Geo-Tagging Photographs

Overview

To assist people in locating graves it is best if all photographs are geo-tagged.

Geo-tagging means the inclusion of latitude/longitude GPS data in each jpg file. It allows the exact position of a particular grave to be displayed on a map or located using a smartphone.

There are three methods of geotagging photos, using a modern smartphone, using a camera with built in GPS, or using an external GPS data logger.

Smartphone Canon BT1000x

Smartphone

All modern smartphones have the ability to geo-tag photos. The US Billion Graves website only accepts photos taken with a geotagging smartphone.

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Geotagging Camera

Many modern cameras have geo-tagging capabilities built-in. See for example this list, or search the internet yourself.

If you are planning to upgrade your camera in the near future, and are thinking of doing some headstone photography, you should consider choosing a camera with geo-tagging.

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GPS Data Logger

The cheapest add-on solution is to use a portable GPS data logger. They are generally about the size of an old pager.

You simply carry it around with you as you take photographs. Every 5 seconds it automatically records the current time and the latitude and longitude.

At the end of the day you download the photos to your PC plus the log from the data logger.

Software that comes with the data logger can lok at the timestamp on each photo, and add the appropriate latitude/longitude from the data logger to each photo.

You just need to ensure that the time on the camera is correct before you start photographing each day. The data logger gets the correct time from the satellites.

Most data loggers can store 100,000 or more entries (waypoints) before downloading. That equates to one waypoint every 5 seconds for three 9-hour days.

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Technical Details

The GPS data is stored in the EXIF header in the jpg file.

To check if a photo contains GPS data, do the following (Windows Vista or later):

  1. Find the photo in Windows Explorer
  2. Right click on the photo and select Properties
  3. Click the Details tab
  4. Scroll down and look for Latitude and Longitude information
Exif

If you have an earlier version of Windows, just upload the photo to this web site to check.

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