LIGHTROOM 6 - Altitude metadata is lost

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  • Updated 3 years ago
  • (Edited)
I was still on LR5 when I geotagged all my pictures, and LR5 did not update the Altitude field. Worsely so, it clears the field when updating the coordinates. Now that LR6 appears to fill out the Altitude field when setting coordinates for a photo, I'd very much like to update all my pictures with altitude.

How do I do that?
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martijn Saly

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Posted 3 years ago

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John R. Ellis, Champion

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Some questions:

1. Did you do Metadatada > Save Metadata To File on the affected pics, or did you have the option Catalog Settings > Automatically Write Changes Into XMP set? If not, then the altitude may still be present in the files' metadata and it can be recovered. If you're not sure, upload a sample pic to Dropbox or similar and post the link here, and we'll take a look at it.

2. Do you have the original track logs? You could reapply the track logs.

3. If neither 1 nor 2 apply, then you could use Geosetter to set the altitude from the GPS coordinates (assuming you were at ground level and not in the air). Geosetter runs on Windows only -- I don't know of a Mac equivalent, but there may be one. I run Geosetter in a Parallels VM on my Mac.

4. You could check out this plugin -- http://regex.info/blog/lightroom-good.... It's not clear from the documentation if it will fill in missing altitude from GPS coordinates (it does extract the altitude from track logs, as does LR 6 / CC 2015).
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martijn Saly

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1 and 2 both don't apply, because I've manually tweaked all the coordinates, which is why the altitude got lost in the first place. I'm running Windows, so I'll give Geosetter a go and see what it does.
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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If you run Geosetter or another external tool, make sure you do Metadata > Save Metadata To File on all the pics first. Then after running the tool, do Metadata > Read Metadata From File to reread the changed metadata into the catalog.
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martijn Saly

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Good point :)
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Robert Frost

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You can use ExifTool or EXiftoolGUI to write out metadata including GPS to an xmp file, but I'm not sure whether LR will read it. Worth a try?

Bob Frost