Geotagging Photos

I have a Nikon P950, an emergency purchase (my P900 stopped working – shuttle issue – while I was on a photo safari; it has since been repaired), and I was shocked to learn it didn’t have GPS. Like you, I find the SnapBridge geotagging wretched, and I hate, really hate, needing to use a phone for geotagging. I often am out shooting for hours at a time and sometimes am in locations where being able to recharge a phone overnight may not be possible.

Such a stupid decision on Nikon’s part to not have GPS in the 950.

I guess I’m just ranting here, after just having to fix the tagging on ~ 400 of today’s pics!

I get you on this, but without on-camera gps, it may be the only way. If you don’t want to use a dedicated gps device, then a compromise could be a smartphone with changeable battery. When I know recharging is going to be difficult, I use as a gps an “old” smartphone with removable battery (Samsung Galaxy XCover 4s), without SIM card and running Locus maps. By disabling all forms of connectivity and leaving just the gps positioning function active, I find it does an excellent job both in terms of tracking and of battery life. And then, I always have a fully-charged second battery with me in case the battery in the phone fails (which actually it never has).
Personally I find this works for me much better than in-camera geotagging as either you have to keep the on-camera gps active all the time (battery draining) or you have to reconnect with the satellites each time you want to take a photo (time wasting).
Depends where you go of course, but having some form of gps device is in any case not a bad idea for safety reasons and, if you’re a map fan like me, for the fun of being able to set your position in a broader cartographic context :grinning:.


I’d probably be okay – or learn to be okay – with a dedicated GPS device if it were as accurate and as seamless as the P900’s built-in GPS is. Is there such a device that works with the P950? That could be the answer!

Thanks for the lead on the smartphone with removable battery! I may look into that. Having my camera fail really pointed out the need to have a back-up, and the poor performance of SnapBridge may lead me to look for a used P900. I’d like to like the P950 as much as I like the 900, but the geotagging needs to be better for that to happen.

I don’t have a problem with GPS using up the camera battery – it doesn’t seem to be much of a draw, and I always have at least two extra batteries with me when I’m in the field anyway; I run out of daylight before I run out of juice.

In a survey in a comment of kueda, most discussion members voted for “Manually choose locations in the Uploader”. I think that battery drain (in both smartphone and DSLR camera) is a serious concern, and moving to flight mode don’t solve it.

Maybe, allowing a cleaner way to manually choose locations for many observations of a single upload in a single screen (without many clicks), something like a map that allows dragging different observations on it would make this process much easier and faster?

There is no longer need of commercial software like lightroom to geotag DSLR photos.

I use PixTrack (free iPhone app) to record the track and get a gpx file, and I developed site which allows adding geo tags to jpeg photos easily, privately, locally (without uploading anything, no need of internet access after loading the site), from any browser or operating system, free forever.

I couldn’t accept the situation that such a basic service doesn’t exist freely so I made it.

Please try and share your thoughts.
Code is open in github:

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since you have the skills to make a webpage to add locations to photos, you should just make another webpge or modify your existing one to do what you’re describing here. it’s basically the same thing, except that the inputs or edits will come from user interaction with a map rather than a file.

I bet more users will be aware of iNaturalist then my free shared hosting site that could not serve more then 4 users simultaneously… (The part that is server side)

I don’t feel like it’s a good attitude to develop core requirements outside of iNaturalist, but I can also try to allow pushing observations to iNaturalist from my site. I do understand the large amount of improvement possibilities for iNaturalist. Maybe we need to start a general discussion about a vision of how upload process can be made more quick and more accurate to the needs of the community (there are plenty aspects of this).

I can try to let users batch geotag photos against a map (and then download it or send to iNaturalist). I think that location from tracking app is more accurate, and if iNaturalist can raise awareness about this option this is very beneficial for the community.
If developing such a feature will contribute to iNaturalist development process i would like to contribute as much as I’m available, I would be able to say if it’s complicated or easy to implement. But in the long run I feel that it should be part of iNaturalist core functionality.

I aware that not everyone will use track apps always so I think that a united map for all observations in upload screen is essential.

But I want to shed light on other issue:
Here in Israel using iNaturalist to report observations is not enough wide spread, and we (some researchers and managers in the fungi and slime molds local community) want to recruit volunteers for those under researched fields, but the observations upload process for mass observations such as in fungi tours is quite frustrating and long (especially from mobile → iOS app).
I know that a united version of React for both android and iOS is work in progress for much time already (but I saw some comments here that it might be ready in few months. Can we see somewhere the list of functionality that will be added to mobile?), but that issue is true also on website. Geotagging (on a map or from gpx) is only one important part of this.

if you’re going to do development to integrate directly to iNaturalist, i suggest making a function in Darktable that will send images to iNaturalist (if something like that doesn’t already exist). Darktable already has functionality to load GPS tracks and edit locations on a map. it already has functionality to edit photos and add other tags.

all you would need to add is a way to group multiple photos into individual observations and then upload them to iNaturalist.

I tried several times and couldn’t install darktable on my m1 mac. And I’m a developer, what about nature enthusiasts that aren’t tech savvy?

you should probably contact the Darktable folks or check their forum to see if they have any tips for installation on an M1 machine.

if you don’t like Darktable, there are other alternatives, too. i can’t vouch for it because i’ve never used it, but it looks like DigiKam already has a function to export directly to iNaturalist: from what i can tell, it should handle GPS tracks, etc. (it looks like @benarmstrong was involved in the DigiKam + iNat stuff at least a bit. so he might be able to provide some thoughts, etc.)

I’ll try digiKam, thank you. It looks like a software with many features.
I couldn’t find bulk geotagging feature in digiKam (using gpx or a map).
I didn’t see if exporting to iNaturalist could be done in bulk also, and if it allows to group several photos a multiple observations, to add identifications, get cv help for identification, require custom fields for some types of observations (such as substrate for fungi)…

In my opinion observations upload is a core process of iNaturalist and as such it nice to have other software allow it, but it must be complete and easy process for users of iNaturalist itself.

i don’t have the app, but a simple web search turns up links to the manual that describe these features, plus links to videos that show people doing the GPX workflow. so unless they’ve removed those features recently for some reason, i would just suggest looking harder for these features.

this is the development thread: you can read that if you can’t figure out the workflows any other way.

I’ll do my best to see if this optimizes my private workflow, I don’t think that I’ve stated I finished to review digiKam…

This doesn’t change the fact that uploading observations is a core feature of iNaturalist.

I think that the disagreement between us is if adding location to photos (or observations) is part of the photo editing process (and if so it shouldn’t be part of iNaturalist) or part of the observations reporting process.
Any answer imply that the observations upload process should be reviewed as a whole

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GeoTag - GeoTag is a free macOS application that allows you to update image metadata with geolocation tags by panning and zooming in a map window and then clicking on the location where a photo was taken.

Doesn’t get any easier than that. It’s literally point-and-click on a map.

Thank you. What if I observe and upload 200 photos of 60 observations after one day of observations?
Does geotag allow uploading of gpx file for quick editing of many photos?

I’ve used Geotagster on my Mac (it’s like a few bucks to purchase), which works pretty well for GPX tracks. My main gripe is that it doesn’t add elevation data. Not necessary for iNat but i like having it.

Thanks to @jon_sullivan I started trying out the free, open source Darktable for geotagging last night and it seems to work well.


You’ll have to try it and see.

In a pinch, if you have Google Earth on your phone, you can hit the little blue arrow which will take you to your location. The DMS co-ordinates appear below. you can copy these down and use them when you upload your obs. I know on an iPhone Google Earth doesn’t need mobile coverage to work.

That is not too easy at all, actually. Loads of manual work. What one needs is a tool that automatically adds the location to EXIF based on a GPX track file from the GPS tracker than used during the trip.

Thank you, I do not use Mac, but this kind of software will come very handy. I still have many observations upload from the period my phone camera stipped recording thenlocation without telling me. And for many of them I do have a GPX track on Garmin or Strava.