Geotagging revisited

Last year, I wrote about my geotagging workflow with the Amod AGL3080 GPS Data Logger, Lightroom, and GeoSetter. Since I’ve been doing it for nearly a year, I felt compelled to write an update.

Here’s my current geotagging workflow:

  1. Copy photos to my “To geotag” folder on my Drobo.
  2. Geotag photos with GeoSetter.
  3. Import photos into Lightroom.

GPSBabel is extraneous for the Amod AGL3080

GeoSetter reads the log file just fine, no converting necessary. (Thanks George!)

If you don’t have that GPS data logger, you might need GPSBabel.

Save time by creating favorites in GeoSetter

GeoSetter defaults to somewhere in Germany. If you take photos around a few places regularly, and you’re not using a GPS data logger, create a favorite at that location.

For example, when I’m going to and from work, I’m usually around Los Angeles Union Station, Koreatown, and Sierra Madre Villa Station in Pasadena. So, I made favorites for those spots.

GeoSetter quirks

Sometimes, the server won’t connect. An annoyance in which you have to wait until it does.

Any ideas or solutions for this one?

Dump your photos in a “To geotag” folder

Since I want to have my photos geotagged on my computer (before uploading to Flickr and/or Bryan Villarin Photography), I don’t edit any of them in Lightroom until that step is done.


The “Read metadata from file” step [in Lightroom] will overwrite the metadata with the one saved from GeoSetter.


Do you still use the Amod AGL3080?

Yes, and it’s still a champ. I wouldn’t see any reason to go with another one.

What if I don’t have a GPS data logger?

Get the Localize bookmarklet. You’ll love the place/address search. So, if you’re photowalking, bring pen and paper, then write your location every few minutes (e.g. Wilshire and Normandie, Los Angeles). After you’ve uploaded your photos, refer to your notes and geotag accordingly.

Why geotag?

It’s a slick way to see where you’ve been. You might also want to revisit a place or inspire others to check it out.

Of course, don’t geotag where you or your friends live. Be safe.

What did I miss? Share your suggestions with everyone else!

Published by

Bryan Villarin

Bryan works at Automattic. Cat whisperer. Sometimes, a photographer and card magician.

11 thoughts on “Geotagging revisited”

  1. Bryan – I just got mine, which setting do you use (ie, setup mode?). The first only lasts for 3 hours of logging, just wondering which one others use 😀



  2. Looks good, Bryan. I need to investigate in geotagging a bit. It all seems like a lot of work actually and I’m not sure what programs are out there for the Mac that do the same thing. I love how my iPhone geotags photos automatically, now all it needs is a better camera. 😀 Other than that, I usually just use the localize bookmarklet for my needs. It does the job.


  3. The new iPhoto (mac) includes places (geotagging) w/ Facebook and Flickr integration built in. I haven’t gotten into it, yet, but the idea of being able to know where pictures were taken is great.

    Also, not sure if this works for geotagging photos, but one of the coolest GPS trackers I’ve seen is the SPOT. It broadcasts your GPS location, hooks up with location aware social sites, and allows real time tracking via their secure site. Kind of pricey, plus a service fee, but killer for the outdoors type.


  4. Can you explain a bit more about “The ‘Read metadata from file’ step [in Lightroom] will overwrite the metadata with the one saved from GeoSetter.”

    I was hoping to just update the DNG files after I’ve imported them into Lr. If I could do that my work flow wouldn’t have to change.


  5. Have you tried the LR plug-in “jf Geocoding Support?” It uses (makes calls to) GPSBabel so that needs to be installed as well, but it automates the LR flow so that geotagging is done within the LR workflow… messing with images before importing into LR.


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