Geotagging inside iPhoto for Mac when my camera has no GPS

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Lion (10.7)' started by PhoneandPad, Feb 7, 2013.

  1. PhoneandPad macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2012
    #1
    I am looking for the simplest possible workflow to merge geo tagging XML files directly into iPhoto. Looked at several apps and in none can I see a clearly documented workflow that avoids having to do a 2 step import process.

    The usual is:
    1. Import photos from SD card using a 3rd party GPS app, sync and merge.
    2. Import from the folder used in (1) into iPhoto

    Over here in the real world, I want my non-tech wife to be able to just plug the camera USB cable in & import immediately into iPhoto as she does now, so she can proceed straight away to do her previewing and Event editing.

    Then I want to come along afterwards and using a program that can write into iPhotos' library via an API do that merging in of the EXIF data. Ideally with a few nice touches like managing an offset for the time syncing, previewing of result before applying, maybe a user-friendly way of manually post-applying geotagging if there is no data available.

    This one has been mentioned to me - http://www.houdah.com/houdahGPS/ - but again, I cannot confirm if this can write direct into iPhoto's libraries.

    Am I overlooking a really good app for the Mac out there?
     
  2. gloubibou macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2005
    #2
    HoudahGeo

    Hi!

    You are looking for HoudahGeo: http://www.houdah.com/houdahGeo

    HoudahGeo is a complete photo geocoding and geotagging solution.
    You will probably want to export to EXIF/XMP and then Notify iPhoto/Aperture.

    These options are available from the "Output" tab of the main interface.

    Under the Help menu you will find complete documentation. This includes suggested workflows.

    P.S: HoudahGPS is a (dated) front end to the open source GPSBabel tool. It makes it easy to extract and convert track logs out of many different GPS devices. This is distributed as freeware.

    Best,
    Pierre Bernard
    Houdah Software s.à r.l.
     
  3. PhoneandPad thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2012
    #3
    Yes, HioudaGPS was my typo, I meant HoudaGeo.

    I will try out the 5-photo free version of HoudaGeo and see how the workflow goes.

    Presumably I can find a geotagging XML dummy file somewhere to get the principle of it.

    If this all works out it's off to find a suitable logger from your recommended list. Thanks!
     
  4. PhoneandPad thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2012
    #4
    Been testing the free version. The workflow is fine and the geotagging not only is written direct into iphoto 11 as I hoped, when I test exported a compressed image thus tagged back out of iphoto to desktop and then uploaded this to Picasaweb, that location info was retained. Looking nice and robust.

    Only one observation of note: have a 130 GB iPhoto library. Running the Notify to iphoto step for just one test image took about a minute. Hopefully this time is not proportional to number of images!

    So decided Houdahgeo is the way to go, now been looking for GPS loggers, so few availabe in UK and so pricey, going to try gps4cam app on the phones instead to acquire the GPX files.

    Thanks for the help Pierre
     
  5. gloubibou macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2005
    #5
    GPS device

    Hi!

    "Notify iPhoto" talks to iPhoto using AppleScript. This is a relatively slow process, but should not become unbearable.

    I list a couple of GPS devices in the HoudahGeo FAQs.

    My favorite device is still the Wintec WBT-202. It's just below $100 at Amazon.com. It is unfortunately not available through Amazon.co.uk.

    Best,
    Pierre Bernard
    Houdah Software s.à r.l.
     
  6. PhoneandPad thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2012
    #6
    Thanks for the update. Due to the cost & quality of standalone GPS devices in the UK, and dubious connectivity with Macs, I decided to use gps4cam on Android. Just when I thought I had streamlined the work-flow with HoudahGeo, it turns out that gps4cam wants to do it's own import before the photos can go to iPhoto, and gps4cam does not do Notify to iPhoto.

    gps4cam is an app that relies on a QR coded photo in the photo stream to lock the time sync and then tags the photos and generates a GPX file on the side, it did a very good job when I tested.

    Never mind, there are workarounds as one can post-generate a GPX file with the gps4cam Mac program and use HoudahGeo to then tag the same photos if they are already in the iPhoto library based on that GPX file.

    The perfect system would be that HoudahGeo could recognise the QR code created by gps4cam directly and generate the GPX file - via a plug-in or API!
     
  7. gloubibou macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2005
    #7
    GPS track logger for iPhone

    Hi!

    I had never before heard of gps4cam. I assumed it was a GPS track logger application for iPhone. There are many such applications (e.g. Trails) that generate GPX track log files.

    Another alternative you may want to try is HoudahGeo's "Geocode from reference photos". The idea is that at each stop you first take a reference photo using your iPhone. This will be automatically geotagged. Then you take a series of photos using your regular camera.

    Back home you load the photos from both the iPhone and your camera into HoudahGeo. "Geocode from reference photos" will match each photo to the iPhone reference photo immediately preceding it.

    Best,
    Pierre Bernard
    Houdah Software s.à r.l.
     
  8. gloubibou macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2005
    #8
    gps4cam pro for iPhone

    Hi!

    I would like to suggest a $3.99 alternative to a potentially expensive GPS device.

    HoudahGeo recently added support for gps4cam pro track logging application for iPhone.

    With the combination of gps4cam and HoudahGeo, geocoding has become easier than ever before:

    - gps4cam makes downloading track logs super easy. Just use your digital camera to take a photo of gps4cam displaying a QR-code. Load that photo, along with your other photos, into HoudahGeo

    - Synching HoudahGeo with your camera clock is now automatic. With the QR-code photo, HoudahGeo can figure out what time zone your camera was set to and by how much the clock was off

    The basic workflow now comes down to:

    - Start gps4cam pro at the beginning of your trip
    - Take photos with your digital camera
    - Stop gps4cam pro recording
    - Take a photo of the QR-code
    - Load all photos into HoudahGeo
    - Let automatic geocoding happen
    - Export geocoded photos, write EXIF/XMP, notify iPhoto, view in Google Earth, …

    Best,
    Pierre Bernard
    Houdah Software s.à r.l.
     

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