How to Geotag images?

Joined
Mar 11, 2012
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Apologies if this has been asked before, I did do a search in the Z forum.

Is there a GPS unit for the Z7? The one I used previously plugged into the 10pin port on the front of the DSLR bodies.

I believe I can use the Nikon app on a smartphone as a remote, and that apparently will geotag the images, but this is not really a suitable long term solution for me. I’m looking for a simple automated solution 🙂
 
Joined
Jan 22, 2019
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St. Charles, IL
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Andy
If you don't want to buy and connect an accessory to your camera (either wired or wireless), it is pretty easy to geotag in Lightroom or Photo Mechanic. You just need a smartphone or a watch that has GPS.

While shooting:
1. Record GPS data with your phone or watch. For the phone, various apps exist; I use "myTracks" which is a free iPhone app.
2. Set your camera's clock accurately. This will ensure GPS data is matched to your photos accurately.

At the computer
3. Export the .gpx file from your device to the computer.
4. Import images to LR
5. Use the LR plugin "GeoEncode" by Jeffrey Friedl (free version lets you geotag up to 10 images at a time)

If you happen to use Photo Mechanic, no additional plugin is needed. A function in that software allows you to select multiple images and geotag them using multiple .gpx files.

I've been using this method for a few years and it works extremely well.
 
Joined
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Thank you @Walter and @acnomad for your input!

I use a Garmin GLO 2 bluetooth GPS receiver, which does the hard yards of GPS and connects to my smartphone via bluetooth. This allows my phone to be in my back pocket, bag, or where ever, plus it minimises phone battery usage. I currently use Ol.Track which is an Olympus app which works well, and as I get close to the car, I turn on WiFi connectivity on the Olympus camera, and the app applies the geocodes to the RAW files in the camera. @acnomad, I do use Photo Mechanic and your method is similar to what I currently do now, other than I need to get the .gpx files off my phone and apply the data on the computer. It is a much cheaper alternative than the Solmeta device, so I will give that a try before investing in any more hardware. I can use the Nikon app to sync the clock as I start my walk, I do this using the OL.Track app with the Olympus.
 
Joined
Jul 13, 2008
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Southern California
I have the Solmeta unit and it works fine. Lots of geo info and the camera and then Lightroom pick it up all up with nary a hitch. My only complaint is that it takes up the hot shoe and the data port on the camera. Does anyone make a data port "hub" wher you can plug in multiple devices to that port on the Z6? For example, I also like to use remote shutter releases which also use that port.
 
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Thank you @Starwind for your input!

The use of the hot shoe and data port are why I want to trial the method @acnomad has documented above. I sometimes use on and/or off camera flash while in the field plus remote trigger for some subjects.
 
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I have the Solmeta unit and it works fine. Lots of geo info and the camera and then Lightroom pick it up all up with nary a hitch. My only complaint is that it takes up the hot shoe and the data port on the camera. Does anyone make a data port "hub" wher you can plug in multiple devices to that port on the Z6? For example, I also like to use remote shutter releases which also use that port.
There were GPS units made for older Nikon bodies that had a "pass-through" port to permit attachment of other devices such as an intervalometer or remote release cable. I suspect a similar device would exist for the Z cameras, and IIRC, they were reasonably priced. Still an imperfect solution, IMO, as you are forced to open protective side cover of the camera and expose it to the elements.
 
Joined
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Good luck! Feel free to send me a PM or post follow up questions here if you run into issues.
Thank you!

I have downloaded an app Geotag Photos Pro 2, which is a paid app. However, you get to do 3 trips for free, so I’ll trial it, then will either purchase it or trial a few others if it works okay for me. The reason for trialing this app is it automatically uploads the GPX file to the cloud. You have various options including Dropbox, and iCloud to sync it to.
 
Joined
Jul 13, 2008
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Southern California
Thank you @Starwind for your input!

The use of the hot shoe and data port are why I want to trial the method @acnomad has documented above. I sometimes use on and/or off camera flash while in the field plus remote trigger for some subjects.
You are welcome! Personally I really do not want to go to the smart phone as geo tagger method. acnomad, not knocking your choice of method. If it works for you, more power to you. I just don't want to mess with yet more hardware synchronizing when I go to moving my images onto the computer. Unfortunately, a solution which collects everything into a simple method at the camera does not seem to exist.

Solmeta does have an app where you can control the shutter remotely with your phone when the gps unit is attached. However, the Android (I don't know anything about the iOS version) version is rudimentary and only does focussing and shutter release, not any kind of timed release or multiple shots or any of the other functions the dedicated remotes do. It is also requires the use of the Z's bluetooth communications abilities, which I find to be rather clunky to use.
 
Joined
Jul 13, 2008
Messages
184
Location
Southern California
There were GPS units made for older Nikon bodies that had a "pass-through" port to permit attachment of other devices such as an intervalometer or remote release cable. I suspect a similar device would exist for the Z cameras, and IIRC, they were reasonably priced. Still an imperfect solution, IMO, as you are forced to open protective side cover of the camera and expose it to the elements.
I have looked around for something similar for the Z's, but have yet to find anything.
 
Joined
Jan 22, 2019
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St. Charles, IL
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I just don't want to mess with yet more hardware synchronizing when I go to moving my images onto the computer.
Yes, it can be tedious if the clock in the camera wasn't set accurately at the time of shooting, but even that is fairly easy to resolve. The process has become second nature to me now that I'm used to it. It surprises me that Nikon doesn't simply have a built in GPS sensor in the body so we need not resort to workarounds. Maybe that's coming in the next generation...
 
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Walter Rowe
One other option some people use is to snap a cell phone image at each location to record the geotag data, and use software on the computer to apply that data to the images during post processing. Lightroom can do this. exiftool can update the original raw files. Photo Mechanic might be able to do this.
 
Joined
Jan 22, 2019
Messages
1,079
Location
St. Charles, IL
Real Name
Andy
One other option some people use is to snap a cell phone image at each location to record the geotag data, and use software on the computer to apply that data to the images during post processing. Lightroom can do this. exiftool can update the original raw files. Photo Mechanic might be able to do this.
That is a really good suggestion for two reasons. First, it helps with any timestamp mismatches that might exist between the camera's clock and actual time (GPS is basically never wrong, since the satellites "know" the correct time). Second, the cell phone would not have to constantly record and map a ground track, hence battery life of the phone would be prolonged. Otherwise, the process is in principle the same as what I suggested above.
 

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