Organizing Photos: How to export Metadata to CSV?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by AppleEco, Aug 13, 2017.

  1. AppleEco macrumors newbie

    Aug 13, 2017

    does anyone have suggestions how I can export all Photos' Metadata into a CSV List?

    Background: We had a wonderful trip through Africa in a convoy with different people. Now everyone dropped their photos into Dropbox and the imports just surfaced a big chaos: Many did not have GPS information, the camera date was off by 1 or two hours etc. So in order to make sense of the sequences etc, I would like to be able to sort metadata by camera type, GPS information, Date, time, the size of the image.

    I could not find any app that would do that nor any info on the net.
    Any suggestions are highly appreciated.

  2. organicCPU macrumors 6502a


    Aug 8, 2016
    Phil Harvey's ExifTool should do it.
    In Terminal enter this:
    exiftool -common -csv /path/to/imagesFolder > /path/to/metadata.csv
    Don't use the '-common' option to get all metadata
    To update your files:
    exiftool -csv=/path/to/metadata.csv /path/to/imagesFolder
    I'd recommend to back up your files before and then to test the update procedure on a small portion of files first.
    After that check the images, if you got the desired result and your files are still intact.

    More info and options for CSV export at

    On Phil Harvey's site are some related utilities mentioned, e.g. for GEO tagging that could be interesting for you. Noteworthy is the pyExifToolGUI that relies on ExifTool. Should export to CSV file, too. How to batch update your images with that easily, I don't know.
  3. robgendreau macrumors 68040

    Jul 13, 2008
    organicCPU's suggestion is a great one. But the info needs to be in the photos' files; stuff in database won't be accessible to exiftool. But exiftool would get all the info in the originals; you might have to open the library package file to get to them so that exiftool can do its magic.

    When you decide to do something with the data you've got, note that exiftool can also read and act upon the same data, say to rename the file with dates or other info, add keywords, and all kinds of stuff. That might help in fixing things.

    There are other non-Terminal applications that can also do that. Graphic Converter has a bunch of tools for geolocation, moving IPTC to filenames, renaming in general, keywording, etc etc that might be easier to use. Photo Mechanic can also do renaming and all sorts of stuff with variables.

    Lightroom also has a bunch of metadata manipulation tools. It can do renaming, correcting exif times, and geolocation too. But to really exploit metadata consider some plugins. J Friedl's Data Explorer lets you say look at all files for stuff as obscure as whether various exif timestamps agree, or say the elevation of the photo or angle it was taken at, or on and on. You can then isolate the images in say collections. Or his Metadata Viewer, which can detail all the stuff exiftool brings up (cuz it's based on exiftool). Both can export the data. Or Beardsworth's List View, which would allow spreadsheet like table views based on pretty much any metadata right in Lr.

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