Android app no longer stores camera direction

Are other people having the same problem?

In the Android app, from the capture screen, it is possible to set the direction. It’s the white-on-gray arrow pointing up, to the left of the autocapture toggle. When tapping that arrow, you can choose the direction your camera is pointing while moving (forwards, backwards, left, right, or diagonally). As I’m normally a passenger (either on a bus or in a car) while capturing, most of my captures are either to the left or right.

However, recently the app started ignoring this information. The arrow is still as selected on the capture screen, but afterwards on the upload screen, everything is pointing forwards. Also after uploading, all published images are pointing forwards.

And you know what, Mapillary? By removing our access to our own photos on our own phone, and removing the possibility to edit uploaded photos, there is no way to correct this. The result is that people who actually want to continue to contribute, are uploading photos with faulty direction info, and no way to correct this, thus lowering the value of the system even for non-contributors.

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Setting the direction on android, doesn’t work a long time (I checked it, it started with version 3.177 )… And you can report it, and they ignore it anyway …

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@eneerhut Is this issue known at Mapillary?

Thanks for reporting @pbb @czecko. This definitely requires investigation and we will look into it. I am not sure if this is an issue with the way the app is saving the selected compass angle or the value that is selected at upload.

We’ll look into it and work on a fix.

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And we definitely hear frustrations regarding image access on device. This was a necessary decision for security and privacy reasons when we made some app changes, but we’re looking into this to see if those issues can be addressed and we can provide access again.

We hear the concerns and definitely want to do all that we can do address them.


Hi @eneerhut, I’m sorry for hijacking my own post, but could you please elaborate on “security and privacy reasons”?

This a blanket statement which really doesn’t say anything at all. The label seems to be chosen just to get out of criticism, because obviously everybody agrees to security and privacy, and it doesn’t feel respectful to your users who actually are concerned with security and privacy.

Any other camera app stores it’s photos on accessible memory. If there was any security of privacy issues with that, many organisations would have been up in amrs to protest, the news would have been filled with complaints about the security and privacy issues of all the camera apps, and yet they aren’t.

This is of course assuming the Mapillary app doesn’t store more information than your average camera app, but maybe it does? If say, some magic is used to identify the persons that show up in my photos and this information is stored in the photo, then yes I would understand the reasoning, but not why to be so vague about it.

Is it maybe that some proprietary processing is done on the photos which you obviously don’t want the competition to find out about. In which case the security and privacy statement is actually in regards to Mapillary or another company, not it’s users or the people in the photos?

Now of course there could be someone in charge who is overly evasive to anything that could potentially become a media issue because that would cause (further) damage to their name. (“Facebook” springs to mind.) In this case it would be more honest and respectful to instead say “issues beyond our control”.

The privacy and security I was referring to above relates to other apps being able to access image data that contains GPS metadata and the image, often near the house of the person capturing the images. During an internal privacy review, this was flagged as a way for malicious actors to get access to sensitive data.

I understand the frustrations of removing access as it limits practical uses of the app. We are investigating this accordingly to see what balance may be found.


Thanks, that was a very clear explanation! Don’t be afraid for technical details, we are mostly quite technological advanced users, so we appreciate that. :blush:

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Understood. Found myself answering this in a few places so may have had more brevity than intended.

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For me it has been the case for many App versions that I can turn on the compass, but it makes a jump of plus 90 degrees after pressing the image release button. All pictures taken afterwards then point in the wrong direction.

Note that my report was not about the compass direction, but about offset relative to the direction of movement. (A setting which can be accessed through the capture screen, but is not available in the general application settings.)

You know what? As if the person did not want to take pictures of his area, he would not take pictures of it … So this argument is pointless. But if someone wants to remove their area from the photos now, somehow they can’t. And this is this concern for privacy?

Two months pass and nothing … If there were problems with the application, they are still there (it is a pity to mention others) … Nothing but privacy.
Stop collecting data and permanently deleting data already collected. And then there will be privacy …

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