Geotagging Photos

A few months ago I was considering a upgrade from my trusty Lumix and was interested in SLRs/pro-compact camera with GPS, but strangely it’s a feature that is extremely uncommon, which I find really odd. I’ve been using the EyeFi SD card, but that ended up being fairly lame and useless for reasons I’ll write about another day….

My Android phone uses Location Services, so whenever I snap pics I’m (mostly) able to associate lng/lat. Location Services also tracks history (privacy nuts, relax) so theoretically I have a fairly decent time-stamped history of where.

I make sure my Lumix is set to the correct time and time. I take pics of maps, signs and anything else that can be used to help me figure out where I was when I took a series of pics (this is a big issue when you have 1000s of pics of mountains!) and manually setting location to “Nepal” or something overly course when you are trekking is frustrating. So here’s the idea…

No need for a GPS-enabled camera; since I have my phone with me at all times, I can do a post-hoc Exif append based on time/date ranges, right? I think it looks something like the below graphic:

In short:

  • Access Location Services in Google to pull KML of time-stamped locations
  • Upload Exif info (name, date/time) to web database
  • Perform mach of KML to Exif info
  • Append Exif with location info
  • Append modified Exif with existing photos
  • Reimport into iPhoto, etc…

Limitations/Issues, etc…

  • Location Services in Google can only pull 30 day (max) KMLs and no API exists, so it must be downloaded.
  • There will be many times when KML and Exif info will have gaps–for example my phone is dead for two days while I travel around Borneo and snap pics all day long. This means there should be an option to assign time date ranges.
  • Stripping Exif info off photos could be associated with JPG name/date to make it easier to re-associate appended Exif info after matching.
  • Don’t upload actual photos from camera as file size could unnecessarily make this take ages.

Anybody out there have further ideas/issues for improvement?

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