Turn Your iPhone Into A GPS Logger And Start Geotagging Your Photos

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What Is Geotagging?

I have a bad habit of taking a picture of something, like this bush.

A Bush

Not the best picture in the world, but it tickles my fancy. I would like to go back in the future and attempt to capture it's essence again.

Its strange how many bushes look alike. Or your memory forgets exactly where you took the picture. That is why I like to geotag photos.

Geotagging is embedding geographical identification metadata to your photos. The data usually consists of latitude and longitude coordinates. This can be done automatically when using your smartphone or a camera with built-in GPS capabilities.

I have a Canon 5D Mark II. In order to geotag photos taken with this camera I use a GPS logger and tag the photos when I import into Lightroom.

How To Geotag Photos

The basic steps:

  1. Sync your camera’s clock to GPS time. Lightroom uses the timestamp on your pictures to extrapolate the location when the picture is taken. This requires your camera’s clock to be in sync with the proper GPS time. It helps to have your camera set to the correct local time for your location.
  2. Track your location using a GSP logger while taking you are out and about. You can use a dedicated device or your smartphone using a application like SPZTracker.
  3. Import your photos into your photo organizer. I use Adobe Lightroom. Lightroom has the ability to take a GPX file and automatically assign geo information to your photos.
  4. Export a GPX file from your GPS Logger to your hard disk
  5. For lightroom, select “Load Tracklog” when looking at the Map module.
  6. Select your photos, and set the time zone offset. This offset is the difference between your current location to the local time that you took the photos in.
  7. Lightroom will automatically assign the location data and display the picture location on the maps.

Now when reviewing your pictures you can look up the location.

GPS Logger

Naturally the GPS logger is critical to this process. SPZTracker is designed for photographers and turns your iPhone or iPad into a GPS Logger. The next article in this series will cover the advantages of this application.

Rodger Higgins is the founder of Spazstik Software, LLC. He has created StackCalc, The Visual Touch Calculator and SPZTracker.

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