Microsoft Pro Photo Tools v1

Microsoft just released version 1 of their Pro Photo Tools  (genuine advantage and .net framework 3 required) that allows you to geotag your photos. Interestingly the software seems to think it is called Photo Info v2 as trying to install it popped up a message saying I needed to remove Photo Info version 1 before installing version2. Having got that hurdle out of the way I loaded the software. I was pleased straight away as this application loaded a lot faster than photo info v1 which could take about 45 seconds to load but at first glance I shuddered at the dark grey colour scheme but then continued to click around the application.Microsoft Photo Tools Screenshot I loaded a photo I had already geotagged and sure enough the information was displayed in the gps fields and on the map. One cool feature is the “Get Location Text” button that gets the street address from the co-ordinates – very cool.  The application also allows you to load in a gpx file (or other location files)  from your gps and automatically sync the location with the time stamp from the camera.  I haven’t tried this yet as I don’t have a recent gps log with photos – I’ll have to go out geocaching some more to rectify this! If your camera time is slightly off (I just realised mine is an hour slow due to the time change) you can change the time stamp on all of your photos basing the original time on gps time or exif time.

I finally stamped a whole load of photos with my name, website and description of the event and quickly saved all the information back to the files. Keywords can be entered to tag the photos but need to be comma separated (the software doesn’t tell you that and space separating them puts them all in as one long keyword.) It was handy to have the photos open in Windows Live Photo to view the keywords as the files were changed to see how this would work. No changes in WLP were necessary – as the files were saved the tags were changing in real time.

I’d really like to be able to create macros in this application to automatically stamp my data into photos such as Photographer, url etc as at the moment its a process taking a few steps – not many, but it would be nice to automate it. Also the ability to select various copyright choices such as creative commons would be good too (it defaults to all rights reserved).

Overall a nice package to be added to my existing set of photo editing tools – it will probably replace wwmx as my geotagging tool of choice.

Geotagging photo’s made very easy

I’ve been trying to use Microsoft’s WWMX application to geotag some of the photos that we took on holiday ready to upload to zooomr, but the level of mapping detail for Jamaica and Grand Cayman Islands was pretty awful However I have found that by using Garmin’s mapsource to load the track data from the gps and then saving the tracks to a gpx I can then use wwmx to automatically tag the photos if I had the gps on at the time the photos were taken.

However, for the rest of the photos that were taken without the gps I needed a better way of marking where they are taken. A combination of picassa and google earth makes the job very easy. First the photo’s need to be loaded into Picassa – this will probably be done automatically (although for some reason Picassa doesn’t like to find my cruise photos and they disappear from the folder view even though I can see them being scanned). Anyway, once the photos have been loaded, select the photos that need to be geotagged and then go to the tools menu, geotag, geotag with google earth. Then use Google Earth to navigate to the spot that the photos were taken -the satellite view does an outstanding job for this. Then just hit geotag, select the next picture and repeat (or do geotag all if they are all in the same place. At this point, the locations are written to the picture (exif data I presume) and can then be uploaded to flickr or zooomr already geotagged for you.

As it will take some time to load the cruise photo’s, I took some pictures of the Pumpkin Festival at Oakland Nursery including the Worlds Fastest Pumpkin Carver and entries for the Worlds biggest pumpkin.