My new geotagging workflow with the Amod AGL3080 and Lightroom (Windows)

After my trip to my Hawaii, I finally realized how much I want a GPS data logger for geotagging. So, after the TWIP recommendation for the Amod AGL3080 GPS Data Logger and a bit of reading, I decided to buy one.

Oh yeah, it helped that Semsons is literally a mile from me — and they allow for pickup! That saved me eight bucks. Note: I’m not affiliated with Semsons. I bought the device with my own money.

I went for a drive to get some ice cream, then In-N-Out. I took a few photos while I was out, of course.

Back at home, I plugged in my Amod AGL3080 and copied the log file to my desktop.

I ran the GPSBabel (GUI) to convert the log file so GeoSetter could read it. Set the input format to NMEA 0183 sentences, choose the log file on your desktop, then choose an output format and new filename. For GeoSetter, choose GPX XML.

If you want to make a map with Google Earth, choose Google Earth (Keyhole) Markup Language. Then, you can open that log file and visually see the route like so:

Google Earth screenshot of my test route using the Amod AGL3080

Import your photos into your Lightroom as usual. I don’t use the DNG format right now — I keep the original RAW files and use XMP sidecar files.

Run GeoSetter and set the file options for the type of photos your working with. I enable “Save data in XMP sidecar files.”

Now, navigate to the photos and select all the photos your log file applies to. Then, go to Images > Synchronize with GPS Data Files (Ctrl+G). Since I’m at home, I used the Local Windows Settings for the time adjustment. (I’m sure I need more research on this section, but this’ll work for now.)

Click OK, then it’ll popup a box confirming the photos that the log applies to. Click YES, and it’ll write the locations for each photos, prompting for the different sublocations if applicable. (How’s that for more details?)

Your last step in GeoSetter is to save that data to the XMP files. Ctrl+S does the trick, backs up the original XMP files, and writes the new ones.

Finally, in Lightroom, select the photo(s) you just geotagged in GeoSetter, right-click and go to Metadata > Read metadata from file. It’ll throw up one last warning, but you’ll be fine — click Read.

Now, if you look at the metadata on the right pane (Loupe View in Library), Location should be filled in. Also, notice the plethora of additional keywords? Flickr can read this and I’m sure Picasa Web can, too.

Now, process your photos like normal. When you export your geotagged photos to JPEG and upload them to Flickr, they’ll already be geotagged.

How awesome is that?

Please look at the sources for Mac solutions and other software recommendations.



Updates 6/25/08 2pm PDT

I posted a link to this in the TWIP Flickr group and have already received a couple insightful and encouraging comments that my workflow is legit. (Thanks guys!)

Gunnar Steinn suggested merging points closer than ten meters to keep the GPX file slim. I need to figure this out or someone needs to show me how. Also, don’t edit the photos before geotagging because “it will get lost when you reread the files.” (permalink) That hasn’t happened to me yet, but I’ll be working on them after the fact anyway.

k2pi” also loves the Amod AGL3080, but uses RoboGEO as his software solution. A single user personal license is $39.95. (permalink)

Update 5/26/2009 – I forgot to link to “Geotagging revisited.” It’s an addendum to this post.

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Bryan Villarin

Bryan works at Automattic. He's also a cat whisperer. Sometimes…a photographer, and card magician.

12 thoughts on “My new geotagging workflow with the Amod AGL3080 and Lightroom (Windows)”

  1. Thanks for the write-up. I tried it and it works great. I didn’t need to use GPS babel. Geosetter read the log file from the AGL3080 fine.


  2. I leave the flickr tag off… I don’t want it cluttering up my keyword list in Lightroom. Uploading to flickr still works, and it displays my photos in flickr’s AND Lightroom’s maps even without that tag set.

    (Note, I’m not using AMOD, I’m using a Magellan GPS receiver.)


  3. Do I need to use sidecar files within lightroom 2.0. when geotagging with this device? I’m not using sidecar files for my other pictures and if I begin geotagging not sure I want sidecar files all around. And does it work equally well with dng files?


  4. @iszatso:

    I don’t believe you need to strictly write to the sidecar files. The features of GeoSetter state:

    Reads and writes the formats JPEG and TIFF as well as camera RAW formats DNG (Adobe), CRW and CR2 (Canon), NEF (Nikon), MRW (Konica Minolta), PEF (Pentax), ORF (Olympus), ARW, SR2, SRF (Sony) and RAF (Fujifilm)


  5. I have been using my AMOD GPS PHOTO TRACKER AGL3080 for a couple of months, on my last trips my pictures download but I get red GPS Tag Not Found. I made a different trip pictures ok but same red tag. (also)

    How can I import all my Photos at the same time, I have been doing each individual picture.



  6. hope you can help with this…

    i’m done processing the images. but before geotagging them, I just noticed that if I try to tag them with GeoSetter, it overwrites my process info from LR.

    Is there still a way for me to add geo info to the raw files? Thanks in advance.


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