it could be out of the frame, no? like you being in your profile picture... vs being on your profile picture. I don't see you standing on top of your profile picture for context. My house is not on the map. True. My house is not in the map. Wrong. I am not on the photo. True. I am not in the photo. True. I am not a part of the photo. True. SO its a lot of context.
So anything to do with location is está? But no, that can't be, because I'm sure I had a couple examples yesterday that accepted Donde está eso/esto? OR Donde es eso/esto? I assumed the latter would refer to permanent structures or towns or something, since they didn't use está, but that would be location....now I'm really confused.