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I have a motorola turbo 2 smartphone. I am exploring options for automatically geotagging photos for site visits. The goal is to add these photos into Google Earth such that I can see where they were taken. Here is the information I have collected so far:

1) The format that I need these photos to be in is EXIF format

2) A Google Photos feature exists, but it doesn't seem to include options for geotagging (you can only geotag one photo at a time, for social media sharing purposes)

3)Other apps exist (Photomap, OSMTracker, GPS Map Camera, Photo Exif Editor) but none of them seem to provide a way to do this.

My question is: Am I on the right track to figure out a solution? Should I direct my efforts elsewhere?

  • This smartphone doesn't add geo-location to the EXIF data automatically when the photo is taken? You might want to check settings to see if you can enable it because it's a common thing. – mikato Jul 20 '17 at 20:46
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I recently published a quick and dirty photo viewer onto GitHub, you just need to have Python installed. It will create a simple web map that uses the Google Maps API and a plugin to handle overlapping markers.

To use, simple double-click the PhotoMapperUI.pyw file which starts up this GUI:

enter image description here

You can choose to create a portable web app (where it will copy all the photos with the web app to be put in a new folder somewhere) or an embedded app where it just creates the HTML page in the same directory as your photos. You do not need a web server to view it, it will just launch and is read locally by your browser.

enter image description here

This utility will provide a JSON file that stores all the coordinate info you need and you could even glean out the popup which is already formatted as HTML, so it would pretty easily to translate that to KML if you really needed Google Earth viewing capabilities.

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This smartphone doesn't add geo-location to the EXIF data automatically when the photo is taken? You might want to check settings to see if you can enable it because it's a common thing.

If you want to do it for previously taken photos, automatically, you would need to have recorded your location and time somehow for that to be possible - such as with apps that allow recording GPS tracks. Do you have this data in some form already?

If your phone can't save geolocation in the photos, and you want to automatically geotag future photos, then you will need to use something like gps4cam (mobile app). It's an app that records your location while it runs, and creates a file. You take a photo of a QR code on the app so that time can be synced later. Then you need to save your photos to a computer and run their small program which geotags all the photos taken while gps4cam was recording data by saving it to the EXIF data of the photo file.

Another way is to record your GPS track with a mobile app like MotionX-GPS. When finished recording, you save and share your track (email it to yourself). That will give you GPS track files (.kmz and .gpx format). Then you can use a program like GeoSetter in Windows, which will allow you to use that GPS track file to set the latitude and longitude of the relevant photos. Tutorial here.

I don't know of a way to geotag photos while they are on your phone.

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GeoSetter let's you edit your EXIF info (in bulk if needed). You can geotag your photo's here. If you enable image location in your smartphone the EXIF should already contain the coordinates. Else you'll need a GNSS track (*.gpx) covering the time you took the pictures.

When ready you can choose "Export to Google Earth" from the "Image" menu.

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I use a simple freeware program Photo GPS extract. It's works easily and extracts it to a KML file which you can drag and drop into QGIS. http://www.pge.bvsoft.be/downloads.php. Please vote my answer if you liked it. I'm now testing including the option for rotated viewpoint which is saved in the EXIF data.

The software is working well and the developers are making new updates with extra functionality. By far the best program that I have found to work hands-on with EXIF data.

To view the EXIF data what is recored by your smartphone, I use the freeware program ExifTool by Phil Harvey http://owl.phy.queensu.ca/~phil/exiftool/

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