ErikdeVries.com
ErikdeVries.com

Use the Apple Watch to geotag your (DSLR) photos

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Some (DSLR) cameras don't have built-in GPS (like my old Canon 600D). If you want to geotag your photos, you usually have to purchase a separate GPS module (like the Canon GP-E2) or connect your camera to your phone (when possible).

There is however another approach, by using the workout data from your Apple Watch (or other device like FitBit). Whenever you go on a (photo)walk you can start a workout that will record the entire route.

You can export all your workouts as GPX files (GPS Exchange Format, a standardized format to store GPS routes), which you can use to geotag your photos.

Export Apple Watch workouts to GPX

  • Open the Health app on your iPhone
  • Click on your profile icon on the top right
  • Click Export All Health Data
  • Wait for it to complete, this can take a while
  • Save the exported zip file on your computer and decompress the file
  • Locate the appropriate GPX file in the workout-routes folder

Geotag your photos

I use HoudahGeo on my MacBook to geotag photos. The following video shows the process in detail, which comes down to the following steps:

  1. Load the photos you want to geotag
  2. Load the GPX file from the workout
  3. Process the photos with the GPS coordinates

Tips

  • Don't forget to start a workout before you start taking photos ;)
  • Ensure that the date and time on both your Apple Watch and (DSLR) camera are synchronized, this will make geotagging your photos a lot easier and more precise
  • You can use other software to geotag your photos like Lightroom, PhotoMechanic or others. This is down to your own preference