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An interesting challenge.

Posted by Ferdinand 
January 22, 2012 09:11PM
We're just returned from a week spent vacationing in Cuba. While there I found an 8GB SD memory card containing over 1800 photos dating from September 2009 to September 2010, but no photos of Cuba. The exif data on the images identify the camera as a Nikon D40.

I would like to return the SD-card to its owner, but don't know how to contact her. I've done about as much research as I can, but now I'm stumped.

The SD-card was found in Cuba on 16/Jan/2012 dropped in a gravel parking lot. It couldn't have been there for very long otherwise it would surely have been crushed by cars. The parking lot is used by the "Jeep Safari" day trips organized out of the Varadero tourist hotel strip. This parking lot gives access to a beach with coral reef snorkelling. Here's a Google Map satellite view of the parking lot location where the memory card was found: http://g.co/maps/k9dpw

I'm convinced the camera belongs to the woman shown in this photo, taken at the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel, Louvre Museum, Paris.

01/Oct/2009.


There are hundreds of photos on the memory card, taken over many different days, of these children in a daycare centre. She probably works there and it's obvious from the quality of the photos that she cares a lot about these kids.

09/Mar/2010

29/Mar/2010


More photos show her vacationing in Club Marmara Hurghada, in Egypt.
27/Apr/2010

The structure in the background of that photo can be seen in the first few seconds of this YouTube video:






She was travelling with this girlfriend (sister?).
28/Apr/2010


I'm happily married, but couldn't help notice that she is very attractive.
27/Apr/2010


The Egypt trip included an excursion into the desert.
30/Apr/2010

30/Apr/2010


In July 2010 they had a large gathering over several days for about a hundred friends and family. Street signs etc identify the town as Montargis, France, about an hour's drive south of Paris. Here are two of her friends taking a turn posing in front of the floral display with the Hotel Ibis visible in the background. (see Google streetview: http://g.co/maps/cxr62)
04/Jul/2010


In this photo she is carrying a camera bag over her shoulder as the same group of friends and family arrives from the parking lot.
03/Jul/2010


Of the 1800+ photos on the SD-card, this is the only one that provides a concrete clue to possibly tracing her identity as the photo includes the licence plate numbers of two vehicles. The parking lot was filled to overflowing, with several more vehicles parked on the grass. Very likely these vehicles all belonged to people attending this same gathering. If the owners of these vehicle licence plates could be traced, surely they would know who the mystery lady is.
LicencePlates:
Peugeot AB 072 KX
Citroen 7375 ZW 45


Do any of you have any ideas how to track this person down?
January 22, 2012 09:39PM
Wow, you have put a lot of time in this already it appears. There is some face recognition stuff on face book but I do not know how to use it myself. Since there are only 6 degrees of separation without face book. I might be worth a shot to post a couple of the solo shots to see if the person has a face book account.

Bob in Everett
rkj
January 22, 2012 11:01PM
Wow, Ferdinand, what a dish! Finding her might be a tall order though, would probably drive me nuts but I'd have to give it my best to find her smiling smiley
January 23, 2012 10:10AM
Obviously, the best bet is the license plate number, but nowadays, anti-stalker laws protect the citizenry.

alan
January 23, 2012 10:33AM
Good luck, but I don't hold out much hope of ever finding the owner.

This is why I always:
1. write my name and phone # on all of my cards; and
2. transfer all my photos off the card as soon as I get home.

__________
Dave
'91 325iX
January 23, 2012 01:17PM
I assume you've already taken the first step of thoroughly examining the EXIF data on the files, as sometimes the user puts in their name/phone/website/email/etc in there. I know I do. There is hidden data that isn't necessarily visible to a normal "right-click -> Properties" type of examination. I have a complete EXIF data tool plugin on my copy of Lightroom at home, if you'd like to send me one of the jpegs, I could take a look at it, if you haven't done this already.

Cab
1990 325i(s)
2004 325XiT
January 23, 2012 01:27PM
Quote
Cab Treadway
I assume you've already taken the first step of thoroughly examining the EXIF data on the files, as sometimes the user puts in their name/phone/website/email/etc in there.
Yeah, I forgot to mention I put my name in the EXIF data too.
Quote

There is hidden data that isn't necessarily visible to a normal "right-click -> Properties" type of examination. I have a complete EXIF data tool plugin on my copy of Lightroom at home, if you'd like to send me one of the jpegs, I could take a look at it, if you haven't done this already.
The JPEGs with full EXIF data are included in Ferdinand's original post. I have an EXIF display plugin in Firefox that shows all the data, and I already checked -- there's no name or contact info there.

__________
Dave
'91 325iX
January 23, 2012 01:38PM
She's like a nice car with the wrong add-ons. Nice quest though. Those two license plates are French, any chance you could read the Dutch license plate on the VW Passat (black on yellow). That town you mentionned is only 4 hours from here, I'd be happy to bring the card ;-)
January 23, 2012 01:42PM
There should also be a number on the right corner of the Peugeot's license plate, in the blue field. Can you read that? It indicates the region the car (département) comes from.
January 23, 2012 02:44PM
Quote
Michiel 318iS
two license plates are French, any chance you could read the Dutch license plate on the VW Passat (black on yellow).
There should also be a number on the right corner of the Peugeot's license plate, in the blue field. Can you read that? It indicates the region the car (département) comes from.
The photos in my first post are linked to Photobucket which automatically rescaled the photo resolution down to only 1024x679.

The original photo is 2256x1496 and 505 KB in size. You can grab it here: http://www.iprimus.ca/~trauttf/temp/DSC_0090.JPG

Unfortunately it still isn't clear enough to make out the yellow Dutch licence plate, nor the Region code on the French plate.

This is frustrating... :wall:
January 23, 2012 03:15PM
I wonder why she never smiles in any of the pictures? Bad teeth?

winking smiley

alan
January 23, 2012 03:26PM
Quote
alanrw
I wonder why she never smiles in any of the pictures? Bad teeth?

winking smiley

alan

You realize now I'm going to have to look through all 1800+ photos again just to find one of her smiling. :rolleyes:
January 23, 2012 05:08PM
What EXIF viewer do you have? I just loaded one from Mozilla's site, and while it shows much of the data, there is more that is not shown, and also when loaded to Photobucket, some data may be stripped off. I checked on a photo on my site, and while I do not strip any EXIF when I upload to my site, the viewer I used does not display everything that I know is there on the original.

For instance, on Ferd's Photobucket site, I do not see a camera serial number in the EXIF posted, so I wonder if that was stripped when he loaded to Photobucket. The original file probably has more clues. I'm thinking maybe if we find the camera SN, then search other sites like Flickr, we may be able to find more photos from that site.

BTW, I have a couple of volunteers here at work who would be happy to travel to Europe to personally return the card...

Cab
1990 325i(s)
2004 325XiT
January 23, 2012 08:56PM
This expression is the thing that made the Mona Lisa so famous. The mystery of it all. The way she is posed in the pictures we have seen makes me think she has some modeling training.
When I wore a younger man's clothes, I was teasing a girl at a hotel pool and a guy I was with wanted to take her picture. She did not want him to but when he did, she turned her head just a bit and tilted it a little and the photo turned out to be really flattering for just a snapshot. It seemed like there had been some training there. We were so blown away by the result, we gave up on her as being out of our league.

Bob in Everett
January 23, 2012 10:02PM
Quote
alanrw
I wonder why she never smiles in any of the pictures? Bad teeth?
You are correct!

She never smiles because of crooked teeth. Her two front teeth overlap slightly.

Zoom in on this smile.



The crooked teeth don't bother me one bit.

She's still gorgeous.



Those eyes!


rkj
January 23, 2012 10:31PM
Quote
Ferdinand
Quote
alanrw
I wonder why she never smiles in any of the pictures? Bad teeth?
You are correct!

She never smiles because of crooked teeth. Her two front teeth overlap slightly.

Zoom in on this smile.



The crooked teeth don't bother me one bit.

She's still gorgeous.



Those eyes!


She is knockout smileys with beer
January 24, 2012 02:16PM
The Dutch plate appears to be an older French plate, dept 34 (last two digits in the plate), south of France. The Citroën comes from about 100 km south of Paris, Montargis region, so could also be a local's vehicle.
January 24, 2012 02:17PM
1800 pictures should contain a clue somewhere...
January 24, 2012 07:35PM
There are clues in every picture, Ferdinand has already found some of them and made some progress. I still think facebook could be helpful. It will have a much larger audience than our forum. The problem will be to weed out the riff raff.

Bob in Everett
January 24, 2012 08:49PM
How about this for similarity...


Sisters?
January 25, 2012 11:50AM
Quote
Michiel 318iS
The Dutch plate appears to be an older French plate, dept 34 (last two digits in the plate), south of France. The Citroën comes from about 100 km south of Paris, Montargis region, so could also be a local's vehicle.

The Citroën from Montargis could crack the mystery, if the owner could be traced. a message could then be sent asking if he/she saw that women that day.
Michiel is this possible in France, through the plate or the insurance?

The woman is beautiful indeed!
:thumbup:
January 25, 2012 02:22PM
Cab managed to extract the camera's serial number from the image EXIF data. Thanks Cab!

Armed with that new info I went through the Nikon website to contact their support people. Nikon Canada of course brushed off my inquiry, telling me that this is "not a Nikon Canada serial number" and therefore they have no registration info for this customer. Duh, I already knew that.

They suggested I try Nikon Europe or Nikon Hong Kong, because apparently Nikon Canada is unable (or unwilling) to communicate with its other international departments on my behalf.

Next I contacted Nikon France. They were much more helpful. Except I guess my French isn't up to snuff.

Despite the fact that I included the serial number right in the message subject header, and repeated it in the text of my inquiry, their initial response (in excellent English) was:

Quote
Unfortunately, Nikon does not posess the resources or power to find a person through Exif data or GPS information found on a memory card.

If you have the camera's serial number, we may be able to contact the customer (if the customer saved the item onto an account).


Encouraged by that response, I sent the camera's serial number (again). But sadly, this was the ultimate reply:

Quote
We have checked the serial number. This product has never been registered to any account. Sorry for any inconvenience.
Bummer.

I guess that was inevitable. I mean who actually ever takes the time to mail in the warranty card that comes packaged with new electronic equipment?
January 25, 2012 02:26PM
Officially not, for privacy reasons. I don't believe the police would help you bringing back a lost SD card.
January 25, 2012 06:05PM
I had another idea.

I used a file recovery program to "undelete" a lot more photos on the memory stick, hoping those might provide further clues.

But, it just more of the same stuff.
January 25, 2012 06:08PM
There is a BMW on the right edge of this photo.



One of the undeleted photos shows the BMW's licence plate as "3341 ZK 74".


January 25, 2012 06:10PM
Quote
alanrw
I wonder why she never smiles in any of the pictures? Bad teeth?

Aha! She does have teeth.


January 26, 2012 09:35AM
Quote
Bob in Everett
There are clues in every picture, Ferdinand has already found some of them and made some progress. I still think facebook could be helpful. It will have a much larger audience than our forum. The problem will be to weed out the riff raff.

You think Facebook has more traffic than BENN?!? I find that highly unlikely...

Cab
1990 325i(s)
2004 325XiT
January 26, 2012 08:01PM
This is the most popular thread I have seen on this forum in the 7 years I have been here. LOL. The owner of the photos must be an interesting person. Not likely to be ordinary by any means.

Bob in Everett
January 26, 2012 10:22PM
Quote
Bob in Everett
This is the most popular thread I have seen on this forum in the 7 years I have been here. LOL. The owner of the photos must be an interesting person. Not likely to be ordinary by any means.
Nah, not even close. It's probably in the top1/4, but by far the busiest thread in terms of both number of posts and number of reads has been this one.

__________
Dave
'91 325iX
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