On my Samsung Galaxy SIII, I have enabled GPS on my device and have also enabled the GPS tag feature in my Camera application. When a picture is taken, GPS information is attached to the image, and then as soon as either a mobile data connection or Wi-Fi connection is available, somehow the Gallery application is able to retrieve textual information about the street name, city, and country, corresponding to the GPS location stored with the image. When I press the menu hardware key and then select Details I can view this information alongside other information associated with the picture taken.

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However, when I attach the phone to my Windows 7 PC and open a picture directly as Computer -> GT-I9300 -> Phone -DCIM -> Camera -> date_sequentialnumber.jpg I am not able to view the embedded textual/alphabetic location information which I was able to see when I was viewing the picture in the Gallery application.

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So, what I would like to ask is:

  1. Is it possible to embed the textual location information in the image (besides just GPS coordinates) as EXIF information inside the JPEG so that this information can also be viewed on the PC even when the PC has no network access?

  2. If this information is already embedded but not being displayed by the Windows Live, then are there better, free, image (and video) viewing programs for Windows 7 which will allow you to view this information?


According to this Wikipedia article, the process of enriching geographical coordinates with a description of a location is known as reverse geocoding. This is what the Gallery application above was doing. Also according to this other Wikipedia article Geotagging can also attach not only coordinates, but also place names, which is what I'm after. The EXIF standard does not seem to include any specific tags for place names, although camera manufacturers can embed their own custom format metadata using the MakerNote tag. Upon searching for images with the Advanced Google Image Search, downloading, and viewing with Gimp 2.8.4 I found place name information embedded in the ImageDescription EXIF tag, whereas images downloaded from Panoramio it seems do not contain EXIF informaiton.

So, my question is, how do I embed reverse geocoded place name information inside the ImageDescription EXIF tag of pictures from within my Android smartphone? Thanks!

  • 1
    I guess XNViewMP can show MakerNote tags. You can grab the portable version and give it a try. – Cornelius Dec 12 '14 at 19:05
  • Thank you for your comment. I've tried installin XNViewMP on my PC. It's a nice software indeed. However the Makernotes tag under EXIF is empty, and the reverse geocoded information (place name) does not appear anywhere in the Info panel (EXIF data etc...). Hence, I can conclude that the Android Gallery application retrieves the reverse geocoded information from the Internet and displays it but does not embed the information inside the displayed pictures. Regards. Thanks. – John Sonderson Dec 13 '14 at 13:35

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