GeoTag is a free macOS application that allows you to update image metadata with geolocation tags by panning and zooming in a map pane and then clicking on the location where a photo was taken. It is a good way to add location information to photos or fine tune existing location information. Image location can also be set from a GPX track log or by manually entering a latitude and longitude.
Image file updates are performed using Phil Harvey’s ExifTool. This allows geolocation data to be modified an unlimited number of times without image degradation as ExifTool modifies metadata without changing the image itself. See https://exiftool.org for information regarding ExifTool. ExifTool is built into GeoTag.
This document describes GeoTag version 4.15. Earlier version 4 releases will not have all the described features. GeoTag 4.15 requires macOS 10.13 (High Sierra) or later.
Launching the application
GeoTag is launched by clicking on its icon in the dock, double clicking on its icon in the Applications directory, or selected one or more image files and then control or right clicking then selecting Open With GeoTag.app from the pop-up menu. Using Open With will launch the application and open the selected images.
Upon startup the initial window looks like this (click on the thumbnail for a full size image). If the application was launched using Open With the selected images will be listed in table on the left side of the window.
When an image in the table is selected a thumbnail will appear in the upper right side of the window. If the image has geolocation data the map will center upon the location using the current zoom level.
The map can be displayed as shown (Standard), as a satellite view (Satellite), or as a combination of the two (Hybrid). The map is positioned by panning and zooming using standard Mac mouse and trackpad gestures. The current map type, location, and zoom level can be saved as the default starting location by hitting the Save Map Layout button.
There is a search bar at the top of the map. An address or partial address can be entered into the bar to set the map location. Cairo will center the map on Cairo, Egypt. Cairo Il will center the map on the city in Illinois.
First time launch
The first time GeoTag is launched the preferences window will be opened.
GeoTag will not update image files unless it can first make a back up of the file unless configured to ignore backups (version 4.15). This is done just in case something goes wrong during the update. I create a folder in my Pictures folder named Trash and select that folder for my backups. Every so often, typically after a successful GeoTagging session, I delete the contents of that folder. GeoTag will remind you at startup if it detects older image files in your backup folder.
The backup folder is required unless the “Do not backup files” option is checked (version 4.15). If the option is not checked and a backup folder is not configured or if the configured folder does not exist when GeoTag starts the program will open the preferences window for you to select a location.
When backups are enabled (recommended) before saving geo-location data to an image a copy of the un-edited image is placed in the backup folder. If an image of the same name exists in that folder a numbered suffix will be added to the name. The name with the highest numbered suffix is the most current backup (usually). If in doubt check the timestamps of the file. If for any reason the image file can not be copied to the backup location geo-location information will not be saved. Better to be safe than sorry.
Other user selectable options are:
Latitude and Longitude display formats. Display options are degrees and fractions of a degree, degrees, minutes and fractions of a minute, or degrees, minutes, seconds and fractions of a second. If degrees only is selected South latitudes and West longitudes are indicated by a negative value.
Update sidecar (xmp) files. Normally GeoTag uses ExifTool to update metadata in the image file. If you are using a photo editor that creates sidecar files and wish to use GeoTag to set or modify a location after the image has been edited you probably want to update the sidecar file instead of the image file. Checking this box tells GeoTag to use a sidecar file if one is found. Sidecar files live in the same folder as the image file have the same name but with an extension of .xmp.
Update GPS Date/Time stamps. If checked GPS timestamp metadata will be written to the image file along with locations. DO NOT USE THIS OPTION if the date/time the image was taken is incorrect.
Preserve the file modification time. When not set the file modification time will be updated when GeoLocation data is written.
Select track color for tracks loaded from GPX tracks.
Select the width of the track overlay on the map.
<=== Prev Next ===>