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:
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.
- AMOD AGL3080 Mac-compatible driverless GPS logger reviewed (Richard’s Tech Reviews)
- GPS Geotagging with my Nikon D80 (trick77.com)
- An ABC of geotagging photos on the Mac (bioneural.net)
- To DNG, or not to DNG (Inside Lightroom)
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.
Update 5/26/2009 – I forgot to link to “Geotagging revisited.” It’s an addendum to this post.