An update to the GPS photo-tagging app PlaceTagger brings support for the iPad, and also shows us exactly what iCloud was meant for. The v2.0 version not only lets you import photos via camera connection kit and then tag them right there on the iPad — it also syncs the GPS data seamlessly to the Mac version so you can tag photos right there. No tedious exporting of GPX files (unless you want to), nor even having to fix time discrepancies with the iPad and the camera’s clocks.
PlaceTagger works like this: You fire it up, check that your camera’s clock is synced to the iPad’s using an in-app display, and press begin. Then forget about the app until you get home, or back to the hotel.
There, you import your Photos to the iPad and head back over to PlaceTagger. Here, you can pick the photos you want to tag and import them. GPS data is added automatically, and you can save the photos back to the camera roll. Finally, you can export the GPS info as a GPX file, ready to be used by other apps like Lightroom or Aperture.
For heavier lifting, you need to move to the Mac, where you will magically find your recorded GPS tracks, thanks to iCloud. Here you can adjust time-stamps (if you forgot to change the camera’s clock for summer time, for example), and write the tags into RAW files. You can also import and export GPX tracks, letting you use this to geotag photos even if you don’t have an iPhone or iPad to record the data.
It turns out I had bought PlaceTagger for iOS already, so I got this great update free. This version is way slicker, so much so that I might start using it full-time.
There are a few things lacking, though. On the iPad, you can only tag JPEGs, and saving them out makes a copy of the original file. I already use a weird “workflow” for my imported photos, and a slight modification accommodates PlaceTagger pretty well:
- Import RAW files from my Panasonic GF1 via camera connection kit
- Edit the ones I like with Snapseed or another app, and save the resulting JPEG
- Later, import the RAW files into Lightroom direct from the SD card and use as needed
- Use Image Capture periodically to delete all RAW files from the iPad
This leaves me with only the files I have edited on the iPad, and assumes that anything I didn’t edit wasn’t good enough to keep. Either way, the RAW files are all safe on my Mac.
Inserting an extra step to geotag the files I’ve edited in should be easy enough, especially if I’ve organized them into a folder. And as you can use Image Capture to sort on photos which have GPS coordinates, deleting non-tagged photos is easy, too.