By Chris Guld, Geeks on Tour
In several articles here at RV Travel I have praised the ability of our phones to record location along with the photos we take. Here is another example of that, using a new feature of Google Photos called “Explore Map”.

Remember that great boondocking site you had near Quartzsite? Could you find it again? Did you take a photo of it? If so, then Google Photos can help you find it, and give you exact directions to drive there again. Here’s how I (and you can) do it:

  • Using your iPhone or Android device
  • Open Google Photos and tap the Search button at the bottom.
  • Tap “Explore Map” – Pinch and drag the map until I see the general area where the photo was taken.
  • Notice the “heat map” colors indicating where photos are. Tap the heat map bubble in the location I remember.
  • Now the actual photos are displaying in the bottom half of the screen. Scroll thru until I see the photo of our RV at this great desert parking spot. Tap on photo to bring it up full screen.
  • Swipe up and tap “Open in Maps” to go to Google Maps and navigate to the location of the photo.

Watch this video:


If you took a picture of it, Map View can help you find it, then get exact directions from Google Maps.

Learn more about Google Photos

If you liked this tip and you want to learn more about Google Photos, tune in to YouTube this Sunday, Aug. 30, when the author, Chris Guld, will be offering lots more tips.


Chris Guld is President and Teacher-in-Chief at GeeksOnTour.com. She and her husband, Jim, produce a free weekly YouTube show called What Does This Button Do?  They have been Fulltime RVers, popular seminar presenters at RV Rallies, and regular contributors to RVTravel.com, for many years.

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chris p hemstead
25 days ago

Location service on will put the GPS coordinates in the metadata.

Vicki B.
26 days ago

The free app What3words will save your location within a 3 meter square. The world has been mapped out in 3 meter squares with 3 words assigned to each square. Google maps recognizes the 3 word sequence as a location. Police in Great Britain and Canada are now using the app. You could take a picture of your spot, save in Google photos with the 3 words as a title. Wish I had done this on my last trip.

Will B.
27 days ago

As Glenn mentioned, having location services on while taking the photo is required for such a feature, generally. However, many may not know that the reason Google can tell you the “where” of a photo is because it’s embedded in the file on most modern camera phones, like an Android, iPhone, or similar. I have been a super-fan of a tiny, free program called “Irfanview”. I’ve been using it for years. It can view almost any image file, most video types and even has some super-basic editing tools (to draw arrows, boxes, etc.), batch processing for resizing, rotating, on and on.

The point, as I digress a bit there, is that Irfanview (and I’m sure several other image viewers) can show you the “EXIF” data associated with that photo. In that EXIF data is the GPS information, if available when the photo is taken.

Here is an example of GPS information being shown for my brisket plate at the wonderful Barrelhouse BBQ in downtown Lynchburg, TN. https://imgur.com/a/FgSQPtZ

Steven Sims
27 days ago

This is a GREAT tip! Thanks!

Glenn
27 days ago

I think that this only works if you had location setting on when you took the photo. I never have that on and don’t have an option for “explore map” on either of my devices when hitting search from Google Photos.