Survey123 Missing EXIF data when uploaded from iOS camera Roll

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12-11-2019 02:22 PM
EricPescatore
Occasional Contributor

Before I open a Case with ESRI technical support. I am curious if anyone else is having problem with Survey123 Build 3.7 (prob/maybe an issue on earlier versions) where a Photo Attached from the Camera Roll does not maintain the EXIF data when submitted through a Survey 123 (Mobile) on an iOS device?

Photos taken with the camera in Survey123 maintain their EXIF Data. Photos uploaded do not, unless they were captured in the Most Compatible Camera Format.

I've tested the image quite a few times using EXIF viewers on my phone. There is data there but when uploaded it gets stripped or removed. I haven't tried exporting from ArcPro/ArcMap using the attachment manager, this has mostly been though accessing it via Feature Service in AGOL. Then running it through a EXIF viewer software/website Jeffrey Friedl's Image Metadata Viewer that i've been using for years because i'm to lazy to install something on my computer. Perhaps I am missing something

You can view the feature service here (its all just test data), the most recent records are labeled as Missing Exif Data EXIF data 12/11/2019.

 

Device: iPhone 11 Pro Max (latest 13.2.3)

Survey123 Connect/Desktop: 3.7.60 builds (latest available)

Curious if anyone else could run a test or seen such a problem. Its possible that I might just be missing something in the attachment data. I had suspected it might have something to do with the zonkyness that comes with the HEIC to JPG conversions that occur automatically by iOS to ensure compatibility. Survey123 does not appear to honor the Camera Format setting. 

I just tested by capturing a photo with Most Compatible (which creates the older JPG format).  When uploaded to camera roll the EXIF is maintained. when uploaded using a photo in High Efficiency, the EXIF data is stripped. When a photo is taken with Survey123 Camera in HEIC mode. EXIF data is maintained. When attempting to take a photo with Most Compatible (Survey123 does not honor this setting and will always capture in HEIC format).  Take a look at the last record in the feature service.

http://cdmsmith.maps.arcgis.com/home/item.html?id=6da1f6452b74432780425521cd7bdbbc#data 

Curious if anyone else is seeing this. 

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Philip-Wilson
Esri Frequent Contributor

Hi Eric,

Yes, this is a known issue with photos originally taken in HEIC format on iOS devices. When the image added to the app via the browse gallery option, the image is converted to JPEG and the EXIF information is lost. Additional workflows in the app are required to save the original EXIF values out of the HEIC image, and then re-write the values into the JPEG once converted, this does not happen automatically when doing image file format conversions.

Currently Survey123 only supports the upload of JPEG or PNG format to ensure all devices and applications that may use the image after it is uploaded can support the format.

As you mentioned above, I would encourage you to submit this issue as a bug via Esri Support. Our Support team will assign an official bug number for your records. This number can be used to search for and subscribe to the bug on the Esri Support site. If the issue is reported by other customers it will be attached to the same bug report, which helps us assess the impact of the issue and prioritize it accordingly.

Regards,

Phil.

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4 Replies
Philip-Wilson
Esri Frequent Contributor

Hi Eric,

Yes, this is a known issue with photos originally taken in HEIC format on iOS devices. When the image added to the app via the browse gallery option, the image is converted to JPEG and the EXIF information is lost. Additional workflows in the app are required to save the original EXIF values out of the HEIC image, and then re-write the values into the JPEG once converted, this does not happen automatically when doing image file format conversions.

Currently Survey123 only supports the upload of JPEG or PNG format to ensure all devices and applications that may use the image after it is uploaded can support the format.

As you mentioned above, I would encourage you to submit this issue as a bug via Esri Support. Our Support team will assign an official bug number for your records. This number can be used to search for and subscribe to the bug on the Esri Support site. If the issue is reported by other customers it will be attached to the same bug report, which helps us assess the impact of the issue and prioritize it accordingly.

Regards,

Phil.

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EricPescatore
Occasional Contributor

Thanks I will open a Bug report now to document it. I do remember hearing about this EXIF data a few years back, it just hasn't come up till now with me thumbing around camera settings.

PierreMarcombe
New Contributor

Hi Eric,
I'm just wondering what esri told you about this bug ? Will they indicate any time schedule for its fixing ?
I experience the same problem as yours and solving it would be a really nice step forward.


Thanks,

Pierre

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EricPescatore
Occasional Contributor

Alas nothing at the moment, in fact i just noticed i don't have it is a Bug/Enhancement request inside my organization MYESRI. So I guess I will need to put it on the war path.

Also be weary of using WATERMARKS using Survey123. They resample the image and downgrade their overall quality to be that similar to a thumbnail or the resolution of the image on the device its taken. Not the resolution of the photo. 

Watermarks create low quality attached imagery in Survey123 

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