When you take a photo with your smartphone, date, time, and GPS location information (if you allow your camera app to access your location) are stored within the photo’s metadata. iNaturalist’s app and website are able to read that data and use it for your observation’s date, time, and location.
However, not all dedicated cameras (eg DSLRs, mirrorless cameras, etc) have GPS capabilities and thus are not able to record location information. But if you use a smartphone or dedicated GPS device to keep track of you while you are in the field, there are applications out there which can use that track to add location information to your photos, a process known as “geotagging”.
Learning how to geotag my photos has really improved my iNatting experience, so I made this tutorial video to show you how to do it.
A few notes on the video:
I no longer use Lightroom so I purchased a third-party geotagging app called PhotoLinker (for MacOS only, I believe). There are other alternatives out there, some of which are free, just do a web search for geotagging software if your current photo software doesn’t support geotagging.
The smartphone app featured in the video happens to be MotionX GPS, but there are many other apps available for both Android and iOS.
Maybe most importantly, ensure that your camera’s clock and your GPS device’s clock are in sync. Most geotagging software allows you to compensate for time differences, but it’s best to check this before you start photographing, especially after Daylight Savings Time changes or you go on a trip and cross into a different time zone.
If you have suggestions for apps to use, or if you have a different method, definitely write share them in a reply.