Geotagger 1.2 for the Mac, Geotagging Made Easy

Use Google Earth to Directly Geotag Your Photos with Geotagger for the MacUse Google Earth to Directly Geotag Your Photos with Geotagger for the Mac Hosted on Zooomr

[I am CEO of Zooomr]

One of my New Year’s resolutions this year was to figure out how better to manage and control the metadata associated with my photographs. Last year I was hit with the realization that much of the metadata that I’ve stored up on Flickr with regards to my photographs was pretty much locked up. This is not necessarily done purposely, but all of a sudden it hit me that the literally hundreds of hours I’d spent tagging the thousands of photos of mine on Flickr may have very well been wasted hours given that I had no way to associate this data with the photos on my hard drive. While there are tools to download your photos from Flickr, there is no tool that I’m aware of today that allows you to easily retrieve both your photos AND your metadata.

This also holds true for my metadata with my Zooomr photos as well (although we are working to build a downloader that will allow you to download your photos and metadata from Zooomr in the future).

Further, my problem with my photos on Flickr is complicated even more by the fact that Flickr does not allow photos on their site larger than 10MB and most of my photos are over 10MB in size. So my photos on Flickr are reduced in both quality and size. So even if I could figure out how to get my metadata out of Flickr, I’m not sure it would be easy to get the metadata reassociated with my original files.

To make a long story short, my resolution this year was to stop using the metadata functionality at places like Flickr and Zooomr and to figure out how better to actually associate my photo metadata with my original photo files themselves. This is a better way to do things as when the files are uploaded to Flickr and Zooomr, both systems will automatically read file metadata and post it to your image record.

The first part of this was the easiest for me. I learned to better use the functionality of Adobe Bridge. With Adobe’s Bridge software you can right click on any file (or multiple files) and select “File Info.” Here you can then enter in keyword metadata that will automatically be recognized by both Flickr and Zooomr.

The second part though was the one that I thought would be harder, and that is my geotagging metadata. Both Zooomr and Flickr have cool geotagging functionality built into their sites. Zooomr uses Google’s maps and Flickr uses Yahoo’s maps. Both allow you to pinpoint exactly on the map where your photo was taken and then have cool ways to relate this info to other photos on their system. But here again, I’ve been hesitant to rely on these geotagging tools for two reasons. One, I don’t want my geotags locked up and, two, I don’t want to have to geotag twice, once for Flickr and once for Zooomr (geotagging on both systems is not so hard, but it is tedious).

So today I set about doing some research to find a better way to geotag my actual photo files on my hard drive and boy did I ever find it.

Geotagger 1.2 for the Mac is the best and easiest geotagging system I’ve used yet. Geotagger 1.2 works with Google Earth and makes geotagging your photos at the photo level simple. Basically all you need to do is to pinpoint on Google Earth where a photo was taken. Then go to your photos and drag the photos over the Geotagger application icon in your Mac’s dock. Geotagger then auto geotags the EXIF data in these files and now you both own and control this data and it will automatically read and import into both Flickr and Zooomr.

Best of all Google Earth is the best application for finding and tagging your photos that I know of. I find it much easier and faster and more intuitive than either Flickr or Zooomr and this will make the task of geotagging my images much easier for me than before.

So now, most of the relevant metadata for my photos is all entered by me before I ever upload the images to any other photo sharing site. This gives me much greater control over my metadata and allows more flexibility with regards to sharing this metadata in multiple places online without having to re-enter it.

Entering metadata, both keyword metadata and geo metadata is still not the most fun thing to do in the world, but at least I’m doing it more efficiently now.

By the way, and as an aside, I did also get an email yesterday from Adam Nollmeyer of ACME Photography tipping me off to what looks like a great project to help people get their metadata out of Flickr. It’s called the Flickr Metadata Synchr. I can’t really try this app yet because I’m on a Mac and it’s for PC Vista only best I can tell, but it certainly seems like a good app to help people get their metadata out of Flickr.

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19 Comments

  1. Neil Ford says:

    It’s a shame it can’t take a GPS track and match it to the image timestamp. I have a Garmin Gecko that is perfect to tracking where you’ve been throughout the day.

    That aside, it does indeed look like the best way to tag images. Will give it a go after the next shooting I do.

    – Neil.

  2. I’m a big fan of the Sony GPS-CS1. It’s a simple GPS that clips onto your camera bag and captures a log of where you are/when you are. When you get back to your computer, it syncs the GPS data with your image files, so your pictures are geotagged from the very beginning. “Officially”, it only works with Sony cameras. “Unofficially”, it works great with my Canon too!

    Sure it’s one more thing to carry around, but it’s worth it. When I was shooting in NYC, I found myself taking a picture of the nearest street sign right after photographing something cool, just so I could remember where I was at the time.

    I’m all about the lazy way out!
    -Dave
    http://beta.zooomr.com/photos/TravelingRoths

  3. Hi,Thomas.
    I, also, am interested in geotagging on my own photos on Zooomr and Flickr, AND even on my blog post itself(which is written in Japanese though).
    Chizulog(sorry which is also written in Japanese) is kinda cool stuff I found recently.
    Which can check our blog post and extract geodata[like address,lat/longitude,hotels,and even name of a shop],then output geotag automatidcally and show related blogs on the map.And show them on Google Earth,also.
    Maybe Kris could translate it for you.
    I’m trying to figure out which web app could be easy to use for those purposes.

    Anyway,I’m gonna try Geotagger.
    Thanks;)

  4. Martin says:

    So do you only care about geodata on JPEGs or does Geotagger do RAW files too? If not, do you know of any apps that will geotag RAW files?

    I’ve geotagged a few photos on Flickr but haven’t been too comprehensive about it lately since I realized I don’t have it on my originals.

  5. John Keyes says:

    As Dave mentioned, the Sony CS1 is a great way to capture geo data (then use RoboGEO to automatically associate the GPS data with the correct images based on the time).

    Another way, if you have a camera that supports it (e.g. Nikon D200), is to connect a small GPS directly to the camera while you are shooting. Then the geo data is automatically attached to the images in-camera.

    Either way, you avoid the time-consuming (and error-prone) step of manually geotagging the photos in post-processing.

  6. Sam says:

    Have you checked out the tagging capability of Adobe Lightroom?

  7. jonathan says:

    Hi Thomas,

    Looks similar to the free cleantag software for Flickr and faces.com, cleantag allows you to tag and geotag your photos on your own machine and upload from there, it’s PC only and is compatible with Vista

    http://www.cleantag.com/

    The software doesn’t alter your photos or the exif data, but we might implement that later depend if people want it – Thomas, what do you think? At the moment Cleantag stores the geotag etc in an XML file and uploads it to the site of choice when you are done.

    Help files aren’t done yet and the site looks a bit average, but it’s pretty easy to use and the software is very solid.

  8. Andy Roth says:

    You can geotag photos with Picasa. It is from a little company called Google. It works in with conjunction with Google Earth, and is fairly easy to use. You can find it under the Tools > Geotag menu.

  9. djorge says:

    I love the Geotagger – simple to use and giving me all that I expect from it. Thanks much.

    There are just two quirks when using it with iPhoto: There is iPhoto itself, that does not update the Exif data.
    And the fact that the original file does not get updated if the file has been modified (e.g. due to rotation).
    Any way that can be added?

    …Djorge

    PS: An alternative to the GPSPhotoLinker: Jetphoto Studio (http://www.jetphotosoft.com/).
    It’s Mac & Windows and free for that purpose and seems to be reasonably stable (in the Mac version).

  10. red bird says:

    I’m using Geotagger, and it seems works fine: the Latitude and Longitude are added to the EXIF data… but Flickr don’t recognise it.

  11. Jason says:

    Does Picasa recognize geotagger? I am trying to get something that will geotag my photos that are imported into picasa without me having to go to google earth and pinpoint the location for each photo.

  12. gelliray says:

    I am keen on geotagger.I started using it since 6 month ago. After long comparison on several brands, GP-1 DeLorme, easytagger, I chose the last one. After 6 month’s test, easytagger told me, my choice is correct.
    First, I ordered it online http://www.e-geotag.com/shopping.aspx, by paypal which is safe and convenient. And I received the package after 4 days by express though the shipping fee is a little expensive; anyway, it was really fast. To my great joy, it is much smaller than it seemed on the website, we can say tiny and cute.
    I could not wait to test it. I went to the mountain nearby with my D90. The easytagger was easy setting and easy to use it caught satellite signal within 1 minute. Not only it recorded the geo info currently, but also tracked the route that I walked, plotting it along with the photos.
    I put them in google map and share it with my family and friends, easytagger made my trip quite meaningful!
    While, I also met problem with easytagger, I remember when I tried to use hotshoe flash, I failed, because the easytagger main body was in the way that disenabled the hotshoe to work. It made me quite disappointed. I connect the company, and soon they developed a bracket and sent me one for free. The bracket used to connect the main body and camera, which enables hotshoe to work freely. I appreciate that kind of company which develops continuously to meet customers requires.
    Now easytagger works quite well with my D90. Every time I go hiking and vocation, I carry them with me. They are my buddy, and I could not live without them. I am updating my flickr, you would see what a great job my buddies have done soon.

  13. Paul says:

    I am interested in the GPS geotagging, but do any of Easytagger’s wired remote shutter release units work with my Nikon D5000? Thanks.

  14. gelliray says:

    There is a shutter port on Easytagger main body, though which the shutter wire could remote control the camera shutter via GPS. I am using it with my D5000, it works perfect.

  15. linon says:

    I wonder if Easytagger has bluetooth function?

  16. gelliray says:

    I heard Easytagger Bluetooth edition will be released soon with a relatively lower price than most of the bluetooth products, but the features are better than any of the others.
    The GPS main device can work or pair with at most three receivers, which means if you own three Nikon DSLR and then, with one main device and three receivers, they can work at the same time.

  17. Monika says:

    For a direct real time geotagging device, it doesn’t matter if it is a Mac or Pc. Just choose a useful software, like Jetphoto and Locr. Eztag just released a bluetooth gps which can work on three cameras at the same time. And also with some other highlight features.