A Cool Hack in Siri – Search Photos by Where You Take Them

October 23, 2017

The photos you take on your mobile device are geotagged with their location using metadata stored within the image. This is great for viewing albums on the phone itself, but I love it for finding an elusive photo taken years ago, as long as I know where it was taken.

If you have an iPhone, try asking Siri to show you photos of places where you know you’ve taken a photo.

“Siri, show me photos taken in Boston.”

Your cloud storage services can also do this. If you have your photos backed up onto OneDrive or Google Drive, try using the search box to type a location.

In this example, I was in a store in New Haven, Connecticut. I saw a kitchen that I liked, so I took a photo of it. I don’t need to remember when I took the photo, just where.  I can now search for the phrase “New Haven” in OneDrive, and the photos will come up in the results:

I could also use the OneDrive app on my phone to search for New Haven, or I can ask Siri to show me all my photos taken in New Haven.

If you’re reading this and not feeling so hot about your phone capturing your photo’s whereabouts, it is possible to remove the information. Download the app Photo Investigator to be able to view and remove your phone’s metadata.

Going forward, you can also stop your iPhone from storing the geographic metadata in any other photos you take.

Open Settings, and tap Privacy.

Go into Location Services.

Tap Camera, and under “Allow location access”, tap Never.

Watch a detailed video of how to use Siri or search a cloud storage app to search for photos here:

Want to learn more productivity hacks like this? Check out our series, Monday Productivity Pointers, each Monday.