[ Nikon View 1.2 ]: GeoTag feature

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by arthuryeo, Oct 4, 2008.

  1. I noticed that the latest Nikon View has a GeoTag feature, which I am not sure was in the last release. Anyway,
    when I clicked on it, it popped up a warning saying, essentially, that Nikon is not liable for any damages to
    your images if you use this feature.

    One thing I can try to forgive Nikon is that this feature is powered by Google Maps: not a Nikon software. I
    guess Nikon View must be calling Google API some where along the processing.

    I still stick to my original decision: I will not geo-tag any of images, except thru Nikon-approved hardware
    which supplies the geo-tag to the firmware of the camera and the geo-tags are actually written in the images by
    Nikon firmware.

    This form of geo-tagging (as in the Nikon View) is called post-processing geo-tagging. It is also a form of
    Russian Roulette. Having a 3rd-party software that post-process your image and sticking geo-tags into the image
    is inviting trouble, IMHO.
     
  2. Arthur, you're wrong.

    I have used two different GPS devices on my D3 - a di-GPS Pro and a (Unnamed company) B2-GPS - and have had perfect
    reliability and function from both. 99 percent of my photos are post processed in Lightroom (third party software). Since
    the Geotagging places the GPS info in the metadata I'm able to go instantly from Lightroom to Google Earth where the
    GPS data shows the exact location where the photo was taken. Never, and I mean never, have I had a problem with
    this. Never had a photo damaged.

    As I said above the GPS data is embedded in the photo's metadata and NOT in the camera's firmware (where did that
    come from?). There is no roulette involved, Russian or otherwise. Is this a scare tactic or ad for Nikon's new GP-2 GPS
    unit? Thousands have been using GPS devices and geotagging images in their Nikons for years and post-processing in
    third party software without having any problems whatsoever. There is no data showing otherwise and folks wanting to
    use GPS with their cameras should go right ahead without and fears of damaging anything.

    Brad V.
     
  3. >As I said above the GPS data is embedded in the photo's metadata and NOT in the camera's firmware (where did that come from?).

    Wrong, Brad! When did I say the geo-tagging came from the firmware? Please read carefully before you accuse.

    >Is this a scare tactic or ad for Nikon's new GP-2 GPS unit?

    Wrong again. I do not work for Nikon.

    As far as I know, the location of where the geo-tags are supposed to be in NEF files is not published by Nikon. Have you seen it published anywhere? That means the 3rd party software hecked the location by reverse engineering.If you willing to trust them with images from trips that costs $thousands, be my guest.

    Since JPG is more well published, there's less risks here. But, again, if you do not mind a non-Nikon software writing stuffs into your original JPG with no backups, be my guest.

    >Thousands have been using GPS devices and geotagging images in their Nikons for years and post-processing in third party software without having any problems whatsoever

    I believe thousands have been buying subprime mortgages bundled into mortgaged-backed securities for years ... actually, decades. Quite a lot of them are even insuring them! So, should you follow the crowd?

    Not allowing a 3rd party software to write stuffs into your master files may seem compulsively obsessive for now but when images become corrupted, guess who will have the last laugh.
     
  4. Sorry Arthur but you're mistaken. Using a GPS hooked up to a GPS-enabled Nikon DSLR means the firmware writes the
    GPS tags and data fields directly into the EXIF (both for NEFs and jpgs). Since GPS is specified in the official
    EXIF standard, no Russian roulette here. The firmware doesn't bother about the GPS origin as long as the NMEA
    protocol is followed in the input. This is what Brad described.

    You do have a valid point about adding GPS data after the image has been captured (even Nikon software can
    destroy their own file formats by adding data later). So I add geo-coding to the image data base not the files
    themselves if GPS wasn't active at the time of shooting, or a non-GPS camera was used. My work flow handle this
    transparently so the outcome is identical as far as the map server is concerned.
     
  5. "Wrong, Brad! When did I say the geo-tagging came from the firmware? Please read carefully before you accuse."

    Perhaps I'm reading this wrong from your post:

    "I still stick to my original decision: I will not geo-tag any of images, except thru Nikon-approved hardware which supplies
    the geo-tag to the firmware of the camera ...."

    Arthur, I'm not following "the crowd" and I think that people on this forum are smart enough not to taken out a sub prime mortgage, but
    I do process my photos via Adobe Photoshop Lightroom (that dreaded third
    party software) as are many people and have had not one problem doing so.It works well for me. If programs such as
    LR, Photoshop, Bridge, etc. were corrupting files no one would be using them and Adobe would be in trouble don't you
    think?
     
  6. Bjorn,

    >Using a GPS hooked up to a GPS-enabled Nikon DSLR means the firmware writes the GPS tags and data fields
    directly into the EXIF (both for NEFs and jpgs). Since GPS is specified in the official EXIF standard, no Russian
    roulette here. The firmware doesn't bother about the GPS origin as long as the NMEA protocol is followed in the
    input.

    That's what I am saying. It is safe to go the hardware route where the geo-tag is passed to the firmware, which
    will write the tag into the image.
     
  7. Brad,

    gps (attached to camera) --> geo-tag data --> firmware --> writes images to CF (geo-tag included)

    If this is any clearer and this is good and safe.
     
  8. 'Anyway, when I clicked on it, it popped up a warning saying, essentially, that Nikon is not liable for any damages to your images if you use this feature.'

    It doesn't say anything specifically about your images, it's just a standard legal disclaimer indicating that the data is coming from a service Nikon doesn't control:

    'The GeoTag function uses Google Maps. Nikon Inc. is not liable for any damages or other consequences suffered by you or any third party arising from the use of Google Maps. Use of Google Maps is subject to the Google Maps Terms and Conditions.'

    I'd be very surprised if any Google code is used to actually write the EXIF data - the Geotag that the utility adds is just a short text string containing latitude and longitude like this:

    Latitude:51.519451141357422, Longitude:-0.127072334289551

    Nikon's own code is perfectly capable of adding this tiny bit of metadata to the image file. I think they're just absolving themselves of any responsibility if (e.g.) the data turns out to be wrong and you rely on it for something serious, and making sure you're aware that Google's T&C applies.

    On the general point of allowing any software (including Nikon's!) to modify your only copy of an image file I'd agree completely that this is unwise (I don't even use Nikon Transfer, which also modifies metadata, and in some cases of mismatched camera/software versions has resulted in file corruption). There's an argument for backing up your files before even loading them into View or Capture (you may actually be safer with something like Lightroom or ACR that writes metadata to a database or sidecar file).
     
  9. For more info, please check out my blog, which I wrote some time ago ...

    http://artsphlog.blogspot.com/
     

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