December 2, 2011

Geotagging without GPS connected to camera



eople ask me frequently how I do geotag the photos I do feature on my webpages such as pbase or flickr, especially without having a GPS receiver directly connected to the camera.

What is geotagging?
Geotagging is inserting the geographical position where a photograph was taken to the EXIF information within the digital photo captured by the camera. Websites such as pbase or flickr as well as many tools do read out these values to display such a geotagged photo on a map.

How are photos geotagged?
The easiest way to geotag a photo is using a camera connected to a GPS where the camera will automatically write the geographical position to each captured photo. Some digital cameras do offer a built-in GPS receiver for this purpose. Manufacturers do also offer GPS receivers to be mounted to the flash hot shoe and will communicate with the camera over an additional cable connection. But what if you do already have a GPS receiver or use more than one camera? Geotagging photos is possible without connecting a GPS receiver to the camera, this is what I am going to describe in this article.

What equipment is needed?
Apart from a computer and a digital camera, a GPS receiver is required which is able to save the track data together with time stamps. Older Garmin units such as the Garmin Vista do save the track data but in order to save memory, without the time stamps making them useless for this purpose. Personally, I am now using a Garmin Vista HCx.

How do I use it?
Before taking the first photo, as the camera is not connected to the GPS receiver, I have to make sure I set the date and time correctly on the camera. This is the most important step as the time the photo was taken is the link to find the position recorded by the GPS receiver. Once this is done, I can put the GPS receiver in the backpack and do not need to worry about. It will record the whole track as long as the battery permits, which is around 20 hours on the Vista HCx.

Once back home, I copy the photos from the cameras onto the computer as well as the saved track data files from the GPS receiver. There is a bunch of software to geotag photos; after testing a few, I finally selected the free GeoSetter which provides a pretty intuitive user interface, the possibility to not only geotag the photos with the geographic position but also including country, state, province and city into the IPTC keywords and it supports a wide range of image formats, including RAW file.


When travelling, I do generally use two cameras to limit swapping the lenses. The use of the software solution to link the photos to the GPS position works perfectly for me.

Did you enjoy this article? If so, please click on our Facebook Like button and visit our page on FB too.

Interested in becoming part of our IMPress Staff? Would you like to cover major trade shows, concerts, sports and travel and have your articles appears on IMPress just like the ones you have just read?

If you would, then visit our main site at and find out how.

Subscribe To Our Feed and be alerted to our new articles by email.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

About the Author

Dominique Schreckling
Dominique Schreckling
IPA Staff ID: 06617 • I live in the french speaking part of Switzerland, near Lake Geneva. I am a freelance photojournalist focusing mainly on events photography (music festivals, sports events and trade shows) and travel photography. An overview of my photographic work over the last few years can be seen under


Puerto Rican Children Dancers

New York’s 2019 Puerto Rican Day Parade, We Love Parades

We cover many events in New York City but love to cover parades. This article with photos and videos highlight the Puerto Rican Parade on 5th Ave. in New York. Thousands lined the streets to watch the hundreds of participants.
by Len Rapoport


New York International Auto Show 2019 – FREE Images & Video Clips

Our coverage of the 2019 NY International Auto Show at the Javits Convention Center. Loads of photos and video clips in our article featuring some of the hot new concept cars. This is the article you want to read and you can ...
by Len Rapoport


New York’s 2019 Persian Day Parade-Smaller But Colorful

IPA president Len Rapoport, president of the International Press Association covers the 2019 Persian Day Parade in New York City. This parade celebrates the Iranian New Year Nowruz. 98 images you can download and print of the p...
by Len Rapoport



New York’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade-2019

The 2016 NYC St. Patrick's Day Parade on 5th Avenue. IMPress Magazine with Andy Peeke and Len Rapoport covered the parade for IMPress Magazine an International Press Association publication. Over 150,000 marched in the parade...
by Len Rapoport


International Beauty Show 2019 Draws Thousands

ach year we attend the International Beauty Show, with a sense of discovery. We ask ourselves, what will be the next big trend for the beauty industry this year? We also wonder if they can top the previous years shows in both e...
by Len Rapoport



New York Times Travel Show 2019-NYC

2019 NY Times Travel Show...At IPA and IMPress Magazine we are all about travel. Our sister company Travel Pavilion, is our travel agency business.  Our fantastic website offers our original articles, photos, and videos fr...
by Len Rapoport



Be the first to comment!

You must be logged in to post a comment.

%d bloggers like this: