Westminster fountain at sunset

by Jorge Córdoba

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In my workflow, I typically have a folder with photos taken on a certain date. I need to geotag them (embed GPS coordinates in metadata), the coordinates themselves come from a GPX file or need to be entered manually -- typically it is a combination of both.

I am currently doing this in command line with exiftool which works great however it is very tedious and time consuming to first separate the photos into groups that will be tagged with file1.gpx ... filen.gpx, [coords-1] ... [coords-m]. I do this by reviewing the photos by content, putting them into subfolders, and then running exiftool on a subfolder with a specific gpx or coordinates set.

Is there a GUI tool that would allow me to quickly see the list of photos in a folder (can be just file names, thumbnails beside them would be a plus of course), select them in groups and assign a coordinates source to each group?

This can be either a dedicated geotagging tool (in which case I would expect it could e.g. automatically preselect photos covered by the GPX I provide :) ) or something that would just allow me to run exiftool with easily modifiable params against each of the groups I select.

Basically, it is the operation of presenting a list of photos and allowing me to easily select groups of them and running an easily customised operation against them that I am looking for.

I'd love the backend to be based on exiftool, as this is the only one that I trust to modify my proprietary RAW photos.

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Look into getting a GPS for your camera. I used to manually enter lat/lon for each photo back when I had a film camera. Now with a GPS add-on to my camera, the lat/lon get saved automatically. That is soooo much nicer, and more accurate. –  Olin Lathrop Jun 18 '13 at 13:14
    
Thanks for the suggestion but this won't work I am afraid -- I am using at least 3 different cams, getting GPS addons is not possible or feasible for them. The GPS coords I have are accurate, they come from a GPS logger (GPX) or are pre-verified by myself with Google Earth. –  rtomanek Jun 18 '13 at 13:34

2 Answers 2

up vote 2 down vote accepted

For Windows, GeoSetter (freeware) can do this. You can select a GPX file, then it will tag the photos based on this. You can also edit tags manually. It can show all of your photos on a map, and set image positions from the map.

It has options for saving data in the image files, or as separate sidecar files. It does use ExifTool for saving data.

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Thanks, I've settled for GeoSetter -- it does the job however at the same time it is quick to mess with EXIF/ IPTC/ XMP it wasn't supposed to touch. I needed to set up an extra ExifTool step in my workflow to clean up after GeoSetter. This is still OK as I was trying to minimize the amount of manual work involved (which GeoSetter did), an extra automated step is OK with me. –  rtomanek Jul 17 '13 at 9:37

Most DAM applications provide such feature. They usually let you place your photos on a map (see for example how Digikam does it). Unfortunately most of them record this kind of metadata inside their database or in sidecar files, but sometimes you can configure them to write such metadata directly on the original file (they work this way to preserve your originals as much as possible).

For example, you can configure Digikam to put your edited metadata in your photos, so after you manually place your photos on the map, you can see their coordinates using exiftool. I've no experience with Adobe Lightroom, so I can't tell, but I know for sure that Apple Aperture doesn't modify your originals (you need to "export" them to get geotagged files). I bet that other software have such feature, maybe not so advertised.

On Mac OS X I used a nice tool, called GeoNamesTagger that lets you search for a place name and then put your photos on a map, setting their geotags.

On any other system you can play with Geotag Java app from Sourceforge: its interface it's not so beautiful, but it works really fine everywhere, using Google Maps for locations.

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Anyway, if you have a smartphone, the easiest solution is always use an app to record a GPX track when you're out, and then correlating it with your shots, there are really a lot of apps that let you do it effortlessly. –  gerlos Jun 18 '13 at 23:05
    
Thanks! I use Lightroom for the rest of my workflow but I never trust it to write anything into the originals (or I'll risk getting stuck with Adobe). I have reviewed Geotag from SF that you suggested and nearly liked it however it was missing the ability to set up location favorites (or simply predefined locations) that can be used quickly. I've considered adding it to the app myself but then I got the GeoSetter suggestion and this is what I've settled with. –  rtomanek Jul 17 '13 at 9:39

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