Geotagging photos for Flickr with Mac OS X and a Garmin GPS

Ichetucknee River tubingMy photos from my bike club group ride and Ichetucknee River tubing adventure over the weekend were my first successful integration of photography, my recently-acquired GPS unit, and my quest for adventure.

Here’s the toolkit:

Here’s the procedure:

  • Synchronize your camera’s time with the GPS unit’s time.
  • Take your powered-on GPS unit with you on an adventure. Garmin makes a nice handlebar mount for mine. I also have a boat mount that I plan to put in the kayak. For the tubing, I put it in my dry bag that I took along.
  • When you get home, download the photos from the camera to your Mac.
  • Using RoadTrip, download your GPS track to your computer and edit the track as necessary. I copy my edited track to its own folder in RoadTrip. Export the folder from RoadTrip, creating a GPX file.
  • Open GPSPhotoLinker and load the track and the photos. Use the “View on map” button to preview the position online in Google Maps (the default, others are available). I mostly found myself using the “Time weighted average point.” When you are satisfied with how things are looking, use the “Save to photo” button to write the geographic info into the metadata of the photo file. A batch mode is also available.
  • Before uploading to Flickr, You need to set the Import EXIF location data setting in your profile to “Yes.” I don’t know why Flickr doesn’t have a “This photo contains geographic data, do you want to use it?” option when you click, “Add to your map,” but for now, it will only automatically use the data on upload.
  • Upload your images to Flickr. If you are editing the images first, make sure you don’t save them with a method that discards the metadata.
  • Sit back and enjoy your mapped photos. Here are mine.

This year’s most common butterfly sighting

Zebra Longwing on Orange Cestrum

The Zebra Longwing (Heliconius charitionius) is the state butterfly of Florida. They used to be a rare sight in my butterfly garden, but this year are the most common sight so far. The Orange Cestrum (Cestrum aurantiacum) is the most popular plant in the garden so far this year too. It’s grown too big for its spot though and needs to be moved or at least severely pruned this Fall.

View the photo on Flickr

Lunar Eclipse

Lunar Eclipse I

My best shot on a night of fighting with the clouds.

Update: View my whole set from the evening on Flickr.

The photo above was my first shot posted of the event and that got it picked up on a couple of eclipse stories (1, 2) on Yahoo! News. It was viewed over 3,000 times during the course of the evening and is now over 4,000 total views, by far my most ever.

Butterflies and the late bloomer

Butterflies on Giant Mexican Sunflowers

A pair of Gulf Fritillary butterflies sample the nectar of one of my Giant Mexican Sunflowers (tithonia diversifolia). The flowers are Fall bloomers and come on after the regular Mexican Sunflowers pretty much go into demise for the Fall and Winter. This morning the low hit 28 degrees bringing the first freeze of the season and I wonder how long these flowers or the butterflies will still be around this year.