Geotagging Photos with digiKam

Even if your camera doesn’t support geotagging, you can easily add geographical coordinates to your photos using digiKam.

digiKam_EditGeoCoordinates

In digiKam, select the photo you want to geotag and choose Image -> Geolocation -> Edit Coordinates. This opens the Edit Geographical Coordinates window containing a map. Drag the map with the mouse and zoom on a specific area to locate the exact place where the photo was taken. Alternatively, you can use the Search field to enter the address, for example: botanic garden, berlin, germany. Hit then the Search button, and you should see a list of found places that are marked with pins on the map. To add geographical coordinates to the photo, click on the exact spot on the map to add a pin to the place where the photo was taken. You can then drag the pin with the mouse to adjust the pin’s position. Hit then OK, and you are done.

digiKam_Correlator

If you use a GPS device to record your track when shooting photos, you can use digiKam’s Correlator tool to geotag the images (mapping photos using a GPX file is often called geocorrelation). To do this, you have to export the recorded track from your GPS unit as a GPX file. In digiKam, select the photos you want to correlate, choose Image -> Geolocation -> Correlator, then press the Load GPX File button and select the GPX file. Hit then the Correlate button, and digiKam does the rest. Keep in mind that for this feature to work properly, the time on your GPS device and digital camera must be in sync. If the time on both devices differs, you can specify the time gap in the Difference in min[utes] field.

digiKam_GeolocationSidebar

Once you’ve geotagged your photos, you can view them on the map without leaving the convenience of digiKam. To do this, click on the Geolocation sidebar to expand it, select the photo you want, and you should see it on the map. digiKam even lets you choose between different map providers, including Google Maps, OpenStreetMap, and MSN Maps. To switch to the desired map, choose it from the drop-down list at the bottom of the Geolocation sidebar.

Quick Notes

  • digiKam can geotag photos in the JPEG and RAW formats.
  • If your GPS device doesn’t support GPX format, you can use the GPS Babel tool to convert the device’s proprietary format to GPX.
  • In the future, digiKam will support Marble and OpenStreetMap for offline geotagging.
  • Nokia has recently opened their map web service API, so it’s possible that digiKam will provide support for Nokia maps in the future.

Thanks to Gilles Caulier for the comments.

Freelance tech writer covering Linux and open source software.

Tagged with: , , , , ,
Posted in Open Source, Photography, Software
11 comments on “Geotagging Photos with digiKam
  1. JohnP says:

    Very nice write-up. I’ll be trying your method ASAP.

    I wrote a similar blog entry, not as clear or easy to use, on geocorrelation using GPS data, gpsPhoto.pl, gpsbabel and KML files that you can use with google maps here: http://jdpfu.com:82/2009/09/20/gps-data-and-hiking. Parts of it may be helpful to some of your readers.

  2. JohnP says:

    Uh, perhaps I’m dense, but which version of digiKam includes the geotagging capability?

    I’m not seeing it in 0.9.3, the version my distro installed.

    • PhilipH says:

      Digikams uses the “kipi-plugins” for it’s geo-tagging support. You need to install them first and perhaps than neet to enable the “gpssync” plugin in “Settings -> KIPI-Modules”.

      On the other hand: I find the work-flow hard to use, especially if you want to geo-tag a lot of pictures (>100), since for each distinct location you need to go to the menu, down to sub-menues and allways wait some seconds until the map-tiles are loaded from Google Maps.

  3. krazykoreankyle says:

    wow i did not know you could do that!

  4. Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by dmpop: Fresh Scribbles: Geotagging Photos with digiKam http://wp.me/pEQNe-3a #digikam #photography #linux…

  5. I am using a garmin GPSmap 76 CSx.
    coordinates in the gpx file have this annotation:
    i.e.: lat=”46.497330″ lon=”18.916438″

    If I read the gpx file in digikam, it gets a different annotation:
    i.e.: GPS longitude 18deg 9.16438′
    GPS Latitude 46deg 49.7330

    Google earth, and Google maps don’t regognise the digikam way of writing the coordinates.
    These programs want the coordinates written like this:

    46(character for degree) 49″73.30′ N
    18 (idem) 91″6438′ E

    So, if I want to see the location of my photo in google maps, it doesn recognise the format .

    Is it possible to change any of the formats in a way they understand each other ?

  6. Bogdan says:

    Nice writing, but some things are not clearly explained.
    For instance the time gap in minutes. Is it only positive? What if the GPS was ahead ? What if the camera was ahead ?
    I had the camera on the GMT -5 and the GPS on GMT, hat is the time gap ? +5 or -5 hours?
    I see that the gap does not allow negative gap. This looks like a bug to me
    The plugin has evolve since this writing and I believ that it obsolete. There are a number of thing which need explained: camera time zone ( +/- gap) , what is the differenc e between Correlate and Apply buton, etc

    Thanks
    Bogdan

    • Michał Borsuk says:

      Bogdan, the gap you enter is the absolute value, so it doesn’t matter. This is not a bug.

      The answers to what Correlate and Apply are is in the help. If you’re using Gnome (as opposed to KDE) you may not have those files, so search on Gógle.

  7. Hey, thanks for the explanation! I was curious if Digikam had this feature, now I know. Gonna bring my phone with gps tracking next time I’m out shooting and test! :)

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