How do I geotag webcam pictures?
May 1, 2008 12:50 PM   Subscribe

I'm driving cross country and parking a webcam on the dash. I also have a bluetooth GPS receiver. I want these two devices together to end up with a folder full of geotagged images, but my google-fu is failing to provide an easy answer. Does anyone out there know?

I'm currently running OS X, 10.4.11 and 10.5.2 on the laptops that are going on the trip, 2 PowerBooks and a MacBook Air.
posted by frijole to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
Added as a favorite, but sorry, I don't know how to help.

It seems that some post-trip data processing would do the trick for you though. If your bluetooth GPS receiver adds a datestamp into the xml-based file (possibly .KML), then you could possibly cross-reference that with the EXIF data from your images and merge the two together.

I'll be following closely to see how this turns out.
posted by stuboo at 1:46 PM on May 1, 2008

A program called Robogeo is supposed to do this sort of thing but I cannot get it to work.
posted by LarryC at 2:06 PM on May 1, 2008

Also, these guys & gals may be able to help.
posted by stuboo at 2:16 PM on May 1, 2008

Best answer: Sorry for multiple posts, but you've struck a nerve with this geek. This seems to be what you're after - and for a Mac too!

And reading further makes me want to go buy a mac just so I can do this.
posted by stuboo at 2:21 PM on May 1, 2008

Best answer: You can geotag on Linux too. There's even software to geocode on Linux and Windows. Not to mention geotagging software written in Java to be truly cross-platform. Though under OS X, you don't even need a full blown application to do this (it's really just modifying the EXIF of your image anyhow) you can use a simple Automator Action to geotag your photos.

(The one thing that is nice about OS X is how you can easily automate things without having to do things like write a bash script. Sometimes, I don't feel like firing up a text editor.)
posted by Brian Puccio at 3:45 PM on May 1, 2008

Response by poster: Wow, some great stuff, thanks.

None of them tag on the fly, though, which is what I'm really after. I suppose if I can somehow pull the coordinates from the GPS, I can combine that with parts of the automator action to tag it on the fly, I think that's the best bet so far.
posted by frijole at 8:34 PM on May 1, 2008

Response by poster: Aaaaaaah! Those automator actions appear to be MIA, but I might've found the author's current employers, and have inquired of them via their contact form.
posted by frijole at 8:48 PM on May 1, 2008

Best answer: I found a copy of the automator actions, and stashed a copy for you here. I have no idea if they work; I've never used them.

If I were going to do something like this I'd probably write a script that used gpsd and exiftool.
posted by hades at 11:34 PM on May 1, 2008

Best answer: On further inspection, it doesn't look like those actions do realtime tagging either. Check out gpsd and exiftool--if you're going to be writing a script to do this, they (and a way to trigger a shot on the webcam) should be all you need. If you don't mind waiting until the weekend, drop me a line in MeFi Mail and I can probably write something for you. Maybe something that watches a directory for new images, and geotags them with the current location as they appear; that way all you'd need to write would be something to snap a photo and put the image in the directory.
posted by hades at 11:40 PM on May 1, 2008

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