Multiple-languages Language Multiple-languages Culture: «How to locate the origin of a video or a photo»

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Origin photo video.jpg

You may have some interesting videos or photos, and you are eager to know their origins. It is possible sometimes. What you need to do is accumulating clues. With the ability of observation, relationships around the world, and sufficient knowledge, you can try to do it.

If you are very interested in it, you can visit Google Maps regularly to accumulate the experience.

Of course, I think Google may do this: you upload a photo, then it may tell you where it is taken, or gives you possible locations, with the help of satellite photos and street view photos.

People[edit | edit source]

Languages & accents[edit | edit source]

When you hear people talking, and you know what language they are using, then things are easy. You can get a more precise result if you even know what accents they have. If you don't know, you can seek help from the native people. However, of course, it's not available for photos.

Appearances[edit | edit source]

You can get clues from skin colours, facial features, styles of clothes, and even hairstyles. If you are not sure, seek help from native people.

Transportation[edit | edit source]

License plates[edit | edit source]

If you can see license plates, then it becomes very easy. Each country has its own kind of license plate, and the plates also indicate the city.

This requires accumulation of experience.

Position of the driver's seat[edit | edit source]

If the driver's seat is on the left, then it is clear that it is right-hand traffic in this country and vice versa. But you would be lucky if it is left-hand.

Models[edit | edit source]

If you know the fashions of car models in many countries, you can make a conclusion easier.

Buildings[edit | edit source]

Languages[edit | edit source]

If there are any writings on the buildings, they can be very useful.

Styles[edit | edit source]

You need to have enough knowledge about styles of buildings. But if it's in an undeveloped area or stereotyped cities, the features of buildings can be very common.

Solar Panels[edit | edit source]

These panels' angle and the space between two panels tell the rough latitude of the place.

Plants & animals[edit | edit source]

Notice the plants, which are revealing the climate of the area. Some plants are even exclusive. There can be animals, too, but they are not providing so much information as plants.

It depends on the accumulation of experience.

Geographic features[edit | edit source]

See if it's mountainous, facing the water or what else. If the range is reduced, this may be decisive if it matches the satellite photo.

Astronomy[edit | edit source]

This is crucial if it is at night.

Other details[edit | edit source]

If you still haven't found any valuable information, don't give up so soon. Observe closer. There are miscellaneous things: flags, monuments, traffic signs, brands, fire hydrants, trash bins, street lamps, manhole covers, signs of religions, ...

Maniac's habit[edit | edit source]

Hoard photos from around the world with position and date information. Then use digiKam to tag them, e.g. “cross walk”, “street tree”, “people”, “clothing”, “automobile”, “sedan car”, “city”, “metropolis”, “Japan”, “Tokyo”, “Shinjuku”, “2010”, “June”, “summer”. Inspect them from time to time, then you will be familiar with the world, visually. It would be better if you can find other such people and collaborate.

This is actually “big data” and “cloud computing”, finally unartificial intelligence.

Quizzes[edit | edit source]

Can you reach conclusions without the help of upper-left and lower-left corner?

You can see symbols of Buddhism, and the style of the buildings is in Southeast Asia. There are flags of Vietnam and Buddhism. You can see the Vietnamese name of the pagoda, so you can find it on the internet.

Image has been changed. Here you can only see it's a Buddhist temple. Incredibly harder than the old one. Nothing else?

From the diacritics on Latin letters: dot below and cixcumflex, or from the Chữ Nôm, even from the usage of both Han characters and Latin letters can you say it's definitely in Vietnam. It's a wedding scene.

You can see it's more likely to be in South Vietnam because it seems to be rich. You can try to find such a pagoda in Hanoi, but if you can't, try Ho Chi Minh City next.

You can see a flag of Libya, and a small island. Your next step is to look for any island along the Libyan coast with a satellite map.

You can see tuff, so a volcano must be there. It's also facing the sea. But, what are those 🗿 guys looking at? I can't see anything special on that hill.

You can see maps on the wall of the stand, and there is a map of part of Africa and a map of Namibia. And there is a river. If you don't know astronomy well, you can seek help from Stellarium or Celestia. Then you will know the directions. It is hard for beginners, so you can skip this and go to any attractions near rivers.[edit | edit source]

This is a textbook-level example.

I did it and have listed it in my soramimi list.

Well, this was a soccer game and Bahrain participated in it. Let's see what other clues I can get:

  1. The video was uploaded at Oct 17, 2009;
  2. The original Niconico video was deleted;
  3. The match was at evening or night;
  4. The final score is 2-2;
  5. The logo of the TV station is always there;
  6. At 0:49, it shows the time of the last goal: 93:41;
  7. At 0:05 ~ 1:19, it shows Arabic team names;
  8. At 1:19 ~ 1:20, it shows the referee;
  9. At 1:42 ~ 1:43, it shows the coach;
  10. At 1:46 ~ 1:55, it shows a big picture of the stadium.

My thought:

I am not a soccer fan, so I totally don't know these people.

I searched the title and found a new upload:, but no information about its origin was found. In this video the Arabic looks clearer. No earlier upload found.

The speaker sounds excited, so the TV station is likely to be in Bahrain. To make sure, I searched and found that Bahrain Sports Channel's logo.

The Arabic team names are heavily blurred and I am not familiar with Arabic, so it is not useful for me.

From the big picture I can see the capacity was almost fully utilised. But I'm bad at estimating its number.

I searched “Bahrain national football team” and found their match results in 2009:

I searched “2–2” (“–” is dash, not hyphen-minus) in the page. From the race I could be sure that the other team is not South Korea. I also clicked into the entries of the teams to see their kits to make sure of that. It was a surprise that the information of the other 2–2 in 2009 was detailed: stadium, attendance number and referee informations are available. They matched the informations I've got from the video. I switched the language of the entry to Arabic to see if the team names match the one appeared in the video. They matched.

I clicked “2010 FWCQ” and saw that the time was 22:15 UTC+3 and the last goal was “90+3'”. The titles in “References” also indicated that. These informations told me that I was definitely correct. That's it.


GrimPixel and Vincent

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