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How do you GPS tag your pictures?

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by BosseBe, Sep 22, 2016.

  1. BosseBe

    BosseBe Mu-43 Regular

    109
    Aug 7, 2015
    Stockholm, Sweden
    I have been looking at GPS tagging my pictures and found a couple of solutions, an APP in my mobile phone (have tried Geo Tag Photos Pro 2, battery seems to hold for day usage at least) and using a separate GPS logger.

    What are your thoughts and experiences on this?

    /Bosse
     
  2. bjurasz

    bjurasz Mu-43 Regular

    127
    Dec 10, 2014
    Cedar Park
    I use the Olympus App myself, but I really don't like that solution. It makes a relatively large impact on battery life on the phone unfortunately. Worse, you have to remember to sync those locations from the phone to the camera before you import the photos onto your computer. Its an extra clumsy step. Makes me glad my TG-860 has GPS built in and wish my E-M10 had it as well.
     
  3. BosseBe

    BosseBe Mu-43 Regular

    109
    Aug 7, 2015
    Stockholm, Sweden
    I should have mentioned that the reason I'm looking for "third party solutions" is that the Panasonic App has to be active all the time to record the locations.
    I have also had problems with the WiFi connection to my GM5 when I wanted to sync the locations, so I'm looking for a solution that will work every time without having to use the incamera WiFi.

    /Bosse
     
  4. PakkyT

    PakkyT Mu-43 Top Veteran

    767
    Jun 20, 2015
    New England
    I have a stand alone GPS Data logger and I also have various apps on my phone including the Oly Oi.Share app for recording GPS logs. Each has their advantages and disadvantages.

    For short outings where you only need to Geotag for a short walk or an hour or two, the various phone apps are a bit easier in that you usually have your phone with you anyway (where as you would have to bring along the stand alone), they generally get a GPS fix faster since they can use cell towers and Wifi signals to help quickly narrow it down (stand alones typically rely strictly on satellites), and the Olympus one can then be synced directly to your compatible Oly camera to tag the photos in camera.

    Disadvantages of the phone apps include often rapid battery depletion so usually not great for a full day's outing and some apps if they crash for whatever reason, you may lose the entire log (so if after running for an hour the apps closes, you lose that hour's worth of data). In the second case, one solution is that if you are going to log for more than a half hour or so, you might want to get into the habit of stopping then restarting the logging every 30 minutes or so to create multiple logs. I have found that the Oly app has been pretty reliable in that I don't recall losing a log while using the Oly app, but have with some other ones.

    Stand alone loggers are really the way to go for long duration logging (hours at a time). Despite having to carry yet another device with yet another battery to worry about (mine uses 3 AAA batteries (I use rechargeables) so on trips I carry a spare set and a charger which can also be used for the AA batteries in a flash), sometimes taking a while before it indicates it has a satellite fix, very limited indicators and controls (mine has just a trio of leds and two buttons), and a bit more work geotagging your photos later on the computer using their logs, once they are logging they just keep chugging along and can often run for hours at a time without battery concerns, crashes, or data loss.

    Disadvantages, well I just listed a few of them above. Another device, more batteries, & slow to GPS fix sometimes, also add that you have to do the Geotagging on your computer later so you have to have a program that can match your photos to your data logs. This in turn requires you to be sure you have your time set accurately on your cameras and you usually have to know your time zone to tell your geotag app that your camera is in time zone ZXY so it can match the GMT time stamps in the logs.

    And the other big disadvantage of stand alone GPS data loggers is they are simply getting harder to find. With mobile phones and such, I guess no one wants to release new versions, so many of the ones out there are actually many year old designs and your choices are fewer, at least for compact ones aimed at photographers (you can still find bulky ones aimed at boaters, serious hikers where they need a full display with compass and map, pilots, etc.). I really like my model but you can no longer get it.
     
  5. coffeecat

    coffeecat Mu-43 Top Veteran

    711
    Aug 4, 2012
    SW England
    Rob
    I only tag pictures I post to Flickr, and I use Lightroom for it. I have tried phone apps, but rarely remember to turn them on when out shooting.
     
  6. PacNWMike

    PacNWMike Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Dec 5, 2014
    Salish Sea
    guess?
    Any GPS works. Make sure that the camera clocks are set accurately. There are several apps that use the track to tag photos. Photo Tracker is one (which I haven't used.)
     
  7. Drdul

    Drdul Mu-43 Regular

    104
    May 16, 2015
    Vancouver, BC
    Richard
    I use GPS Tracks on my iPhone (on sale right now at 50% off). I had a stand-alone GPS logger but found that in urban areas with lots of tall buildings where I am typically shooting it was wildly inaccurate. My phone is more accurate because it doesn't rely on a GPS signal alone, but augments it with cell tower triangulation and wifi sniffing.

    I export from GPS Tracks to GPX and geotag in Lightroom or with HoudahGeo (Mac only).
     
  8. barry13

    barry13 Super Moderator; Photon Wrangler

    Mar 7, 2014
    Southern California
    Barry
    I used to use Google's My Tracks on Android but it now says it's deprecated... any good Android alternatives?
     
  9. PacNWMike

    PacNWMike Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Dec 5, 2014
    Salish Sea
    guess?
    More than just a tagger but many friends swear by GaiaGPS
     
  10. alan1972

    alan1972 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    592
    Jun 23, 2012
    Malaga, Spain
    Alan Grant
    I use the Oruxmaps app on Android to record my tracks. Transfer the GPX to my computer via Dropbox so it is already on my computer when I get home. Then tag the photos on the computer via Lightroom, with the help of Jeffrey Friedl's Geoencoding Support plugin. I find this plugin much easier and more intuitive to use than the built-in Lightroom functionality (for example it is much easier to figure out what to do if the photos were taken in a different timezone).

    Oruxmaps is designed for a lot more than recording a track, especially for outdoor activities, so perhaps it might appear a little complicated at first for someone just looking for a tracker. I use it in conjunction with (free) OpenAndroMaps, which allows me to store a set of maps with marked hiking trails for my whole country on my phone, with no worries about needing a data connection to download maps. It is quite flexible about things like how often track points are recorded (which can be important for battery life). Overall I have been very happy with it and have got into the habit of launching it whenever I am walking around and likely to take photos (or simply so that I know where I am and where I started if I am walking somewhere I am not familiar with).
     
    • Informative Informative x 2
  11. coffeecat

    coffeecat Mu-43 Top Veteran

    711
    Aug 4, 2012
    SW England
    Rob
    This seems new... It could be construed as really useful, or really scary depending on your paranoia level.

    I use Google Photos to back stuff up. I have noticed recently that it pretty accurately geotags ALL my photos (including mu43 ones), using my phone.
    Because I almost always carry my (Android) phone, this is pretty accurate when the photos were taken by me.

    However, it also makes for some badly wrong errors, where for example my wife takes family photos on a day when I was on a business trip 150 miles away...

    I guess the day when we are all overtaken by AI is not *quite* here!

    Rob

    In the future, Google (and/or the guvmint) will require us to always carry cameras that are personally registered to one person only ;-)
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  12. AndyT

    AndyT Mu-43 Regular

    I use a standalone GPS - an Oregon 450 to record a tracklog.
    Then Geosetter to add GPS data to my images.

    Description
     
  13. Gerard

    Gerard Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 12, 2015
    Vleuten, Utrecht
    When I shoot with my old Pentax lenses, I take a photo of the lens with my iphone, to record the f-stop I use. The iphone camera records the GPS data.
    It works great, IF I dont forget, which is usually the case.....
     
    • Like Like x 2
  14. nancyr

    nancyr Mu-43 Regular

    40
    May 17, 2014
    San Diego
    Nancy
    I use GPSLogger for Android. Lightweight,little battery drain. GPS Logger for Android - Android Apps on Google Play

    Used to use a standalone, but had trouble getting fixes. A phone shot at any given location is also helpful.

    I put it all together in Lightroom or PhotoMechanic.
    LR's interface leaves a lot to be desired - I think you use the time offset based on your home location. I have a sticky on my monitor to remind me, but I'm not home right now.

    Also second syncing clocks; halfway thru any trip, I shoot a pic of my phone showing the time with seconds. Cameras drift, and not evenly.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  15. gnarlydog australia

    gnarlydog australia Mu-43 Top Veteran

    977
    Feb 23, 2015
    Brisbane, Australia
    Damiano Visocnik
    I am still puzzled by the tagging; not the technology itself (I get that) but by the need to tag.
    Can somebody explain to me what is the reason and a useful application, apart from letting others know where you have taken your pic, leading to location abuse later on?
     
  16. Harvey Melvin Richards

    Harvey Melvin Richards Photo Posting Junkie

    Feb 15, 2014
    Southwest Utah
    I do it so I can find a site again when my memory fails me almost immediately after I take the photo.

    I use the Oly app and it works fine, minimal battery use on my iPhone 6. ZI usually have Motion X going at the same time also. Remembering to turn it on and to sync the photos is my biggest complaint.

    It can also be handy to go into ALR and find other photos taken at the same location (assuming that I bothered to tag those).
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  17. PakkyT

    PakkyT Mu-43 Top Veteran

    767
    Jun 20, 2015
    New England
    Because 5, 10, 15+ years later you may not recall where you took a particular photo. Is someone going to location abuse me with my photos from Toronto, California, Chicago, Seattle, etc.? ;)
     
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  18. gnarlydog australia

    gnarlydog australia Mu-43 Top Veteran

    977
    Feb 23, 2015
    Brisbane, Australia
    Damiano Visocnik
    I get it: with your locale things look often very similar and hard to pin-point. I think it makes sense to use the GPS location for yourself but unwise to make it public, unless of course your are happy to have it trodden in years to come. I have witnessed many places that were pristine years ago now being ruined by the over visitation of careless masses once the natural feature got public awareness through stunning images. I NEVER disclose pristine locations in my images in fear to have them degraded
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  19. alan1972

    alan1972 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    592
    Jun 23, 2012
    Malaga, Spain
    Alan Grant
    I have found that connecting to OI Share, even just briefly, synchronises the camera clock with the phone. Even though I don't use OI Share for tagging, I sometimes use this as a way of making sure the camera clock has not drifted, and also to reset the clock immediately after changing time zones.
     
    • Agree Agree x 3
  20. BosseBe

    BosseBe Mu-43 Regular

    109
    Aug 7, 2015
    Stockholm, Sweden
    Thanks for all your replies, food for thought.
    Currently I'm trying an app in my phone "Geotag Photos Pro", it seems to work fine and the battery in my phone lasts all day with it running in the background.
    My reason to want to tag my photos is that I plan to use it on my holidays, for example for an upcoming trip (early planning) to the US and a drive along US50 from west coast to east coast. Remembering were you took a photo after 4 weeks on the road is kind of hard and I'm a lazy guy so GPS tagging will help a lot.
    The tip about taking a photo of the phone to use for time synching is something I'll try to implement.

    /Bosse