Photo GEOTAG data (GPS)


Where a photograph is taken can be just about as important as what is taken, as it can put a photograph in context.

  • Where was a photograph taken?
  • Which direction was it pointing in?

Certain phones, such as the iPhone, have location services, which allow the phone to register where it is. Not only are there GPS-enabled phones, some memory cards can also record GPS data.

Unfortunately, this information is not only hard to get view. Windows Explorer allows access to only some of this data, and doesn’t even show the entirety of the longitude and latitude – see this article for what data is missing in Windows Explorer.

This information is called GPS metadata, also known as GEOTAG data, document properties or file properties. But apart from position, what information is captured?

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What document properties are captured?

Sometimes, the GPS data is vital to a project. On one case that I was involved in, photographs were said to have been taken in Derbyshire. However, on cataloguing it was found that some of them were taken in North Wales instead.

How accurate is GPS? Tests that I have done indicate that can be accurate to within a few meters, though it is dependent on the device and other factors.

So what is available? Firstly, it should be noted that, in addition to the below, photo and image metadata are also available.

GPS metadata that is available, but not necessary viewable in Windows Explorer, include the following:

GPS metadata - Part 1

  • Altitude (with Denominator, Numerator and Ref)
  • Altitude Ref
  • Area Information
  • Date
  • Dest Bearing
  • Dest Distance
  • Dest Latitude
  • Dest Longitude
  • Differential
  • DOP
  • Img Direction (with Denominator, Numerator and Ref)

GPS metadata - Part 2

  • Latitude (with Denominator, Numerator and Ref)
  • Longitude (with Denominator, Numerator and Ref)
  • Map Datum
  • Measure Mode
  • Processing Method
  • Satellites
  • Speed
  • Status
  • Track
  • Version ID

How can I access this GPS metadata?

As stated above, this information is mostly not available in Windows Explorer.

Because of this, we have developed two metadata extractors which can import this information. They are:

  • Filecats Professional requires Microsoft Excel, and imports these document properties into a spreadsheet. From there, you can filter, copy, annotate and email your spreadsheet to others. You can also use the powerful features of Excel to swiftly create PivotTables in just a few minutes – see this article for how to do this.
  • Filecats Metadata does not require Excel, and instead extracts this metadata into a self-contained table. Again, you can copy, sort and filter, plus you can create analyses with just a few clicks – see this page for more details.

Both these pieces of software for Windows 7 and upwards also create hyperlinks, not just to the file and to the folder, but also to Google Maps, so you can pin-point where a particular photo was taken. Want to see how? See this article, which also shows the various types of formats it can be exported into?

Need to graphically show the location of not just one photo, but several? Maybe several hundred? Well, Filecats Professional and Filecats Metadata also create this information in a compatible format so that you can do this – see this article for more details.

Want to see it in action? See the video below. It’s for Filecats Professional, but Filecats Metadata works in exactly the same way.

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Download a free 7-day trial of these programs today. See how easy it is to obtain this information in a format that you can use.

After all, what have you got to lose? Download today.

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