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iPhoto mangles GPS EXIF data, even from an iPhone 3G

A while ago I started geo-tagging some of my photos (basically, adding GPS location data to the EXIF data in the image files).

I did the geo-tagging using the excellent HoudahGeo. Because of a limitation in iPhoto, you have to geo-tag your pictures before importing them into the iPhoto library, as it won’t re-read or change the location info it stores in the library database.

After importing to iPhoto, I would edit the photos and then upload them using Connected Flow‘s superb FlickrExport (the beta versions support uploading of location co-ordinates).

I found that, for some photos, the resulting location on the maps in Flickr was incorrect. More specifically, they were the wrong side of the Greenwich Meridian.

Further investigation showed that HoudahGeo and FlickrExport (and Flickr) were all blameless.
If I tagged a photo, examined it in OS X’s Preview the location showed correctly. If I imported the photo into iPhoto, the co-ordinates still showed up fine. When I exported the photo, using the File Export option, and examined the result in Preview, the location had changed.

This image demonstrates the issue, giving the correct co-ordinates before import into iPhoto, the correct co-ordinates inside iPhoto, but the wrong co-ordinates when subsequently exported from iPhoto using FlickrExport or File Export.

There’s a discussion about the problem in a Flickr group from a year or so ago, so I certainly wasn’t the first person to notice it.

I reported the problem to Apple, along with a link to the above image on 30th May.

On Friday, I was fortunate enough to receive a shiny new iPhone 3G. The phone has a built-in GPS (strictly speaking, a-GPS) and will geo-tag photos taken with the camera. The same switching of co-ordinates persists if you put the images through iPhoto, and quite a lot of other people have started to take notice, including a MacWorld article so I’m hoping Apple will finally fix this issue.

A work around if using FlickrExport is to re-tag all your pictures in FlickrExport before exporting them to Flickr, or if using HoudahGeo, to re-tag them after they’ve been edited and exported from iPhoto.

I don’t know whether Aperture has the same problem.

UPDATE: iPhoto 7.1.4 released 23rd July 2008 seems to fix the problem

Canon PIXMA MP600R on Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard

When Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard) was released, I upgraded my Macbook. Only a few weeks later when I came to use my printer at home did I find that I couldn’t print or scan using my network-connected Canon MP600R.

All attempts to connect to the printer using the “System Preferences… > Print & Fax” setup failed. I could ping and reach the web interface of the printer, but the network drivers just couldn’t see it.

I went to the Canon downloads site and downloaded all the latest drivers, MP Navigator etc and installed them. The installation of the printer driver is pretty tedious, as you have to manually remove the old drivers, reboot, install the new drivers and reboot again. And then do the same for the scanner driver. There aren’t many Mac programs these days which insist on rebooting your machine, so Canon need to sort that out.

And after all that, it still didn’t work!

Next step was some intensive Googling to find people with similar problems. The closest I could find was a thread on the Apple Support Discussion boards about the Canon MX700.

The messages suggested that the problem was the new Leopard firewall. By setting the firewall to “Set access for specific services and applications” and adding the various Canon printing and scanning utilities to allow incoming connections, the networked printer could be added in the “Print and Fax” settings.

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