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Removing Image Metadata with ExifTool

Posted 19 Feb 2011 | Comments Off on Removing Image Metadata with ExifTool | 79 views

Most digital cameras and cell phones embed metadata in the digital photos that they capture. Some embed the make and model of the camera. Others embed camera settings, GPS data, and other embed information that is unique to the specific camera. When posted online, this metadata can be used by other to verify the time and location of the photo and quite possibly the owner of the camera.

This data can be quickly removed with the open sourceĀ ExifTool. The cross platform tool can be used to add, remove, and edit the metadata that is embedded in a variety of file formats. With a quick one line command, all of the unnecessary can be stripped from common image formats.

exiftool -all= *.png

This command will copy every PNG file in the folder to a backup named with _appended to the filename, and then removes the metadata. For example, a file called landscape.png will get copied to landscape.png_original before being cleaned. Other metadata fields can also be added or edited in the images. Other fields can be added back in with defined values.

exiftool "-Comment=I took this picture on my last vacation." landscape.png

ExifTool can be used to manipulate individual files or whole directories of files using wildcards. Modifying the metadata does not impact the image quality, but it add a bit of privacy.

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