Geo-tagging your photographs

Waynee-ack

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Feb 23, 2012
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I have been thinking that I would like to geo-tag my photographs from my trips. When I started looking at it I found that few DSLR cameras have a build in GPS receiver. Nikon offers one but the online reviews are crappy at best and expensive. There are also several aftermarket options out there.

I have tried using my Garmin GPS and marking the location of each photograph as a waypoint. I found this to be time consuming and cumbersome.

Have any of you found a good way to geo-tag your photographs with or without dedicated hardware?
Is it worth taking the time to geo-tag?

Thanks for your help!
 

Aldaron

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You can keep a tracklog of your hike on your GPS, and then use software to match the tracklog with the date/time stamp of your pictures. Basically, it just looks at the spot you were at on a specific date and time on the tracklog, matches that to the date/time stamp of the photo, then writes the coordinates into the metadata of the photo. From there you can use the geotag to plot the photos onto a map.

Do you use a Mac or Windows? There are lots of free software options out there to do that. Try download.com and search for "geotag".

I think I've used PhotoGPSEditor on the Mac. I think Delorme's TopoUSA also does it, and I think Garmin's Basecamp also does it.
 

Aldaron

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As for, is it worth the time, I have mixed feelings about it. It's a cool gee-whiz thing to do. I've done it and plotted my pictures onto a map that I've then posted on my website. But, honestly, it got tedious and I started realizing that no one really cared, and it didn't mean much to anyone else, so I stopped doing it. Usually there are so many pictures from a trip that it just ends up being a mess of pictures on a map, anyway.

Here's an example of one I did several years ago with some old software:

http://www.edarnell.com/Logs/HadesPass/index.html

You can see the photo icons on the map.
 

Bob Palin

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I geo-tag almost all my pictures, I have an AMOD 3080 GPS tracker, http://www.amazon.com/dp/B002L8SE5M/?tag=backcountrypo-20 (mine's not rechargeable)

It's very light and produces tracks that can be changed into Google Earth KML files using GPSBabel (free). The software that comes with it is a bit clunky but works perfectly. It does tend to get a bit lost in the canyons around here but that's probably true of most GPS devices, my Garmin watch does a little better though. Works inside a vehicle.

I have almost 500 pictures on Google Earth now using this device.
 

Bill

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I don't consider my self gifted or anything but I've never had an issue retracing my steps on google earth/maps and tagging my photos off of memory. I'm 100% confident I can tag any photo within 10'.

I have about 300 photos on google earth.
 

Waynee-ack

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I started looking into doing this because I'll look at pictures I took 3 months ago and think "now what lake was this again".

Thanks for the advice. I'm going to try a GPS track on Sat. and see how that goes. I may just need to look at my photos shortly after a trip and add information to the metadata.
 

Bob Palin

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I don't consider my self gifted or anything but I've never had an issue retracing my steps on google earth/maps and tagging my photos off of memory. I'm 100% confident I can tag any photo within 10'.

I have about 300 photos on google earth.
Wow, I often can't do that when I get back from walking the dog, so many places look the same. My current project is mapping the Sand Creek Drainage just out of Torrey, I often take 70-100 pictures as I walk up a side creek. And on the tours I do of Cathedral Valley it's often hard to find the exact place I take a picture on GE.

The other thing about the device is that it makes it a total no brainer, open a few folders and let it do the work.
 

Aldaron

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My trip reports help me remember those things. That's part of the reason I stay on top of them.

Yeah, me too...I used to complain to my wife that we never went anywhere or did anything because I couldn't remember where we went or what we did! That's why I stay on top of my trip reports!
 

Waynee-ack

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Ok! So I tried myTracks and PhotoGPSeditor both for the Mac and was unable to make it work. I'll try again next time.:(
 

Waynee-ack

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What problems did you have?
In myTracks the GPS track shows up with no time stamp. When I look at the track in Garmin Basecamp all the time stamps are there. It may be that I have the free trial version of myTracks. :(
With PhotoGPSeditor all of the photos are given the GPS coordinates of the first waypoint of the track. I check the time stamp in the GPS waypoint and the time stamps on the photos and they all seam to be ok but I can't get it to distribute the photos throughout the track.
I'm going to try some more, I'm not ready to give up.
 

phs_phl

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Aug 13, 2012
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More free software options for manually adding GeoTags:

You can add geotag info through your browser using tagpic, but it's a one photo at a time type thing, and you actually have to upload your photo to their server for the processing before being returned a geotagged version. Procedure described here: http://geophototracker.com/geoblog/?p=25

You can also use MS ProPhoto Tools (which is free, but only runs on PCs), procedure here: http://geophototracker.com/geoblog/?p=38

For a cross platform solution you can check out DigiKam (http://www.digikam.org/drupal/download?q=download/binary/) but it's really a linux application, there is a windows port that is buggy due to the Windows KDE port not being fully stabilized. I'm not sure about the OSX version, the long compile time sounds annoying, but the program itself should run as well as on any other *nix OS.

GPS timestamp to image timestamp correlators:

I like GPSCorrelate for doing auto geotagging based on track log to photo timestamp correlation, but, I mostly use linux (although there is a windows version too) so I'm sort of biased: http://freefoote.dview.net/linux_gpscorr.html

Good luck!
 

Nick

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Waynee-ack, if you're still considering picking up Aperture, it has a geo-tagging feature built-in. The type that takes your GPS track log ang connects it to your time stamps on photos. I've used it once or twice but like Aldaron said, it's not really worth the time for me. It is cool though.
 

Waynee-ack

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Feb 23, 2012
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Thanks to everyone for all tips and pointers.
Aperture, and I get paid this week.:rolleyes:
I also found a few options on the internet last night that I have not been able to try yet.
 

Aldaron

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I'll try to fiddle around with it some tonight and see if I can offer any suggestions.
 

jdgibney

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I had never thought about geo-tagging photos before, but this got me interested. I have had Lightroom 4 for a bit, and didn't realize that it has the ability to import a track (.gpx) and sync with the times of the photos and geo-tag. Tried it this morning, and it seemed to work well (with my last hike last week), though I'm not sure what I can do with them next. Is there a good/simple way to integrate the geo-tagged images into a trip report?
 

Nick

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I had never thought about geo-tagging photos before, but this got me interested. I have had Lightroom 4 for a bit, and didn't realize that it has the ability to import a track (.gpx) and sync with the times of the photos and geo-tag. Tried it this morning, and it seemed to work well (with my last hike last week), though I'm not sure what I can do with them next. Is there a good/simple way to integrate the geo-tagged images into a trip report?

You can overlay them onto a google map and then embed that map on your blog and here on backcountrypost. How do you do the Google Map photo track, Udink?
 

Waynee-ack

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Feb 23, 2012
Messages
128
I had never thought about geo-tagging photos before, but this got me interested. I have had Lightroom 4 for a bit, and didn't realize that it has the ability to import a track (.gpx) and sync with the times of the photos and geo-tag. Tried it this morning, and it seemed to work well (with my last hike last week), though I'm not sure what I can do with them next. Is there a good/simple way to integrate the geo-tagged images into a trip report?
I have lightroom 4, and I'll try this as soon as I get off work tonight.
 

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