Monday, 10 May 2021

Windows spotlight image global location

The Windows spotlight images, formerly known as the Windows splash screen images, have always been hard to 'locate'. Despite multiple requests of Microsoft, by multiple frustrated users over time (1cashew, 11 May 2016; GLH&, 2 November 2015; Jass A, 27 August 2015; mesteele101, 3 April 2015; Odin, 10 December 2018), it is still difficult to find out (a) where in the world the images were taken, and (b) who took them, and (c) the image location on our devices. So a few dedicated individuals have done some of that work for us.

For the global location, we used to have the ability to click on the splash screen image that arrived at logon, the "Like what you see?" link which supposedly allowed us to find the location, and to request more of the same. Except clicking the link never worked. For example, the image of the Archway Islands from a cave on Wharariki Beach accompanying this post was taken near where I live in Tasman, at the top of the South Island in New Zealand, but clicking the link provided (a) no pop-up information, and (b) nothing else happened when it was clicked... it was a dead hyperlink.

However, there is a Wikipedia page dedicated to the Windows Spotlight images. It lists a number of images, divided into Microsoft regions (20 December 2020) which allows us to click through to information about each place. However, the Microsoft images listed are not linked within Wikipedia: instead the linked Wikipedia entries use creative commons images.

Further, there are a few image details listed in the answers for some of the Microsoft support posts, such as Jass A's post (27 August 2015). However, we have to do an awful lot of reading to get to info about a few of the images.

Luckily, finding out where images were taken is a lot easier, thanks to the creators of the Windows 10 Spotlight website (3 November 2016; 9 February 2021). Simply go to the site's home page (9 February 2021), and scroll through the images you find. Click on the image to go to the detail page, and we find the image title, and some coding information from Microsoft. Each week Windows 10 Spotlight tweets the most recent images (here).

However, trying to find out WHO took the image remains difficult. One possibility is to upload the image into Google image finder (instructions here) and see if we can find the owner that way. Other than that, this information appears to remain lost to us.

But at least we know where in the world :-)

Next comes to trick of finding the images on our devices, which will be the topic of a later post.



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