iPhone to become photo geotagging assistant? | iLounge News


iPhone to become photo geotagging assistant?

A hidden dialog box in Apple’s recently released iPhoto ‘09 software suggests the company may be planning to use the iPhone 3G’s GPS to assist users in geotagging their non-iPhone photos. TidBITS reports that an unused dialog box contains text “Activate the location application on your iPhone or iPod Touch. Once selected, any available location information will be transferred to your iPhoto library and associated with the photos in the selected event(s).” Elsewhere, a separate string states, “Select an iPhone or iPod Touch from your list of named devices. Once selected, the appropriate information will be transferred to your iPhoto library and associated with the photos in the selected event(s).”

While further specifics are currently unknown, it appears that users would need to run a program on their iPhone or iPod touch that would log location data as they traveled, then sync with iPhoto ‘09 to geotag photos taken with any camera that does not support geotagging natively. The report suggests that the data might also be used to create more accurate maps, showing the route taken between shots. It is unclear how the feature would work with the original iPhone or iPod touch units, which lack GPS support, whether the application would be allowed to run in the background, and what the drain on battery life may be; the presence of a reference to iPod touch is especially unusual as the device’s Wi-Fi functionality is its only tool for vaguely estimating locations. As with any unannounced feature, Apple may also choose not to implement the idea. [via Infinite Loop]

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Eye-Fi geotags photos through wifi and Skyhook.  It’s actually fairly accurate.  Didn’t Apple use Skyhook for the 1st gen iPhone for the Maps application?   

This really does seem like a nice application to have though.  Take pictures and then just open the iPhone to tag your current location.  iPhoto does the job of matching up photo and time.  Excellent!

Posted by Adam on February 20, 2009 at 1:55 PM (CST)


I hope that a GPS chip is put into the next generation ipod touch - this would really improve the functionality of an iPod Touch over an iPhone, even if you have a separate phone with you - just do all your fancy applications through it and just calls and text on your basic phone. I do feel that the touch is very limited without internet and gps - it would finally unlock all those really interesting location based apps such as where to go and what to do - hey i even may sign up for twitter because of the functionality of my device. thats why i signed up for gmail - because it was my main way of checking mail on the pod that booting up the pc.

Posted by AlanC on February 20, 2009 at 2:00 PM (CST)


You can search the App store for different tracking applications that turn the GPS unit into a tracker that makes a log file, you then use the log file to marry with your pictures using some desktop software to geotag.

Though making this more seemless would be a great thing.

For non-iPhone users a geotrack such as the amod AGL3080 will make a great log file to attach to your photos. Sweet, eh, can be found for around 65$. If you already have a GPS you travel with it can often make log files you can use. Sweet.

Posted by studogvetmed on February 20, 2009 at 2:37 PM (CST)


I already do this (albeit inelegantly).

Whenever I change location on a Photo shoot, i take a snap with my iPhone.
Later in iPhoto, I commit the iPhone GPS data to the related photos. This of course assumes that the Photographer has the date and time set correctly in their camera…

An integrated solution would be much nicer to use though.

Posted by Dan Woods on February 20, 2009 at 2:56 PM (CST)


1 easy way to do it would be the Nike iPod Nano style.  Just sell a small device that you can plug into certain cameras (they could partner with camera makers) that sends a signal to the iphone whenever a picture is taken, and the iphone logs the location and time. The timestamps can be used by iphoto to determine which picture is associated with which log.

They could either create a separate application, that opens whenever the picture is taken, or they could also have a background app running all the time (like the iTunes app).  Ideally, however, they have finished the push messaging which can be used to initiate the app.

Posted by addicted on February 20, 2009 at 3:10 PM (CST)


There’s an app called Trails that will record a hike or photo trip.  You can send the GPS data to your email and then load it into another program that will match up your location with your photos.

Just gotta make sure your phone and camera are sync’d with the same date/time.

Posted by Christopher on February 20, 2009 at 4:19 PM (CST)


Sony already has a device like this. It’s a tiny device that syncs date and time with the location you were at. I believe it was $100, but could be wrong.

Posted by Lou the Tailor on February 21, 2009 at 12:59 PM (CST)

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