Freitag, 5. Dezember 2008

Geotagging your pictures with your iphone3g

I got an iphone 3g a week ago, yesterday we went for a little snow shoe tour into the alps (Stubeck). So I grabbed my one day old Nikon D300 and felt eager shooting some photos. I wanted to geotagg the pictures, so that you see them on a map if you upload them to flickr and know years later where you exactly took your pic.

This is possible in an easy way, if you have got:

  • A digital camera (a cheap one or an expensive one, doesn't matter)
  • An iphone 3g (it has got an GPS module, the first generation doesn't)
  • A PC / Mac (I've got a PC so there's no Mac tutorial sorry folks, take a look at houdah)
  • be outside!! (GPS doesn't work indoors well, perhaps triangulation via BTS works, just try ;) )
  • GeoSetter Windows App(get it here for free)
  • Trails iphone application (costs ~1,50€)
It works with a lot of file formats - I shot in Nikon Raw and converted it with lightroom to DNG, Jpeg works as well.

1. - Download&buy Trails on your iphone 3g (the icon reminds me a bit of the World of Warcraft pet icon ;) )

2. - sync your iphone clock with your camera's clock - you have to do this manually, you should adjust the clock of your camera according to the clock on your iphone, because it will have a more precise time via the GSM/UMTS Network from your provider. Open the clock app and look at the seconds hand, when it reaches for example 9:22:00 press the ok button on your digital camera, where you entered 9:22 before. Accuracy isn't a must - as long as the time doesn't differ more than minutes. Set your camera to your time zone if possible.

3. Activate GPS and 3g on your iphone (preferences>general>location services, and pref. > general > network > enable 3g) Why do we have to activate 3g? I don't know - the app refused to work with gsm only and told me the signal is too weak.

4. Start Trails. Add a track, Record the track. I kept the iphone on top of my rucksack so it had a nice view to the sattelites. (Reminder to myself: next time when leaving your rucksack back at the others to ease taking pictures and getting on top of the mountain: take the iphone with you!!)

5. Shoot. Enjoy it. (you can listen to music and trails will still collect data)

6. End Trails - it should ask you to email a gpx file

8. When you're back home again - install GeoSetter. Copy the pictures to your computer (or import them into lightroom).

9. Start GeoSetter, browse the Folder containing your pictures to the left.

10. Press Ctrl+T to enable the track List (should appear on the lower right). Click on the first icon there (a folder icon) and open the gpx file. (File > Open does not work for this). You should see a nice google map with your trail.

11. Select your pictures (click onto the first one and hold the shift key when clicking onto the last)

12. Press Ctrl+G to synchronize the files with the GPS Coordinates.

13. Press OK, maybe select timezone.

14. Voilá! If the programs and your iphone + GPS Sattelites like you everything should be fine! If you upload your pictures to Flickr, you should be able to see the location on the map and years later you'll be able to find the same spot again - or you can show your grandchildren where you've been :)

Additions: If you import your pictures to Lightroom first and add the geotags after that, make sure to select the pictures in Lightroom and click Metadata > Read Metadata from File in the Libary Mode, otherwise Lightroom won't show you the GPS Tag and may overwrite your tag again if configured that way.

Geosetter shows you the track in a nice way, you can even import the track to Google Earth but I haven't tried that yet. You can upload your gpx file at (French) and have a look on your track via google maps.

If you've got a question just leave a comment, if you are neunmalklug (Austrian/German for know-it-all) I can't promise that I'll talk to you ;)

Example of a geotagged pic from my hike: (I still had to click on place at my map so everybody can see the picture on yahoo maps)

Maltabergalm Stubeck im Rücken

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