How to use IGC data to geotag your photos

Posted by Moser on 07 Oct 2008

When taking photos on a cross-country flight it’s not always easy to remember where they were taken. And wouldn’t it be cool to look at your photos on flickr’s map? Either you buy a camera with an integrated GPS receiver which automatically stores a geotag in your picture file’s meta data or you use GPS data that’s gathered anyway: Your IGC files. What do you need?

Both programs are available for both Linux and Windows. My article is focused on Linux but the commands on windows will be quite similar. If you are running Debian or Ubuntu you can install these via

apt-get install gpscorrelate gpscorrelate-gui gpsbabel

The GPS Photo Correlator accepts GPS data in the GPX format. So you will need to convert your data into that format:

gpsbabel -i igc -o gpx <infile>.igc <outfile>.gpx

Now lets geotag your files:

gpscorrelate -g <gpxfile> -z +2:00 --show file(s)

“-z +/-XX:XX” is needed because the timestamp on your photos is probably not UTC. file(s) is either a list of files (“DSC2131.JPG DSC2322.JPG”) or a wildcard expression (“” for all photos in the directory or something like “DSC12.JPG”). If you add “–no-write” no EXIF data will be written and you can check if your photos would have been tagged right.

If you want flickr to use your photos’ EXIF geotags you have to change your account settings.