Just wanted to know if it is possible to collect the direction of taken photo in Collector ? Obviously, I would like to know which direction i'm facing (North, east south, west) when taking the photo. If not what is the workaround for this ?

3 Answers 3


It's not currently integrated but it is posted as an idea for future releases: http://ideas.arcgis.com/ideaView?id=087E00000005AhRIAU

  • Sorry about that. I've edited the URL in the answer. At ideas.arcgis.com, it is the idea titled "Collect direction of taken photo in Collector for ArcGIS"
    – KiloGeo
    Mar 31, 2015 at 19:56
  • 2
    As Geoffery West suggested, you could add an integer field to your layer and manually enter a bearing from a separate compass app on your device. This would assume that you are only taking one photo per record though.
    – KiloGeo
    Mar 31, 2015 at 19:59

I don't think collector has these capabilities, a workaround would to be create a field for it.


So here is one additional thoughts. If your camera has GPS and orientation sensors, this info is written to the image EXIF data (or can be configured to do so..). There is an EXIF tag for the compass direction (0-359.9 deg) of the image:

GPSInfo Exif.GPSInfo.GPSImgDirection

Info Source: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/2368349/compass-metadata-tag-in-photos http://www.exiv2.org/tags.html

So the direction would already be stored as metadata in the image files, and question would be how to extract it and repopulate your data with it...

There are a couple of Python libraries for reading EXIF data from images: (e.g. https://pypi.python.org/pypi/ExifRead )

so I can envision a Python script that would process the images once they have been collected and create a table that can be used to populate a Photo direction attribute field in bulk.

I don't think ArcGIS Online supports table joins, so you would probably have to do this last step in ArcGIS Dekstop by downloading your dataset, joining table with the direction records and then uploading again to AGOL...

  • Actually on looking further into this, it looks like strangely images take with ArcGIS Collector do not have any EXIF info stored with them: https://geonet.esri.com/thread/120395 .....I just confirmed by downloading some photos I took in Collector and examining in GIMP and there was no EXIF info, nothing..... alas. Aug 17, 2015 at 1:28

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