Is EXIF data automatically stripped from uploaded photos uploaded using the web interface?

My question is pretty much the title. Is EXIF data automatically stripped from uploaded photos uploaded on the web interface? Or will that data be kept with the photo? i.e. if someone else downloads the photo, will that person have access to the EXIF data that was originally included with the photo?

Many sites strip EXIF data as good practice to protect the privacy of uploaders. However since this site is using geolocation data for photos, I’m curious whether other data (that is, in my mind, non-relevant to iNaturalist) will also be kept or automatically discarded. I can’t find anything in the iNaturalist Help pages and the question doesn’t seem to be directly answered here in the forum.

There should be a clear answer to this in the Help pages, but I cannot find one.

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yes. it is stripped from the file (you can just download a photo to verify:, but the metadata will get loaded to the photo page (ex. GPS coordinates on that page will be hidden if the observation’s geoprivacy is set to obscured or private, and i believe folks who aren’t logged into the system won’t be able to see any metadata on that page.

i believe this forum also strips metadata from photos.


Thanks for the explanation! I’m very new to the site (and still wondering how I’d never stumbled across it before!) so I’m still exploring the features — and going a little cautiously.

Do you (or others) know if there is any particular or compelling use case for including camera model, photo settings, or related data in my uploads? Or are good resolution photos with that data scrubbed still equally useful?

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the most important thing is the photo. you can include gps data and custom tags just to speed up the process of creating observations, but it’s not required. personally, i tend to leave off gps data from sensitive photos, even though the system has the obscure/private geoprivacy thing, but i’m in the paranoid minority.

camera model is mostly just nice to know information. sometimes i’ll see a good photo and take a look just to see what kind of camera was used to take it or that sort of thing. but this is the only somewhat meaningful attempt to crunch that data that i’m aware of:

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Those data will be included automatically on the photo page.

Sorry, I do not know

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