GPS Tracking


Today’s Question: For someone without a GPS-enabled camera (Nikon D500), is there a smartphone app you would recommend? Are there free programs for someone who would not be doing large volumes? Or even though there is significant battery drain would you recommend a camera mounted devise? Any other thoughts on the subject?

Tim’s Quick Answer: I am currently using (and would certainly recommend) the GPS Tracks app for iPhone users ( I’m not as familiar with Android smartphones, but do have one and have used GPS Logger for Android (, and found it to work very well.

More Detail: If your camera is not equipped with a GPS receiver, I find that recording a track log using a smartphone app is a great solution. I’ve generally been able to record track logs of nearly a full day with a smartphone app. By using your smartphone for this purpose rather than a GPS accessory for your camera, you will prevent the additional battery drain for your camera caused by such an accessory.

For iPhone users, I recommend the GPS Tracks app, which you can find in the Apple App Store here:

For Android users, the app I’ve used with good results is GPS Logger, which can be found here:

With a GPS track log app such as those mentioned above, you can record a log of your position and movement during a photography outing. When you’re finished recording the track log, you can download a GPX file that contains the track log data. I find it easiest to use the app to email the file as an attachment.

That GPX file can then be synchronized with your photos to add location information to the photos based on the data recorded in the track log. For example, I use the Map module in Lightroom Classic to load the track log, and then synchronize that track log with the photos captured during the time I was recording the log.

Naturally, if you’re using a camera with a built-in GPS receiver the process of adding location metadata to your photos can be completely automatic. Of course, even with such a camera you may prefer to record a track log to prevent the additional battery drain caused by the GPS antenna on your camera.