Metadata from Google Photos not importing (Android)

When I select photos from Google Photos, the date/time and location is not being imported with the photo.

This applies to photos being imported from the cloud, as opposed photos stored on the local device.

This problem has been occurring for at least a few months.

What do you mean by “cloud” - Google Photos? Can you walk us through the process, using screenshots? It would also be helpful if you can send one of these photos to

I infer this means the photo is no longer locally stored on the local device (phone, desktop). Is this perhaps related to:

Also, do you have the “Remove geo location” setting on or off in the Google Photos app? Does the iNaturalist app have the permission to access your photos, location, and storage?

It might be. Other consequences of our lack of Google verification have begun manifesting this week. As usual, Google is a bit opaque regarding why things work in some places and not others.

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I have the same problem too. Google Photos automatically uploads photos from your phone to its cloud. You can then choose to have Photos remove all photos from your phone that it’s ‘safely backed up.’ When I upload photos that are still on my phone, [most of the time] all the info appears. When I have Photos remove the photos first, then try to upload, all of the data is missing and I have to manually input it. The app has all the permissions and I’m pretty sure that I don’t have ‘Remove geo location’ checked- after I remove the photos from my phone, they still have the time and location on Google Photos (both web and app).

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On certain Android devices (such as the Pixel), Google Photos is the gallery app for both photos stored on the smartphone as well as those photos which have been moved to the cloud. The reason I’m mentioning this is that whilst for Google Photos users, the steps required to Share an image with iNaturalist are the identical whether the original image is on the phone or Google Photos servers, different processes are occurring in the backend

This setting is set to OFF

Yes, iNaturalist app has full permissions

I just thought I’d follow up on this: I’ve noticed that location information from the photos in Google Photos seems to not transfer to iNaturalist when Google Photos reports that the location is “estimated location”, which I guess, means that it is an approximate location, derived from triangulation using cell phone towers and wifi hotspots, I guess.

I have found the location of photos marked as “estimated location” within Google Photos to be quite inaccurate, ie, +/- 1km or more, in some cases.

This might be why the location doesn’t transfer across for these photos.

I’ll keep you posted as I learn more.

This is 100% true:

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