Question: How do you merge GPS logger data into photographs?

warren is asking a question about evidence
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by warren | September 08, 2017 15:55 | #14861

If you take a LOT of photos over a few hours, and are running a GPS logger (see #gps) on your phone or just a stand-alone GPS, how do you copy the GPS data into your photos based on timestamp? So that the photos are geotagged?

I'm almost sure I've seen this documented on just can't find it!


ExifTool by Phil Harvey is the industry standard command line tool to extract or modify the information in the EXIF header of image files:

ExifTool is a platform-independent Perl library plus a command-line application for reading, writing and editing meta information in a wide variety of files. ExifTool supports many different metadata formats including EXIF, GPS, IPTC, XMP, JFIF, GeoTIFF, ICC Profile, Photoshop IRB, FlashPix, AFCP and ID3, as well as the maker notes of many digital cameras by Canon, Casio, DJI, FLIR, FujiFilm, GE, HP, JVC/Victor, Kodak, Leaf, Minolta/Konica-Minolta, Motorola, Nikon, Nintendo, Olympus/Epson, Panasonic/Leica, Pentax/Asahi, Phase One, Reconyx, Ricoh, Samsung, Sanyo, Sigma/Foveon and Sony.


GeoSetter is a good freeware Windows program which provides a nice GUI and uses ExifTool to do all things related to GPS data and photos. The last program update was August 18, 2017.

RoboGeo is a commercial Windows program ($80) which uses timestamps to add GPS data to the EXIF header of photo files. The last program update was 2012.

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Whatever program you use to geotag your photos, make sure your photos were taken with a camera which had the correct time and timezone set. Most programs can compensate if the time was set wrong, but the process is incredibly easier if you set the camera's clock accurately.

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Great point, Chris, thanks!

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For a Mac GUI, HoudahGeo also provides a pretty good interface for matching GPS logs to photos. Costs $39, last updated in August 2016.

Hi, Josh, thanks!

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You might take a look at jhead too, below, or at some of the other exif editors listed there.

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Geosetter is FOSS, the best for this windows user

Hey Scott - is this a useful resource and would it be helpful (re Harvey) to build it out more with more specific instructions or guidance? And/or, would it be helpful if we did a similar call for other types of resources?

I also want to get started on an image sorting workflow -- @bsugar has expressed interest as well.

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hey i emailed you and now emailed the list. it's not on the site but i use a canmore logger, it's rechargeable and light, good for kite work

it comes from free (NOS) software, and it's like $40, like better than AMOD that we used in 2011

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HaveCameraWillTravel lists some of the software already mentioned as well as Lightroom and others. I couldn't find the post on Public Lab with the info either.

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