Geotagging photos in Ubuntu!

11May12

I love taking pictures. I do it a lot, probably too much in fact, but one of the things I really like about digital photography is the idea that I could record where a photo was taken. This is what my pictures look like when they’re all nicely geotagged :)

Flickr photo with map

It means that I get a nice map to look at :)

My Flickr photos map

So how to gather this data? Well! I could use a GPS logger on my smartphone. I already use Endomondo to track walks and cycle rides but that’ll drain my battery and I’ll get to the end of the day and have no phone left to call for help if I get trapped under a rock or break down. Nah, that’s not the way to do it. Instead, I thought, I’ll go all out and get myself a GPS logger, a dedicated one. So I did.

Behold the Blumax 4400!

The Blumax 4400 GPS logger

It’s the size of a matchbox, has a battery that lasts 25 hours (so they claim) and it’s the same battery as a Nokia mobile which can be picked up on eBay for a couple of pounds. If you do get the same logger as me you can follow these excellent instructions on how to get it to run with mtkbabel. I have to run the instructions using sudo but there may be a reason for that I’ve not figured out. It works for me though so that’s the main thing.

Before you try this you will need:

  • A camera with the correct date and time set – this is important as the GPS device will get time from the satellites
  • 1 x GPX file, you can get this from any GPS logging program or service for a phone or other device
  • Some pictures taken at the same time as you were logging your journey

In practice this means I can turn this on, drive, walk, run, cycle, move and then download the waypoints onto y computer when I get home. It spits out a .GPX file into my home directory.

Next I download the images to my computer and head over to Software centre to download GPS Correlate from the Ubuntu Software Centre. This splendid little package then lets me select my folder of images, select my GPX file and hit the button and Ta-daa! All my pictures are tagged!

It’s super fast and fits nicely into my Darktable workflow for editing my images.

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One Response to “Geotagging photos in Ubuntu!”

  1. Hello.

    Thanks for the article on geotagging. I’m an avid darktable user – mostly using the git version for all the awesome features.
    I had not realised that the images could be “auto-tagged” in software!
    Now I have to buy a new toy :D (that’s a good thing)


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