Geotag Photos with Open GPS Tracker and digiKam

You don’t need a fancy camera with a built-in GPS receiver to geotag your photos. An Android device with the Open GPS Tracker app and digiKam can do the job just fine. The app lets you track your route and save it as a GPX file which you can then use to geocorrelate your photos in digiKam.

Geocorrelation is a relatively simple process which assigns geographical coordinates from the GPX file to the photos based on their time stamps. So for this technique to work its magic, you must sync the time on your Android device with your camera. When you head for a photo walk, launch Open GPS Tracker on your Android device and start a new tracking session. When you are back home, stop the tracking session, and use the Share Track button in Open GPS Tracker to save the recorded track in the GPX format on the SD card or send it via email to your machine.

Offload then the photos from your camera to digiKam, select them, and choose Image » Geolocation » Correlator. Press the Load GPX File button and select the GPX file. digiKam should then automatically assign geographical coordinates to the photos. By default, digiKam can tolerate a 30-second gap between the time settings of the camera and the GPX track. If the gap is longer, the application may fail to assign geographical coordinates to some of the photos. In this case, you can increase the time gap in the Max time gap field. Press then the Correlate button to refresh the geographical coordinates. This makes geocorrelation less precise, but you can use the Edit button to adjust the coordinates manually. Once you’re satisfied with the result, press the Apply button to save the assigned coordinates in the photos’ metadata, and you are done.

Freelance tech writer covering Linux and open source software.

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Posted in Open Source, Photography, Software
6 comments on “Geotag Photos with Open GPS Tracker and digiKam
  1. Petr says:

    I thought, that most modern cameras are supplied with a built-in GPS receiver..

  2. Also try http://www.gobreadcrumbs which is a free web application which does a similar thing. It allows you to upload your GPS track (via either Garmin or GPX) and then upload photos/videos along with the track. It will automatically geotag the photos and videos on the track by matching the timestamps of the photos up with the timestamps in the GPS track.

  3. Likan says:

    That is too complicated.

    If you happen have a Nikon DSLR which support direct gps, just connect the device with the camera and all photos are geotagged and then use Geosetter or Jetphotosoftare, which can upload the photo directly to Google Earth or Google Map. http://www.photolife.com/blog/?p=3063

  4. I know quite a few ppl including myself that have older digital cameras that do not have geotagging capabilities. It sucks that Digikam no longer supports the upload and tagging of my photo’s in version 2.1. Looks like a roll back will be in my future.

  5. Matthias Urlichs says:

    digiKam 3 doesn’t even support writing geotag information to images.
    This is really diappointing.

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