Apple, Geek Stuffs, geotag, gps, gpsbabel, gpsphotolinker, lightroom, Mac, Photography

Geotagging is process of tagging your photos to the GPS coordinate of your camera – and of course you lah (assuming you are taking the photos). There are a lot of ways of geotagging, from using purpose built device (Nikon GPS) to connecting your camera to GPS devices (via MC-35 cable) to using post-capture geotag.

Personally, I have tried pretty much all the method above, and realised that for a street shooter like me, post capture geotag is probably the best way to go about it. Post capture geotag means that the geotagging process is done after you capture the photos. Whereby, the GPS tracklog captured using a gps device is merged together using software (that you can get of the internet!).

Things that you will need for post-capture GPS device:

  • Camera (time synced to UTC time)
  • GPS Logger (e.g. Sony GPS-CS1)
  • Geotagging Software

I am currently using Sony GPS-CS1 as shown below:

gps-cs1.jpeg

Reason being is because, i got it cheap of the Buy Sell Thread 😀 Other than that, you can just buy other loggers like Holux or even GPS devices that supports track logs like Garmin Colorado (bulky though). GPS CS-1 is normally hooked to my bag via a carabiner.. and its so so easy. It uses normal battery thus no problem when it comes to ensuring you have enough battery (GPS devices are power hungry!).

So.. when you go out and shoot.. you just shoot and then make sure you switch on your GPS logger. What the logger does is to store your GPS coordinates inside the data storage (within the logger).

Assuming you have done the above.. now you are back home, showered and ready to look at your photo.. here are step by step on how you geotag (post capture way).

Step 1 – Converting your logsCopy the track logs from your logger to your Mac. Once you copied, the next step is to convert to the log files to a format which is understood by the software that we going to use. The software which i use is GPSPhotoLinker (its free) and can be downloaded from http://www.earlyinnovations.com. Why this software? Because its free.. he he..
The problem with GPS CS-1 is that the log file is NMEA, and not understood by GPSPhotolinker which uses GPX formatted files. Some loggers might use GPX format so you can skip the conversion process. Other softwares like HoudahGps also supports NMEA, but i refuse to pay for somethings which i can download for free :p
So to convert, you would need gpsbabel – get it from http://www.gpsbabel.org/. Download the one with the GUI so that it’ll make your like much easier 😀
So once you configured, just open GPS Babel.. and set the settings as per the image below…

gpsbabel-convert-to-gpx.png
Press save file.. and you will get the GPX file.

Step 2 – Load the tracks to GPSPhotoLinker

Easy! Just press the Load Tracks button.. and choose your GPX file!

gpsphotolinker.png

Step 2 – Load the photos to GPSPhotoLinker

Loading photo is even easier! You can either use the button Load Photos, or you can just drag the photos from Lightroom or which ever folder to the rectangle space on the right!

gpsphotolinker-loadphoto.png
You would be able to see the file on the right side. And you can see the location information 😀

Step 4 – Save the metadata

Next! Just go to the Auto tab and press Batch save to photos!

gpsphotolinker-savetophoto.png
You are done!

Step 5 (Optional) – Reload metadata in Lightroom

I use Lightroom, so i would need to reload the metadata. Easy.. Menu –> Metadata –> Read Metadata From Files


lightroom-readmetadata.png

By now, your photo is already linked! and ready to go.. If you see from lightroom, the Exif would have loaded your GPS data and you can do what ever you want!


lightroom-gps.png


I hope the guide is clear. Feel free to buzz me if you need more information!