turn off the effect for a particular image:

  3. Click the “Image effects conafiguration …” button. On the dialog that appears, click “Add”->”Filters”->”Torn Edge”. Set the Depth to 8, Range to 5, Sides to Bottom, Right, and Curved Edges to False:

  4. Click “Add” again, then “Filters”->”Shadow”. Set those settings to Opacity 0.2, Size 10, Darkness 2, Color 165, 154, 154 (grey), and offset 5.0:

  5. If you’d like, experiment with the settings until you get the torn edge look you want.
     

  6. Make sure the Torn Edge and Shadow Boxes are checked, type the name “Torn Edge with Shadow” in the name text box in the top right, and click “Export” to export the settings to backup. Close the dialogs.
  7. Right click on the ShareX tray icon again, click on “After Capture Tasks” and click “Add image effects/watermark” to enable.

Image captures should now automatically result in the torn edge effect. You can follow the above steps to set other effects using the Image Effects Configuration” dialog.

Below is a YouTube video showing the same steps:

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