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Automating Your Garmin Oregon Photo Geotagging Flow Using GeoHarvest

There are a number of stand-alone Windows apps and web apps that led you geotag photos by matching the time they were taken with points on a GPS track (see the geotagging category of this blog for examples). But all of them require you to start up the program, load in the photos, load in the GPS track, and then start up the geotagging process. Flip Fahrenfort geotags a lot of his photos, and got tired of the multiple steps involved. So he wrote GeoHarvest, a program that automates the process to a large degree for owners of Oregon Garmin GPS units. When a memory card or camera is attached to your computer, it can automatically download a copy of digital photos from a memory card/camera to a folder of your choice, and keeps track of the photo filenames. When you connect a GPS, it will download track data and save it in GPX format. It then matches up the track times with the times the photos were taken, and geotags the photos with the appropriate coordinates.

The program can run continuously on your system, monitoring for all inserted memory cards or attached cameras with images to download, or GPS units with tracks to download as well. But if you want it to run this way, you’ll have to copy a shortcut to the program to your Startup folder manually, since the program doesn’t come with an install program that does that. It also can run in single-transfer mode, so that you can connect the data sources, have the photos geotagged automatically, then have the program terminate.

Unfortunately, since I don’t own a Garmin Oregon unit, I was unable to figure out how well it works with that unit. And while the program option suggest that you should be able to get the program to work with other GPS models with some manual work, I was repeatedly unsuccessful at this – GeoHarvest refused to accept GPX files generated by multiple programs. There are online help pages on program configuration and usage; if you can get it to work with your non-Oregon GPS, please leave a comment below.

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3 Responses to “Automating Your Garmin Oregon Photo Geotagging Flow Using GeoHarvest”

  1. 1 Kyle

    I can’t even get it to work with my Garmin Oregon, let alone software generated GPX files. When I check the log file, it repeatedly states “error48”. This really doesn’t help as I do not know what error48 is. Any help would be appreciated :). Seems like an amazing program though…if I could get it to work. Thanks

  2. 2 Kyle

    I’ve found this software…not sure how well it works because it is only available for Macintosh computers and I don’t have a Mac. If more people are interested, they may feel the need to offer a Windows tool also.

  3. 3 Philip

    Hi Kyle,

    I’m the developer of GeoHarvest. First of all I hope you appreciate I’m an amateur programmer while GeoHarvest is a personal project that I just shared for those interested without guarantees. I also found that making a program work on ones own system is a lot different from getting it to work on a multitude of systems around the globe. Still a good number of people are using the prog to satisfaction and basically it should work with an Oregon.

    Apparently other Garmin units give diffficulties, although after having the prog tested by some local Garmin enthusiasts I was under the impression most types would work with GeoHarvest. As I do not have other units than the Oregon myself it’s impossible for me to test these, so maybe GeoHarvest is best considered an Oregon-only solution.

    Anyway, ‘error48’ is an error that is not linked to a specific fault but used as a catch for malfunctions that, while writing the program, seemed almost impossible to happen, like faults inside the Windows architecture. Obviously I overlooked some combination of events possibly occuring in my code. Therefore it is hard for me to pinpoint the cause exactly.

    However, here’s my ‘educated’ guess: On the ‘Track Download’ tab you have possibly *not* checked the ‘Convert with GPSBabel from:’ checkbox, while ‘GeoHarvest Input Type:’ is erroneously set to ‘GPSBabel GPX XML’. Also make sure the ‘Database1’ directory does exist in the program folder.

    To solve the problem simply set the ‘GeoHarvest Input Type:’ drop down list to ‘Garmin GPX (Current GPX)’.

    A cause for the program not working with your files (but not for error48) could be that you have a new camera and try to add position data to a RAW file. In that case please download the latest version of Exiftool from the website of Phil Harvey and put it in the GeoHarvest program directory.

    If that does not work and you’re willing to invest some time to solve the problem please contact me at geoharvest at fotoflip dot nl (please edit the address to proper email syntax). I’ll come back to you then but please be patient as I’m rather busy at the moment.

    UPDATE coming soon:
    I’m planning to publish a small update to the program (around the end of august 2009). This will repair some minor problems, edit or remove the GPSBabel functionality (for as of late I don’t get it to work myself any more) and remove the kill date for the function. I also hope to improve the latter while CloudMade may have improved their service a bit in the past few month. This function adds the country, city and street to your exif data. I’ll also include a number of exif fields that will put personal information in the files.


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