Lightroom Classic 9: Not importing GPS data from iPhone 11 Pro

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Lightroom Classic 9 states it includes support for the iPhone 11 Pro.  When I import photos from that phone to Lightroom Classic 9 the GPS data is not included.  If I copy the same files manually to my computer and open them in Photoshop 2020 I do see the GPS data in File Info.  I do not use .xmp sidecar files so the GPS data should to be stored in the Lightroom catalogue itself but is not.  Lightroom Classic 9 does correctly import GPS metadata from older camera models I have.
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Howard Clarke

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Posted 8 months ago

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Tom Mickow

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Hey Howard, can you provide some additional details?
What app are you using on the phone - built-in camera or Lightroom Mobile?
What file format are you importing into Lr Classic - jpg, heic, dng?
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Howard Clarke

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Thanks Tom,

I am using ProCam 7 on the iPhone to capture .dng raw images and then Lightroom Classic 9 on a MacBook Pro running OS 10.13.6 to import them to the laptop.  Interestingly, you made me think that I should test Apple's own Camera app to take .jpg images and one quarter of those images did show the GPS data on import to Lightroom but the others did not (even though the original files do contain gps metadata).
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Tom Mickow

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I'd leave the ProCam files out of this for the moment.  Can you provide some examples of jpgs shot with the built-in app - one that shows GPS coordinates in Lr & one that does not?

Also, what is your process for importing?  Are you pulling the images straight from the phone?  If so, what happens if you copy the images to your hard drive first and then import them into LR?

Another thing to try on the ones already imported would be to do a Synchronize folder --> Scan for metadata updates.  Does the GPS data show up after that?
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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In the Apply During Import panel in the right column of the Import window, make sure Metadata is set to None: 



If it is currently applying a preset, change it to None and try an import. If the GPS data now imports, edit that preset and uncheck the box to the right of Camera Info > GPS field.

If this doesn't address the problem, upload a sample photo that hasn't yet been imported to Dropbox or similar and post the sharing link. This will let us determine if the problem is generic to all installations of LR 9 or just yours and what the problem might be.

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Howard Clarke

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Thanks Tom and John,

For the last two days, .heic files from the native Camera app have contained GPS metadata but the .jpg files did not.  As of today, all of the file types from the native Camera are providing correct GPS data.  Nothing is different but, at least for now, that problem has gone away.

I will pursue this now with ProCam as it is the .dng files from their camera which still do not render the GPS metadata correctly (despite a further software update).

For completeness, I have not found a way to copy the .dng files from the camera directly to the computer other than Lightroom; Synchronize folder --> Scan for metadata updates did not help and I had already tested the metadata preset problem as that was covered in earlier threads.

I'lll update this if I succeed with ProCam.
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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"I have not found a way to copy the .dng files from the camera directly to the computer other than Lightroom"

A couple options:

- Use the Dropbox app.  Enable its camera uploads, which automatically syncs the phone's Photos camera roll with your Dropbox account.  I tested that with my phone / Procam, it uploaded both the .dng and .jpg created by Procam.

- Select the photo in the phone's Photos camera roll and send it to your Mac with Airdrop. At least with my phone and Procam, this only works when the Procam option Set > Photo > Raw format is "RAW".  When it's "RAW+L", Airdrop only sends the .jpg, not the .dng.

There are probably other options that others might suggest.
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Howard Clarke

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Thanks again John,

I don't use the Dropbox app so I haven't tried that.

Airdrop, even with ProCam set to only ’RAW’ sends a .jpg to my laptop.

I can import the .dng files directly to my laptop using Image Capture which gives me a file that has no GPS metadata when opened with Lightroom, Photoshop or Apple's native Preview application.  Saving that .dng file as a .jpg also has no GPS data.  The Airdrop .jpg from the identical original DOES contain correct GPS data.

My conclusion is that ProCam 7 has a bug in the way it writes GPS data to .dng files.  I have reported this to ProCam support and will see what their answer is.
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Peter Thomas

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I've just discovered the same problem with my GPS metadata - it's not being imported into Lightroom Classic 2.2.

Checking back on my files, I've discovered that the import process was working perfectly on January 13, this year. All of my photographs taken after January 30, 2020 have failed  to import the GPS data. I can only assume this is caused by a bug in one of the program's updates sometime in January.

 
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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"Lightroom Classic 2.2"

Please copy/paste here the first ten lines of the menu command Help > System Info, so we know the precise version of Lightroom and Windows/Mac you're running. There is Lightroom 3.2 (the cloud version) and Lightroom Classic 9.2 (the old-fashioned desktop version).
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Peter Thomas

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John R. Ellis, Champion

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Peter, please troubleshoot your metadata import presets, as detailed here:
https://feedback.photoshop.com/photoshop_family/topics/lightroom-classic-9-not-importing-gps-data-fr...
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Peter Thomas

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John, yes, that worked but all my previous images after January 13 have had their GPS data stripped.

In the past, I was able to place new images into an existing folder and then synchronise the entire folder.  This would bring in all the new images complete with their entire metadata. It now seems not to be the case and I'm left with the situation where I'll have to use the Import function.

This must be a bug in recent Lightroom updates?


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John R. Ellis, Champion

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In my testing of LR 9.2, Synchronize Folder preserves GPS data.

When you do Synchronize Folder, is the option Show Import Dialog Before Importing checked or unchecked?  When it is unchecked, LR will still silently use the same import settings it used on the last invocation of Synchronize Folder (these settings are different than the last settings you used for Import).   So it's very possible your Synchronize Folder is applying a metadata preset that is clearing the GPS data.

To troubleshoot:

1. Select a folder with new photos containing GPS coordinates.

2. Do Synchronize Folder and check the option Show Import Dialog Before Importing.

3. In Apply During Import, set Metadata to None.

4. Click Import.

The GPS coordinates should be preserved.
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Peter Thomas

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Thanks John - that worked. However, I wonder if there should be a more secure option that retains all metadata unless the user opts-out intentionally?

Losing metadata completely would be horrible. For example, I've done extensive exploration of Australia's 'Outback' and for nearly a couple of decades have attached some kind of GPS receiver to my cameras. This had enabled me to precisely describe where each of the photographs was recorded. In foreign cities, such as Rome, London, etc. it's much more convenient to take pictures without the need to make written notes. Sitting back in an hotel, or on returning home, using Lightroom's mapping feature to caption the images is so very convenient and is a real pleasure.

To unintentionally lose that data would be disastrous.   
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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If the option Catalog Settings > Metadata > Automatically Write Changes Into XMP is unchecked (the default), then the original GPS data in the photos won't ever be modified.

I have that option checked, but I have timely backups of my photos.

If you don't have that option checked, then you should be able to recover the GPS data from the post-Jan-13 photos into your LR catalog (details on request).
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Peter Thomas

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'Write Changes into XMP' was checked so I've now unchecked it.

I certainly would appreciate details on how to recover that post Jan-13 GPS data John.


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John R. Ellis, Champion

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"'Write Changes into XMP' was checked so I've now unchecked it."

Are the post-Jan-13 photos raw or JPEG?  If JPEG, then you've almost certainly lost the GPS data, since the import metadata preset cleared the GPS fields in the catalog and then the Automatically Write Changes option wrote those cleared GPS fields back to the JPEGs.

If the photos are raw and didn't have .xmp sidecars at the time of import, then you can use the free ExifTool utility to copy the GPS fields from the raws to their .xmp sidecars.  Use this recipe:

0. Make backups of your catalog folder and all the photos and .xmp sidecars you'll be modifying.

1. Select all the raws and do the LR command Metadata > Save Metatadata To File. This writes all the metadata from the catalog back to the .xmp sidecars of the raws.

2. Run this command line in WIndows Command or Mac Terminal:

exiftool -ext xmp -tagsfromfile "%d%f.EXT" "-XMP:all < GPS:all" "-XMP:GPSLatitude < Composite:GPSLatitude" "-XMP:GPSLongitude < Composite:GPSLongitude" "-XMP:GPSDateTime < Composite:GPSDateTime" -r DIR

where EXT is the extension of your raw files (e.g. "nef") and DIR is the path to a directory containing the affected raw files.

3. Select all the raws affected do Metadata > Read Metadata From File.

Be sure to have backups, and try this on a few of the affected raws first.
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Peter Thomas

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Many thanks John, your extensive knowledge had been really helpful.