Lightroom: Metadata panel shows GPS coordinates incorrectly rounded to nearest second

  • 28
  • Problem
  • Updated 6 months ago
  • Solved
  • (Edited)
I installed Lightroom 4.1 RC2 over LIghtroom 4.0. When I enter GPS coordinates in decimal format it worked fine in 4.0. With 4.1 I see a red X appear in the top left corner where is shows your actions and the metadata doesn't take the coordinate. I tried coordinates that worked before just to make sure I didn't have bad data, and they failed too.
Photo of Lawrence Duff

Lawrence Duff

  • 3 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
  • frustrated

Posted 7 years ago

  • 28
Photo of Lee Jay

Lee Jay

  • 990 Posts
  • 136 Reply Likes
What language?
Photo of Lawrence Duff

Lawrence Duff

  • 3 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
us-en
Photo of John R. Ellis

John R. Ellis, Champion

  • 4541 Posts
  • 1215 Reply Likes
In my 4.1RC2, it appears the Metadata pane accepts these forms:

44°30'0" N 94°42'0" W
44 30 0 N 94 42 0 W
44.5N 94.7W

But you can't use:

44.5, -94.7

However, in the search box of the Map module, you can use all four forms.
Photo of Dorin Nicolaescu-Musteață

Dorin Nicolaescu-Musteață, Champion

  • 703 Posts
  • 39 Reply Likes
So is it a bug or not?
Photo of John R. Ellis

John R. Ellis, Champion

  • 4541 Posts
  • 1215 Reply Likes
It is certainly desirable that LR 4 accept all the common forms of lat/long, especially those accepted by Google Maps. The "44.5, -94.7" form is a very convenient form accepted by Google Maps, and it's unfortunate that LR 4.1 doesn't allow it in the Metadata pane.

(Whether this is a "bug" depends on users' and Adobe's perhaps differing definitions of "bug" and Adobe's unknown intentions with respect to this behavior.)
Photo of Dorin Nicolaescu-Musteață

Dorin Nicolaescu-Musteață, Champion

  • 703 Posts
  • 39 Reply Likes
What I mean, is it used to work in 4.0 and not in 4.1. So, it seems it was done on purpose. On the other hand, I can see no reason for it.
Photo of RON MION

RON MION

  • 9 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
The "LAT, -LNG" format for coordinates seems to be becoming the most commonly used. It would be nice if Lightroom joined the crowd.
Photo of Lawrence Duff

Lawrence Duff

  • 3 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
It did work in 4.0, so either it was a conscience change or it's a bug.
Photo of Kevin Long

Kevin Long

  • 9 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
With the 4.1 upgrade today, the metadata panel no longer accepts GPS coordinates I use of the form "29.713669,-95.404193" (without quotes). It results in "An internal error has occurred. bad argument #1 to 'trimWhitespace' (string expected, got number)" Needs immediate correction, my images are out-of-compliance with CBS and Associated Press guidelines and have to be edited in another program. Did you regression-test this?

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
LR 4.1 internal error for GPS coordinates.
Photo of m dodd

m dodd

  • 1 Post
  • 0 Reply Likes
I also want the 29.713669,-95.404193 form and can't understand why this is not present as its so much easier to deal with and so many other programs have moved over to this format.
Photo of Mike Gabelmann

Mike Gabelmann

  • 12 Posts
  • 3 Reply Likes
Copying coordinates from Google Maps doesn't represent the exact same location in LR4.3

I would like to be able to enter decimal formatted coordinates and other popular formats either in the search or GPS field.
Photo of allen.conway

allen.conway

  • 10 Posts
  • 1 Reply Like
I too most certainly want to be able to just pick up the coordinates that Google Maps gives us and drop them as-is into the GPS box in Lightroom. If you can't do that Adobe needs to get Google to change the way they provide their latitude longitude coordinates!
Photo of John R. Ellis

John R. Ellis, Champion

  • 4541 Posts
  • 1215 Reply Likes
This is not fixed in LR 5 Beta.
Photo of RzzB

RzzB

  • 25 Posts
  • 1 Reply Like
Yes - I too just bumped into this - it's a real pain!
Photo of Jürgen Zimmermann

Jürgen Zimmermann

  • 1 Post
  • 0 Reply Likes
This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Lightroom: LR 4.1RC2 GPS altitude in development module doesn't handle decimal se....

LR4.1 RC2, platform: Windows 7 64bit, German
GPS altitude in development module doesn't handle decimal separator right.
Separator is set to "," on my PC (standard in Germany). Lightroom OUTPUTS the "," correct, but when the altitude field is left, it complains that altitude is invalid. When I however enter altitude with "." as decimal separator, LR accepts that.
Boys and girls, there's a world outside of the US :)
Photo of David Rodrigue

David Rodrigue

  • 1 Post
  • 0 Reply Likes
This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Lightroom: Display GPS coordinates with more precision.

For those, such as biologists, who also use LR to keep precise GPS data associated with specific photographs (which is such a helpful feature), ensuring that LR maintains the original precision of the data entered would be a very desirable upgrade.

I recently obtained excellent help from Victoria Bampton (http://www.lightroomqueen.com/) in figuring out how to manually enter GPS coordinates into LR, which I now use for the very specific reason mentioned above. Therefore, precision of the data is of utmost importance. However, in the process of then entering my data I have noticed three things in LR:
1) Lightroom actually rounds up the coordinates after they are entered before accepting them; 45o49'05.5''N77o00'52.9''W therefore actually becomes 45o49'6''N77o00'53''W. So that's a small loss in precision.

2) It's possible to convert coordinates to the degrees-decimals format (45o49'05.5''N77o00'52.9''W therefore becomes 45.81819N-77.01469) and Lightroom will accept them as well. However, it will not keep them recorded in degrees decimals, but convert them back to degrees-minutes-seconds, and round them up again in the process, still loosing precision.

3) Interestingly enough, it rounds them slightly differently and the result is now 45o49'5''N77o00'53''W. A very minor difference, but still.

I don't know if geotagging data that is associated in LR with photographs with the many available apps also gets rounded that way, but I would certainly suggest an update in LR that ensure that any coordinates entered, either manually or through geotagging applications or other means, retain the original precision with which they were entered in LR, whatever that precision is, without any rounding applied.

Adobe, through the addition of GPS data to Lightroom, has knowingly or unknowingly, created an incredible tool that goes far beyond remembering where a picture was taken an seeing it on a map. And I'm certain that there are many other groups, other than biologists, that also see in this function a godsend in being able to keep precise data associated with pictures, in something as user-friendly as the metadata interface in Lightroom, and use it directly without having to use other applications.

Best regards.
Photo of John R. Ellis

John R. Ellis, Champion

  • 4531 Posts
  • 1213 Reply Likes
From the merged topic, I wrote:

LR is actually storing the lat/long with more precision and rounding it only for display. (Use Exiftool to examine the photo's metadata.) So you can at least be confident that what you enter will be stored properly in the photo's metadata. 

Here's what happens when you input with fractional seconds: 

Input to LR: 45o49'05.5''N77o00'52.9''W 
Displayed in LR: 45°49'6" N 77°0'53" W 
Stored in metadata: 45 deg 49' 5.50" N, 77 deg 0' 52.90" W 

The stored lat/long hasn't lost precision. 

If you use fractional degrees with one more digit of precision than what you used, then what gets stored is also precise: 

Input to LR: 45.818194N 77.014694W 
Displayed in LR: 45°49'5" N 77°0'53" W 
Stored in metadata: 45 deg 49' 5.50" N, 77 deg 0' 52.90" W 

LR still rounds the lat down to 5" on display rather than up to 6". Most likely this is because the stored seconds are probably closer to 5.499999", so if you round that to hundreds of a second (as Exiftool does), it becomes 5.50, but if you round it to seconds, it becomes 5".
Photo of John R. Ellis

John R. Ellis, Champion

  • 4541 Posts
  • 1215 Reply Likes
As of LR CC 2015.10, you can enter GPS coordinates in the Metadata panel using decimal form, e.g.

37.899630, -119.221138

The coordinates get stored properly in the catalog, the photo will display in that exact location in the Map module, and the photo will export with those coordinates.  

But LR still (in 2017) shows the coordinates in the Metadata panel rounded to the nearest second.
Photo of Alan Harper

Alan Harper

  • 457 Posts
  • 94 Reply Likes
A related issue: I have a bunch of photos that were taken at the same place. They all show the same "Map Location" in Lightroom (displayed to geographic seconds, but kept internally to a higher degree of precision). But if I select them all, the "Map Location" shows "<mixed>" because when they were georeferenced, there was obviously some small difference in the locations.

I can make them all the same by copying and pasting, but then they will all be off from their "real" position by up to 0.5 seconds (15 m). If Lightroom displayed decimal degrees with 5 places of accuracy, that would allow placing items within one meter, which is probably all anyone needs; 6 decimal places would, I think, exceed even the most accurate of GPS devices. And, really, thinking in sexagesimal taxes the brain.
Photo of John R. Ellis

John R. Ellis, Champion

  • 4541 Posts
  • 1215 Reply Likes
A very inconvenient workaround is described at the end of this bug report: https://feedback.photoshop.com/photoshop_family/topics/lightroom-latitude-longitude-improperly-round... . You use a free plugin to get the untruncated coordinates and paste them into a metadata preset. Then you apply the preset to the desired photos.
(Edited)
Photo of John R. Ellis

John R. Ellis, Champion

  • 4541 Posts
  • 1215 Reply Likes
[Updated the URL in the previous comment.]
Photo of BlueberryLover

BlueberryLover

  • 10 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
Hi John,

Would GPS coordinate precision also be preserved using the Map Module's Auto-Tag feature (i.e. with coordinates imported from a .GPX file)?


- David
Photo of John R. Ellis

John R. Ellis, Champion

  • 4541 Posts
  • 1215 Reply Likes
I've never seen reports that precision wasn't preserved by Auto-Tag and I haven't observed it myself. The bugs with the Metadata panel and presets appear to have been very specific to those mechanisms.
Photo of BlueberryLover

BlueberryLover

  • 10 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
Thanks John. That's good to know.

I'm just learning more about geotagging in general and I suspect that I was blaming LR auto-tagging for inaccuracies in the tracklog (acquired from a smartphone with the Strava fitness app).

I'm looking for less than 1 meter accuracy so I will need a standalone GPS receiver that uses WAAS (and perhaps even PPP). Bad Elf makes the GNSS Surveyor model which seems relatively inexpensive for a device with these capabilities.

Of course, any advice would be most welcome.

Sincerely,

David
P.S. The GPS Logger app for Android also uses 4 decimal digits to represent arc seconds (about 3 mm precision along the circumference of the Earth!).
Photo of John R. Ellis

John R. Ellis, Champion

  • 4541 Posts
  • 1215 Reply Likes
The Metadata panel in LR 7.2 displays the seconds of latitude and longitude to three decimal digits of precision:



Not sure if this got fixed in LR 7.0, 7.1, or 7.2.  Only six years late, but better late than never!
Photo of BlueberryLover

BlueberryLover

  • 10 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
John,

Would you happen to know if older versions of LR (6.14) have been fixed with regards to increasing the internal precision of GPS coordinates?

Sincerely,

David
Photo of Smit Keniya

Smit Keniya, Employee

  • 234 Posts
  • 116 Reply Likes
Hi,

We addressed this issue in Lightroom Classic 7.2.

Lightroom 6.14 does not have this fix.

Thanks,
Smit Keniya
Lightroom Classic CC Team.
Photo of Alan Harper

Alan Harper

  • 457 Posts
  • 94 Reply Likes
Woo, hoo!
Photo of Smit Keniya

Smit Keniya, Employee

  • 234 Posts
  • 116 Reply Likes
Official Response
Hi All,

We have fixed this issue in Lightroom Classic CC 7.2.

Thanks,
Smit
Lightroom Classic CC Team
Photo of BlueberryLover

BlueberryLover

  • 10 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
Thanks for the clarification Smit.

I did some more testing with LR6.14. I compare the (rounded) displayed GPS coordinates in the metadata with the corresponding values in a saved metadata file.

Although the difference seems small, the calculated distance between the two representations was 5.5 meters.

Am I correct in assuming that the values in the saved metadata file more precisely reflect the internal representation in Lightroom? In other words, the difference can be explained by the rounding error introduced in the displayed value (which has now been addressed in LR 7.2).

Sincerely,

David

Displayed GPS: 45°30'10" N, 73°39'17" W

Saved metadata GPS: 45,30.16945125N, 73,39.28179W

Distance between above representations: 5.542 meters
Photo of Sam K

Sam K

  • 2 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
Hi, unfortunately this issue has still not been solved as of LR Classic CC 8.0 - the exported pictures don't preserve the original DD coordinates, and rounds off at around 3 decimals... Any solutions?

(Edited)
Photo of John R. Ellis

John R. Ellis, Champion

  • 4531 Posts
  • 1213 Reply Likes
Unfortunately, this topic hasn't been well-curated and has become a mishmash of separate issues. The issue described by the topic's title, "Metadata panel shows GPS coordinates incorrectly rounded to nearest second", was fixed in LR 7.2.

I think you're describing a separate problem -- exporting photos loses GPS precision. I strongly recommend posting a fresh topic with a stand-alone description of what you're observing. Otherwise, it's very unlikely Adobe will pay attention to your reply here.
Photo of John R. Ellis

John R. Ellis, Champion

  • 4531 Posts
  • 1213 Reply Likes
Also, your screenshot shows seconds getting truncated to three decimal digits: latitude seconds 32.850699 (original) versus 32.850 (exported).  That's a difference of less than 1".   But you said decimal degrees (DD) was getting rounded to three digits.  You might clarify what you're observing in your fresh topic.
(Edited)
Photo of Sam K

Sam K

  • 2 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
Hello John, thanks for the reply. Yes you're right, I meant to say DMS instead of DD, and 1" really does mean something for my application. I'll take your advice and start a new discussion, thanks!