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I use OpenCamera to take photos of construction sites. There are checkboxes in the settings:

  • Store location data;
  • Store compass direction;
  • Require location data.

All checkboxes are checked. Photos are saved in a folder at /Storage/DCIM/OpenCamera.

Location data is stored in the geo-tags in the metadata of the photo. But when I copy photos via USB cable or Files, the location data is removed from the copied photos.

Location data also disappears if I create a zip-archive using the Files app or share to whichever Android app I use.

How do I copy photos to my computer along with location metadata?

UPD It has been empirically determined that this behavior has been noticed since Android 12.

Copying photos with GPS tags is possible only through termux. I have to make a tar or cpio archive and then copy the archive file to the computer. This is tolerable when I can copy all files from a folder, but unbearable when I only need to copy a few photos from a big list.

How can this feature be undone?

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  • Which mode do you use for file transfer (PTP or MTP) and what client on PC side is used? You can try to enable Android Debug bridge (ADB) in developer options and use adb from Android SDK to transfer the original files to your PC.
    – Robert
    Jul 22, 2022 at 16:54
  • @Robert I use MTP. I also use an app called Files. The tags containing the GPS coordinate information disappear when I copy the photos to any other folder. All other tags remain unchanged. After copying the photos, the file sizes of the copies and the source files are slightly different. The dates of last modified copies are also changed to date of copying.
    – DiD
    Jul 23, 2022 at 2:19

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