Photos downloaded from iCloud Photo Library missing GPS metadata

Discussion in 'Apple Music, Apple Pay, iCloud, Apple Services' started by enigmakv, Dec 31, 2014.

  1. enigmakv macrumors newbie

    Oct 23, 2009
    Also posted on Apple Discussion forums...

    Photos that exist in my iCloud Photo Library are missing GPS metadata when downloaded to computer.

    I have tested a couple scenarios...

    In one, I took a photo with my iPhone. The photo propagated to "Photos" on my other iOS devices and to the "Photos" app on
    On either iOS device, in the "Moments" section of the Photos app, the photo shows up with the proper location noted. When I view the photo in detail, it has the proper date and time as well. Using both the apps "ExifWiz Pro" and "Metapho", the GPS coordinates and location info show up with no problems.
    On, the photo also shows up with the proper location in the "Moments" section.

    Takeaway: GPS metadata is intact in the photo while in the "Photos" app of iOS and

    When I download the photo file from to the Mac (click the little cloud with down-arrow icon) and run "exiftool" on the photo, the GPS data is all missing.

    As a second test, I took one of my thousands of photos stored on Dropbox and imported it to "Photos" in from my Mac. Before uploading, I ran "exiftool" on the photo and it had the full complement of metadata including all the GPS tags.
    After upload, the photo, from several years ago, showed up on all my iOS devices and obviously on On all devices it showed up with the proper location noted in the "Moments" view of the Photos app. It even went to the proper place (several years back) in the timeline.
    I again ran "ExifWiz Pro" and "Metapho" against the uploaded photo on the iOS devices and again, the GPS coordinates and location info were present.

    Takeaway again: GPS metadata is intact in the uploaded photo while in the "Photos" app of iOS and

    Next, I re-downloaded to my Mac the photo that had been manually uploaded and tested it with "exiftool". Guess what. NO GPS METADATA TAGS in the downloaded copy.

    So in two separate instances, one with a photo taken in iOS and another with an uploaded photo, the GPS tags were all stripped from the metadata when downloading the photos from to a computer.

    Specifically, the missing metadata tags are:
    GPS Latitude Ref
    GPS Longitude Ref
    GPS Altitude Ref
    GPS Time Stamp
    GPS Img Direction Ref
    GPS Img Direction
    GPS Altitude
    GPS Latitude
    GPS Longitude
    GPS Position

    This is very valuable information for photos exported from the iCloud Photo Library!

    Does anyone know if this is a "feature" or a bug in the iCloud Photo Library?
  2. ianrandy macrumors newbie

    Nov 8, 2007
    YES! I noticed this a few days ago. Photos emailed from my iPhone or sent to my mac using AirDrop contain the original images creation date and all GPS data.

    Any image downloaded from iCould Photos has a new creation date of the time of download and no GPS data at all. Its as if iCloud is creating a new version of the image rather than providing you with a copy of the original.

    Until this is sorted out I can't use it as a backup of my images unfortunately. Dropbox/Google+/Flickr etc do not have these issues
  3. gpspad macrumors 6502a

    Feb 4, 2014
    Isn't there a setting that strips the location data when you are publishing a photo?

    Ill have to check to see where I saw that setting, but that may be what is happeining.
  4. NazgulRR, May 5, 2015
    Last edited: May 5, 2015

    NazgulRR macrumors 6502

    Oct 4, 2010
    The GPS metadata is present while inside the on OSX as well.

    Very odd behaviour if you ask me, but it doesn't seem that iCloud is stripping away the GPS metadata, even this is the case with photos exported back out from the iCloud. Maybe it's a bug that we all should just report to Apple?
  5. azukre macrumors member


    Sep 22, 2014
  6. NazgulRR macrumors 6502

    Oct 4, 2010
    file->export original image (or sth like that). GPS data is there.
  7. azukre macrumors member


    Sep 22, 2014
  8. NazgulRR macrumors 6502

    Oct 4, 2010
    in the photos app. Havent looked into the icloud website photos section yet.

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