In August 2005 Smugmug started a new service called smugMaps which allows combining geo-tagged pictures and creating maps using Google's map service. Ever since then I've been doing lots of them just for the fun of it.
To create such a map you have to take your pictures uploaded in Smugmug and enter by hand the latitude, longitude and (optionally) the altitude of each photo. This is a laborious process if you are having lots of picture as Smugmug supports tagging only one picture at a time. Besides you need to get the coordinates in the right format from somewhere (For example Google Earth).
While this is a laborious process Smugmug opens the door to do this quite easily for people having GPS enabled cameras. Those cameras know their location using data from the GPS satellites and when a picture is taken they will write the coordinates directly into the picture's EXIF tags. Smugmug is smart enough to read these coordinates and voilá, there you have it, your map without efforts.
In this page I want to publish scripts and the process I've created to add geolocation data to pictures using IMatch.
In general the philosophy has been to store the location data in IMatch as properties, for example, I have in my main database the obvious 'latitude', 'longitude' and 'altitude' properties. These properties are doubles and they can be used to store the values. The next question is where to get those values from. I just get them from Google Earth. The process is still laborious since you have to somehow find where you were, create a placemark for it and move the data to IMatch. The process and scripts presented in this page make this a lot easier.
So, in the pictures below you can find the process I'm using and the script themselves are here.
If you are interested in these tools give them a try and I'll be happy to get some feedback in the comments part of this page or in the IMatch Scripting forum.
Disclaimer: Use these scripts at your own risk
Step 1 To start you need to install the necessary software. Assuming that you already have IMatch installed get the scripts from here and put them in IMatch's scripting dir.
Once installed they will shown under the Geolocation category. You may want to move some, for example the 'Paste Google Earth Location' may fit better under the Context Menu. Additionally, to write your data you will need the exiv2 tool available here.
Unpack it under a system dir for example 'C:WINNTSystem32' and you are done.
Step 2 The first thing to do is to define what properties of your database are mapped into the latitude, longitude and altitude values.
To set these properties call the 'Set Geolocation DB properties' script and you'll get the dialog box at the right with a list of properties available in your database. The properties available are only those of type double.
You can also add a String property under 'Full KML' if you want to store the full data from Google Earth.
These properties will be used for all the Geolocation operations for one particular database
If you don't want to use a particular property, for example 'Full KML', set it to '--None--'.
However, for the system to work you need to define at least latitude and longitude properties
Step 3 The next step is to find a geographic datasource for your photos. Though there are several possibilites, this solution is geared towards the one I use the most: Google Earth.
Start Google Earth, find the spot you want and then create the placemark you want to use as shown here.
Then right-click on the placemark and select Copy.
Step 4 Now that the placemark from Google Earth is copied to the clipbaord, you can use the script Paste Google Earth location which will read the clipboard, check that it is the correct data and extract the location properties.
Then these values are stored in the properties set in the Step 2.
The script will set the values for all selected images.
Step 5 Now that you have your properties in IMatch you can call the script Copy location into EXIF.
This script will then write the location data into the EXIF fields as if the image were tagged using a GPS device. Notice that the fields that are written are just those enough for Smugmug to recoginze, but it may not be enough for other services.
Warning: Normally EXIF data is not to be written after the photo has been taken, and this process will modify the photo's metadata permanently. Though so far I've not had problems there is no warranty that this will always work! Use at your own discretion