Steve & Jemma Copley 11:20am, 1 April 2007
Is anyone else having this problem...?

I geotag photos prior to iPhoto import using PhotoInfoEditor (a very nice little donationware app that allows images to be dropped onto a Google map)

I then import into iPhoto.

Uploading to Flickr is done using the FlickrExport plugin.

I've noticed that some of my images are not placed on a map by Flickr. Further investigation reveals that it's ones that I've edited in iPhoto. Comparing the original images and modified image EXIF data shows the problem:

> Latitude: N 3° 8' 30.16
> Longitude: E 101° 41' 23.485
> Latitude Reference: N
> Longitude Reference: E

> Latitude: 3° 8' 0.460453125
> Longitude: 101° 41' 0.458563316
> Latitude Reference: (missing)
> Longitude Reference: (missing)

iPhoto is messing with the exif lat/long values and in the process making them unacceptable to Flickr.

This is a big problem!

I want to geotag before importing to iPhoto so that iPhoto has the info too. I want to use iPhoto since it has great tagging tools (Keyword Manager - fabulous little extension) and I like the UI.

Any ideas?

Is there a way to fix the geotags after import/edit in iPhoto? I don't want the whole process to become ridiculously complex, but I do want it to work!

Best regards


Note: MacBook Pro running 10.4.9 with iPhoto 6.0.6
Craig Stanton 12 years ago
You can use my GeoTagger application. Postiion Google Earth over your target then drag the pictures from iPhoto onto the GeoTagger icon. The only downside is iPhoto doesn't recan the photo to find out it now has good coordinates. But I promise the coordinates are there. My iPhotoToGoogleEarth plugin correctly picks them up. If you contact the author of the Flickr plugin tell them to look at the original photo if the coordinates in the modified photo do not have direction references.
woowoowoo 12 years ago
my solution: forget iphoto2flickr plugin it seems to strip the exif data (and the interface is horrible!). Use Photosync instead - it's gorgeous and also has the option of getting the current pos.n from Google Earth. You might be interested in this thread and this blog post: my workflow on the mac.
Cobber99 12 years ago
What I do is make an album in iPhoto, make my edits, then select them all and Export to File (original size) to a folder. THEN I use GPSPhotoLinker to merge my track file to my photos (but your tool would work as well), then I up those with the Flickr Uploader for OSX.

SUCKS tho because you are right - iPhoto corrupts the references so it really becomes a pain!
squishyray 11 years ago
@copleys -- i just discovered this issue in iPhoto '08 v 7.1.2. i'm bummed to see it has existed in previous versions without a fix.

you said your adjusted photos don't show up at all. mine show up -- but in Kashmir instead of the southeastern US. since the "longitude reference" field is missing flickr interprets the location as being in the eastern hemisphere.
Craig Stanton 11 years ago
yup, iPhoto still screws things up. I really recommend only using it to store photos, not edit them I've got the advantage of Photoshop I suppose. But if you've got time instead then edit in iPhoto, export (add geotags) and reimport. So long as you don't re-edit them the tags will stay there. And also write to Apple to get them to fix this, the more that do the better chance we'll have of getting heard.
camike 11 years ago
The previous version of iPhoto did mangle the GPS EXIF tags during editing. But the latest version 7 in iLife '08 has fixed the issue for me. I import the photos with Image Capture, geotag with HoudahGeo, import into iPhoto for editing and sorting, then export to flickr with the plugin. Almost all my flickr photos have been edited/cropped in iPhoto and far as I can tell all the location data are showing up properly in flickr.

Older photos imported by the older versions may have corrupted GPS tags so you may have to rebuild the iPhoto library to resync the iPhoto database with the photo tags.
squishyray 11 years ago
@camike: i'm glad you've figured out a way to work with iPhoto. it is still broken in the general case.

my photos are geotagged via GPS when the photo is taken. when imported into iPhoto the data are correct. simply cropping the photo cause the "Longitude Reference" and "Latitude Reference" to be stripped.

i wonder if your workflow using HoudahGeo is storing the data differently. perhaps it is possible to store the sign in the longitude data field rather than using the reference field.

@Intrepid : i filed a bug yesterday with apple. if more people do so perhaps they will address the problem.
Craig Stanton 11 years ago
Would other Mac users agree that GeoTagger could be added to the Usefull GeoTagging Tools list on the group's front page? Incase I haven't made it clear and in the interest of fairness, I should mention that I wrote GeoTagger. I hope nominating myself isn't bad form.
davidagalvan 11 years ago
@Camike, I wonder why you are able to export edited photos from iPhoto to Flickr and the location data is preserved. . . Doesn't makes sense that the difference is due to you using HoudaGeo, since your photos still go through iPhoto which appears to be the problem.

I want to set up a good iPhoto --> Geotag --> Flickr workflow that allows me to have geotagged photos both on my mac AND on flickr without having to drag and drop more than once. Sounds like Geotagger will work well, but I'm worried about the editing in iPhoto stripping the EXIF data. I don't want to have to re-import a photo every time I edit it or use the one-click "enhance" button in iPhoto.

so far I've just been dragging flickr photos onto the map, so I don't mind drag-and-drop placement, but I'd like to do it on my mac so the photos have location data before I upload, and I can take advantage of google earth kml's etc.
davidagalvan 11 years ago
For my clarification:
Does iPhoto (version 6 and/or version 7) do this (remove the geo data in photo's EXIF) only when the photo is edited in iPhoto? IE: as long as you do any editing on the image in iPhoto FIRST, and make sure the geotagging is the last thing you do, will iPhoto keep the appropriate EXIF data (unless/until you edit the photo again)?

I ask because i'm interested in retroactively geotagging photos in my iPhoto library, and I'd like to be able to drag a photo from iPhoto to geotagger, then upload to Flickr using the flickrexport plugin.
davidagalvan 10 years ago
Hi all!

So, apple thought it could just forget about this little iPhoto bug and no one would notice eh?

Fortunately, iPhone may come to the rescue. It has long been advertised to automatically geotag the photos you take with its camera, and it does so accurately. But as soon as you import said photos onto your mac using iPhoto, the lat and lon "Ref" EXIF tags are stripped, and you end up with pics taken in the U.S. showing up in China on the flickr maps, and Australia pics ending up in the northern hemisphere.

Maybe now that a whole new group in the mac community is noticing this problem, Apple will actually get around to fixing it?
B-O-K Posted 10 years ago. Edited by B-O-K (member) 10 years ago
I just tried to reproduce this (imported from an iPhone 3G with iPhoto 5), but the REF-exiftags remain in my shot (both in the iPhoto and the somewhat deeper Originals-folder). See
Nevertheles the pic was not taken in Ireland, but in the Netherlands...
davidagalvan 10 years ago

I'll correct myself and point out that it's not necessarily the process of importing into iPhoto that strips the REF tags. In my experience (using iPhoto 6.0.6), the EXIF REF tags work fine if you just import the photo from the iPhone 3G (or where ever the photo comes from) into iPhoto, and then upload to flickr. I uploaded this photo that way (iPhone --> iPhoto --> Flickr via plugin), and it is correctly tagged and mapped.

However, as soon as you edit or modify the image in iPhoto in any way, iPhoto creates a modified version of the photo with stripped REF tags. When you upload this pic with stripped REF tags, Flickr assumes the longitude is an East lon instead of a West lon (in my case, I'm in Los Angeles, so my photos appear in China). At least, that has been my experience.

This is what happened with this photo:

It sounds like, in your case, you are saying that your photo was incorrectly tagged with a W longitude REF tag by the iPhone itself. Can you verify that was the case in iPhoto? IE: import the photo to iPhoto from your iPhone, then, once it is in your photo library, select it and go to Photos --> Get Info to see what REF tag is there. The reason I suggest this is that I've had photos with correct REF tags make it into iPhoto, only to have those REF tags stripped because I rotated the photo or cropped it before uploading to Flickr. Without REF tags, Flickr makes its own assumptions about whether the longitude was East or West when the photo is imported. My suspicion is that you used EXIF on the image AFTER it was somehow modified by iPhoto, but usually that results in the REF tags being stripped, not replaced with a W when it should be an E.

Your problem seems to be of a different nature than mine. In my case, it seems the photos are correctly geotagged, and then messed up by iPhoto. In your case, it would seem that the photos are incorrectly geotagged by iPhone in the first place. There are similar complaints to what you have said at the apple forum here:
classy detail [deleted] 10 years ago
In my case the photo must have been correctly (well, roughly, by triangulation) geotagged by iPhone, but I think the process of importing into iPhoto did something to it. Curiously, editing in iPhoto (7.1.3) then reversed whatever it did, relocating the image 190km further west:

The iPhoto-edited image was then uploaded to Flickr (using FXXporter) with the more-or-less correct coordinates on Flickr Map.

So I agree with davidagalvan -- iPhoto seems to be the problem (whereas iPhoto may be geotagging correctly). iPhoto can either strip _or_ add REF tags when you rotate an image!!!

Cheers, Bruce
classy detail [deleted] Posted 10 years ago. Edited by classy detail (member) 10 years ago
Update 23.07.08:

iPhoto 7.1.4 appears to have corrected this issue. I took some photos in the garden, imported them into iPhoto 7.1.3 without deleting the originals from iPhone: they were located in the North Sea. I then applied the 7.1.4 update, re-imported the same photos, and they are now located in my neighbourhood.
davidagalvan 10 years ago
@bmckenzie: That's great news regarding the 7.1.4 update! If this holds true, it may be motivation enough for me to splurge $40 on the academic version of iLife just to upgrade my iPhoto.

Heh, I just know that the reason they fixed this in iPhoto now is because of the iPhone 3G release and the fact that they advertise geotagging on the iPhone site:


"Take a photo with the camera, for example, and iPhone can geotag it with GPS location information. That way, when you share photos online, friends and family can see where every snapshot was taken."

Well, too bad it took this long to fix, but I'm glad to see they did!
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