I rode my bicycle around the lake of Zug and used the occasion to try out GPS tagging (this means to add GPS-Information to photos, so they can easily be shown on Maps). I wanted to visualize my trip and my photos I had taken on that trip, so I evaluated websites like flickr, to see, how well the support geotagging. The result is this article, which will hopefully help you to select the best website, if you want to do some geotagging.
This article can be divided into 4 sections: 1. GPS tagging - a tutorial - What do you need to do GPS tagging? 2. Combination of GPS-Track-Data and Photos - How to visualize the photos on the track of your trip. 3. Uploading the pictures - which provider to choose? - Which photo-website provides the best support for geotagging? 4. Links for GPS tagging - some references
1. GPS tagging - a tutorial
satellite-image of the bicycle-tour around the lake of Zug
What you need
a photo camera - in my case the cell phone Sony Ericsson K800i
Make sure the two devices have the same date and time set up. This is crucial for matching the photos with the GPS-information afterwards.
How to put the GPS data into the photo's EXIF data
I used the GPSPhotoLinker (Mac only) to get the track-Data from the Garmin and to tag the photos.
If you use Windows, you can search for a GPS/geotagging-tool on Versiontracker. A good freeware could be GeoSetter, but I haven't tested it yet, and don't know if it supports batch geotagging. If you tested it, please leave a comment. (Update: GeoSetter seems to work as the comments below by Sander and Danni say)
To get the track-data from the Garmin and translate it into GPX, you can use GPS Babel.
A preview of the combination of track-data and images
With Picasa Web Albums it's easy to mash up tracks and photos. Just open the track-file. Then right-click on the track and choose "Add-->Network-link". Enter the link to the KML-File of Picasa Web Albums (to be found under the link "View in Google Earth"). For my trip, that looks like this: Google Earth-file for the bicycle-tour.
Now you can walk through every photo by selecting "Tools-->Play Tour".
For those of you, who don't want to startup Google Earth, a preview is shown on the right, and there is also a possibility to directly show your KMZ-file in Google Maps! (Instructions here) Have a look at my KMZ-file in Google Maps.
In Flickr, there is also an integration into Google Earth, but nor for each album, only for all the photos of an user. At the end of the user's page there's a KML-Link, that you can add as a network link in Google Earth. I also included a network-link to flickr in another KMZ-file, but strangely not all the photos from flickr are included...
Via-Ferrata (german) is very good for uploading track-info. Beside showing track on a Google Map, they calculate different stuff like average speed and provide a visualization of the elevation-profile. It should also be possible to upload images, which are directly inserted on the Google Map, unfortunately that didn't work. (Possibly because the time on the track-file is 2h behind the time of the Garmin etrex vista)
1. Combine the track-data and the photos in Google Earth like I described here
2. Upload the KMZ-File on a server. If you don't have your own webspace, use a hoster like Mediafire for example.
3. Create a Google Map-Link to that file: http://maps.google.com/?q=<link_to_your_kmz_file>&t=h (the variable t at the end defines the type of the map. (h= hybrid, k= satellite, no parameter t = normal map)
4. You're done
Good integration with google maps. For every album, a small google map is showed, where the location of the images can be seen
It's possible to merge gps-tracks and image-locations in a Google-Earth file (KMZ-file)
No easy multiple upload per web interface, iPhoto-Plugin and Uploader-Program needed to upload a lot of photos.
if you upload images by "Picasa Web Albums Uploader" and scale the images for faster transfer, the GPS-Data is deleted from the EXIF-Metadata, so be sure to use the option "Actual Size (slowest upload)"
upload of gpx-tracks, to match tracks with photos
first you have to explicitly allow picasa to use the gps-information inside the EXIF-data of the images. You have to go to "Settings" and then activate "Use Exif location information." Normally, as soon as Picasa discovers images with location tags, it will ask you if you want to enable this function.
PS. There are 3rd-party-websites, that provide mashups of flickr and maps. Mappr was unreachable during this evaluation, and loc.alize.us didn't return pictures for a user-dependent search.
Photos. I only uploaded some for testing purposes.
Gives you the opportunity to make your pictures visible for everyone in Google Earth.
absolutely no possibility to upload multiple photos in one click. Every photo has to be uploaded one-by-one.
no possibility to arrange photos into albums, therefore there's only a Google Map for each of the photos.
Picasa Web Albums is the best choice to upload gps tagged pictures, because maps are directly integrated into the album, you don't have to use a 3rd-party website. Furthermore, you can easily combine track data and images in Google Earth and Google Maps.
4. Links for GPS tagging
GPS Visualizer - Upload a GPS-datafile and get visualizations in Google Earth, Google Maps or as image-files.
For Mac: GPSPhotoLinker - import GPS-Tracks from Garmin-device as GPX-file and insert that GPX-data into photos
For PC: GPS Babel - translate GPS-tracks from Garmin-devices into GPX-files Google Earth Blog - I've got some information about Google Earth tagging from there
GPS-Tagging of Photos with @Trip and i-gotU
Some time ago I received a parcel from Taiwan. A company called Mobile Action asked me if I wanted to write a blog-review about their new GPS-Logging solution. They do not only sell the [...]
Weblog: News of the future - Andreas Bossard Tracked: Sep 14, 07:34
"View in Google Earth" is a link, that can be found in Picasa Web Albums. You first have to upload your photos to Picasa Web Albums, then the KML-File can be found in the left corner of your album. For example in my album: http://picasaweb.google.com/andreasbossard/LakeOfZugBicycleTour#lhid_geolinks
For geotagging my photos I use GPSed Photo Take'n'Pin (http://photo.gpsed.com) - simple and free Windows-based software that adds location coordinates (geotags) to photos.
It's really convenient to use one service for GPS tracking from mobile, archiving tracks and photo geotagging. Check it out: http://gpsed.com
Very thorough evaluation of the different possibilities, thanks. In the end, I prefer Flickr, largely due to its other non-geotagging features. You can check out another comparison of Flickr and Picasa here:
Andreas, great post. I like your methodic approach to deciding the best tool for the job. You may be interested in evaluating PlanetEye.com It is meant to do exactly what you're trying to: upload photos in one operation, use EXIF information for automatic geotagging and generation of a stunning map that can be shared with others.
thanks very much for your page! I used Geosetter last night and was able to stitch my GPS track onto some pictures I had taken while hiking Big Basin, CA. It works quite well as long as you remember to save all the pictures after they get their EXIF data updated. That's a separate step (which is fine) that isn't immediately obvious. The first time I thought I had updated my images only to find out my work was lost after exiting
I've recently been to India and Nepal where I used the Amod AGL3080 tracker which works quite fine actually. I've taken RAW+JPEG (.CR2 raw files from my Canon 7D camera) which I wanted to geotag before I worked more on them and exported etc. from Lightroom. I came across your old post here and tried GeoSetter (version 3.4.16 from 2011) which works surprisingly well for a free piece of software. Thanks for the tip, I wouldn't have found it otherwise
Thank you for sharing it, that is very useful. It is great.
Just you haven't mentioned the direct geotagging way such as Nikon GP-1 and Easytagger GPS. Especially Easytagger GPS, can geotag directly into the photo' exif and when opened in Flickr,etc, it can link to the map directly. Also many other bright features, details in www.e-geotag.com
Also, Mr.Andreas, if you are interested, could you mind to do a review of this Easytagger gps and then share the pros and cons of the product with website visitors.