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Fixing your geodata in Lightroom

April 22, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

I guess we’ve all done it. With autumn approaching, we recently reverted to standard time from daylight saving time, and I forget to change the cameras back one hour. This is a little annoying, but can make a mess if you’re using capture time for geotagging.

Geotagging is available (and easy) in both Lightroom and Aperture. For my part, I use an iOS app called Trails to track my movements. I then transfer the tracklog file to my Mac, open it in Lightroom, and in the Mapping module load the tracklog and auto-tag the images.

 

 

Screen capture of Lightroom tracklog menu

Screen capture of Lightroom tracklog menu

 

Easy – and if your camera is one of the newer models with GPS built in – easier still, as your images as loaded will have the GPS data embedded already.

The way Lightroom handles this is to compare the times in the tracklog with the times images were captured. Provided your tracking device (in my case, my iPhone) and your camera’s clock are within a second or so of each other, it works very well. However, if you didn’t change the camera’s clock, loaded your images and geotagged them, your results will be way off. In my case, images were being tagged kilometres from where they were made.

If you’re a dumb as me, it’s not really a problem – well, in this case anyway. I did the following:

Firstly, I selected the incorrectly tagged images and then went into Lightroom’s metadata panel:

 

The location tag in Lightroom

The location tag in Lightroom’s metadata panel.

 

“Mixed’ simply indicates a range of locations – as you would expect. I selected the GPS field and hit the delete button. The images were no-longer tagged.

Next, I corrected the capture time for the images. This was easy, as my camera’s clock was one hour fast, I selected the range of images, went into Metadata > Edit capture time, and shifted the capture time one hour back.

 

Edit capture time screen in Lightroom.

Edit capture time screen in Lightroom.

 

Now all I had to do was recall the tracklog and re-geotag my images.

All a bit messy, I will agree, but not as bad as having my images tagged kilometres away from their actual location.

And the message from all this? Come spring, I’ll change the cameras when I change the (many) other clocks in the house – and save myself some unnecessary work!

Shane

 

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