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Commons metadata truncated to the minute
Open, Needs TriagePublicBUG REPORT


Each Commons file Metadata says

This file contains additional information such as Exif metadata which may have been added by the digital camera, scanner, or software program used to create or digitize it. If the file has been modified from its original state, some details such as the timestamp may not fully reflect those of the original file. The timestamp is only as accurate as the clock in the camera, and it may be completely wrong.

That's great, except all the timestamps within the Metadata box have been truncated to the
, not even just seconds, but minutes.

Not even pressing "Show extended details" will reveal which of the 60 seconds they were. OK, keep the microseconds a secret. But at least give the seconds.

Upload a photo that contains an Exif header to see what I mean.

Other fields, e.g.,

Exposure time 1/120 sec (0.0083333333333333)

are given in excruciating detail, but not the seconds of the minute the person took the shot.

Here is for example what using Exiftool on an original file says:

Create Date : 2022:12:21 11:26:37.430239
Date/Time Original : 2022:12:21 11:26:37.430239
Modify Date : 2022:12:21 11:26:37.430239

proving that cameras do record not just minutes.

Event Timeline

Jidanni updated the task description. (Show Details)
Jidanni updated the task description. (Show Details)
Jidanni updated the task description. (Show Details)

Vital GPS times:

$ exiftool Eastern_part_of_Tanaga_Island_Alaska.jpg |grep GPS.*:21
GPS Time Stamp                  : 03:25:21
GPS Date Stamp                  : 2022:12:21
GPS Date/Time                   : 2022:12:21 03:25:21Z

A plane travels very far in one minute.
A cellphone GPS might not even update by then,
but the clock always updates once a second.
Hence the importance of showing those seconds:
The only hope left to extrapolate a more accurate position.

we see the subseconds,

DateTimeDigitized subseconds	480514
DateTimeOriginal subseconds	480514
DateTime subseconds	480514

the minutes

GPS time (atomic clock)	03:25
GPS date	21 December 2022

but not the seconds.

We need to use exiftool to find out the second we are talking about is

2022:12:21 11:25:38.480514

So isn't that terrible.
but no seconds.

This is a side effect of MediaWiki's datetime formatter not printing the seconds. It's a bit troublesome figuring out how this works exactly, it's a bit of a messy old part of MediaWiki that doesn't have enough testcases.

Yes, I hope they fix it one day. In I show how the seconds can be used to reconstruct the correct position of the aircraft. As you see the user must download the original file to get the info that should have at least been in the "Show extended details" section. With the info in hand the user can proceed to make the calculations.