Long story short I'm doing surveying work and there is some debate on my team about whether or not pictures were taken in certain areas or if they were mislabeled and taken in the wrong sample area.

We use a GPS enabled camera and it is easy to check each photo individually by copying the lat&long from the exif data and loading it into GIS and seeing if it is within the Sample polygon that we were supposed to inspect.

Is there a way to do this process for hundreds of images and to make them into a shapefile with all the points?

I have tried searching for a program that can do this but have come up short. It seems like a pretty basic process, but I don't know much in the way of programming or anything like that. It would also be good to export them to an excel file with each row containing the filename of the image and the Lat&Long coordinates.

4 Answers 4


To do this there is a GeoTagged Photos To Points tool which:

Creates points from the x-, y-, and z-coordinates stored in geotagged photos. Optionally adds photo files to features in the output feature class as geodatabase attachments.

It gets its geotagged photos from:

The folder where photo files are located. This folder is scanned recursively for photo files; any photos in the base level of the folder, as well as in any subfolders, will be added to the output.


Another solution on the command line - exiftool.

The following will extract the lon / lat in decimal degrees (remove -n if for some reason you want DMS) and write (with filename) to a CSV file.

exiftool -gpslongitude -gpslatitude -n DIRECTORY > GEOTAGS.csv

It's not GIS software, and it's not free, but I was working on a GIS project a while back that required spatial analysis of hundreds of thousands of photos and found Photo Mechanic to be very helpful. It's meant for photographers to manage their workflows but it's useful for GIS because it allows you to export ANY photo metadata you want in tabular form. If you include the geotagging, that table can be imported to GIS to create a layer of all your photos, but unlike the Esri solution, you can also include whatever additional photo metadata fields you want.


I ended up downloading qgis and using a plugin called Import Photos

  • 1
    Import Photos is a great tool. You can also add an action that will open the image when the point is selected and have a popup image if you hover over it. I do this with millions of geo tagged images. Enter this script into the display tab under layer properties for the pop up image. <b> [% "Name" %]</b> <img src="file:///[% "Path" %]" width=576 height=324 />
    – brink
    Dec 2, 2020 at 0:43

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.