Now that geotags are so common, it can be upsetting to see that some pictures don’t have them when they should. Here I’ll talk about why this may be, and how to find and fix the issue.
Turning on iOS Geotagging
Of course, to enable geotagging of pictures taken by the iPhone Camera app, you have to have the correct settings. In the Settings app, you have to go into Privacy -> Location Services and enable Camera (it should say “While Using the App”). With this enabled, every picture you take in the built in Camera app _should_ be geotagged.
Why Geotagging Can Fail
Nonetheless, sometimes the geotagging fails. The iOS camera app does the best it can, and it has been improving. It used to be that if you didn’t have cell service, it would not geotag (although GPS should only rely on satellites). Now it seems to be able to geotag without cell reception, most of the time.
However, if the phone can’t determine your GPS location, no photos will be geotagged. To find your location, the phone needs to either use the GPS positioning, or a WiFi signal. If you’re on WiFi, this is enough information because companies have created databases linking WiFi networks to GPS locations, by driving around and sampling signals. For the GPS positioning to work, the phone must be able to get signal from multiple GPS satellites. If you’re surrounded by large buildings, thick walls, or are underground, then GPS positioning probably won’t work. If you have any pictures in a cave, they likely don’t have a GPS position for this reason. Airplane mode may also shut off the GPS positioning.
Many social networks will remove photo metadata. Check out this article for more info on which social networks remove photo metadata.
Also, when sending or receiving photos, use iMessage, Airdrop, or Email to send the full quality image with metadata intact. But if you’re using WhatsApp, you can use this WhatsApp trick to send photos with their metadata intact.
Finding and Adding Missing Geotags
Using the Photo Investigator, as you scroll through your pictures you will see a globe over pictures with a GPS location (check out this tutorial). Your GPS photos are also shown on a map, and in an album “GPS Photos.” There is also an album for all of your photos that don’t have a GPS location.
To add a geotag to a photo, you can also use the Photo Investigator. This tutorial shows how to add a geotag to a picture on iPhone or iPad.
The Photo Investigator App makes viewing, editing, removing and sending photo metadata easy. Photo and video metadata may include location (if added by the camera), date, device, software versions, file size, file name, an “iOS Metadata” section, and many more metadata items. more. Users can view and share DEPTH MAPS by selecting a portrait photo and tapping “Portrait”.