iPhone Geotagging Applications

One of the reasons why I picked up an iPhone 3GS was for its GPS functionality.[^1] I had been thinking about getting a separate GPS unit, and in fact had asked for one Christmas 2008, but it turns out the delay worked to my benefit. At this point in time, I don’t want turn-by-turn directions, all I want is to be able to note my location coordinates and then tag my notes and my photographs with that information so that future researchers will have that information available to them.

However, getting those coordinates from somewhere on my phone to all those images is not as easy as it should be. This may have something to do, from what I can tell, with the iPhone’s SDK, which up until now has made it hard for apps to save data in a place or in a form that could be used elsewhere. This may all change with the iPad, which obviously needs to make something like a file system available to apps for storage of information. (Again, I could be talking out of my hat here — it’s a lovely IU baseball cap, and so I look quite good talking out of it.)

I have downloaded a few GPS apps, but none of them have done what I want. “Geo logging” wasn’t quite the right search. I should have been using “geotagging.” (It’s often one word these days.) And so I have turned up a number of applications that promise to make this pretty effortless:

* [GeoTag for iPhone](http://www.saltpepper.net/geotag/) is inexpensive at $1.99 and offers to track your location for you. You then use a desktop application to tag your photos.
* [GeoLogTag](http://www.galarina.eu/GeoLogTag/Home.html) is more expensive at $4.99 but it doesn’t require that you install any software on your Mac. Instead, you connect your phone to your wireless network and then tell GeoLogTag to tag your photos. (How exactly this works isn’t clear.)

Frustratingly neither of these apps, and a few others at which I looked, mentions specific use cases with [Lightroom](http://adobe.com/lightroom/). They mention iPhoto, Aperture, and Flickr, but not Lightroom.

All these apps also discuss tagging your photos within a given time window — five minutes or such. Since I tend to be at a given location to document something, I would prefer to capture that data, manually even, and then be able to drag and drop it onto a given set of images — rather like one tags with keywords in both iPhoto and Lightroom. Both of these apps, and others, assume a kind of automation which is very nice but doesn’t exactly fit with my own workflow.

[^1]: That makes for a total of 3 radios in the iPhone: cellular, wireless ethernet, and GPS.

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