Alley in Pisa, Italy

by Lars Kotthoff

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I have hundreds of thousands of images in a set of about 50 folders, each of the folders has a varying number of subfolders. I'd like to extract certain pieces of metadata (latitude/longitude, data/time, camera model and serial number, maybe a few others) from all the images in those folders and their subfolders and export it in a table (CSV would be easiest), so that I can import the metadata into a database. I need to preserve at least 6 decimal places in the lat/long fields, the location data is important.

So I am looking for a piece of Windows software I can point at a folder and have it walk through that folder and all its subfolders, read the metadata, and export the metadata for each image on a line in a CSV file, like so:


I've found Camera Bits Photo Mechanic, which does what I need, but I was hoping there was a free/open source solution. Most of the tools I've found that do batch EXIF metadata exporting do so by exporting a separate text file for each input JPG, which is not what I'm after, I need one table per folder (and its subfolders).

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Dan, I noticed that you edited to include windows software. This solution does work with windows and is explained in the document. –  AndyML Jun 28 '12 at 21:20
I'm experimenting with it now, thanks. It just occurred to me that Macs are the dominant platform in photography and people were likely to recommend Mac-only solutions so I figured I'd clarify that I'm stuck on Windows. –  Dan C Jun 28 '12 at 21:24
I think you'll find out very quick that we are a diverse community on photo.SE. Many of us are full-time developers migrating from SO. –  AndyML Jun 28 '12 at 21:27
I have a similar need - to assess what lenses are my 'favorites' and what focal lengths are most commonly used for certain things. I began searching for a tool that would index 250,000 images and build a database of the meta data. Looking around, I found the same result as the previous answer: Has it been working well for you? –  dtphoto May 13 '13 at 20:27
Hi dtphoto: I ended up buying and using Photo Mechanic, so I can't comment on metadata extractor. Photo Mechanic works great, though. –  Dan C Jul 31 '13 at 19:43

1 Answer 1

The tool that comes to mind is an open source piece of software that works with a good variety of file formats:

It is a bit technical, but has a lot of customization that should meet your needs. This solution is for Windows and Linux only.

Also, if you have a copy of Adobe Photoshop, then you'll have Adobe Bridge which contains a metadata extractor.

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protected by John Cavan May 13 '13 at 21:17

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