PlaceTagger is a veteran iPhone app that has been around for years – originally an app that allows photographers to use their iPhone to geotag the photos taken with a traditional digital camera. Return7, the company behind PlaceTagger and other great apps like Billminder and Debtminder, has a reputation for innovating in every App Store category they take on. This release of PlaceTagger 2.0 including a universal build for iOS devices, a new Mac App Store version, and even iCloud support binding them together, has certainly lived up to their outstanding reputation.
There is no shortage of iOS apps tailored to photographers but PlaceTagger has really excelled in the niche area of providing a quality geotagging product to users of all experience levels. Version 2.0 does a remarkable job at implementing a simplistic user experience for what could have been an extremely complicated outcome. The iOS app is designed to run on iPhones as well as 3G enabled iPads. Although it is possible to run this app on a wifi-only iPad or an iPod touch connected to a wifi network, the results may vary and it is not officially supported. Overall, I found the user interface to be pleasantly minimal while still providing the necessities required to effortlessly start capturing GPS data.
When I first launched the iOS app, my eyes were drawn to a large clock and message reminding me to ensure the time on my camera matched the time on my phone. This was easy to check and was honestly the only thing I had to configure during my entire time using the suite of PlaceTagger apps. Once I had my camera’s clock synced to my iPhone I simply tapped the “Begin” button and stuffed my phone back in to my pocket so I could snap some pictures with my digital camera. I am not a professional photographer or even a decently skilled photographer so I usually rely on my iPhone to take outstanding photos. While I was testing PlaceTagger, I used my point-and-shoot Canon IS770, an iPhone 4S to log GPS data, and PlaceTagger on my MacBook Air to tag the photos. Apart of the new features in version 2 is the ability to tag photos on the iPad with the camera connection kit, however I had neither of these available so I opted for the Mac app. When I was finished taking pictures of my two Jack Russell Terriers, Bob and Daisy, I pulled out my phone and tapped the “Finished” button. That was the only interaction with the iOS app that I had – two taps on one button.
I jumped over to my MacBook Air, popped in my camera’s SD card and pointed the Mac App Store version of PlaceTagger to the pictures on the memory card. Below each picture was a bit of text saying “Location Matched” and all I had to do was select the “Tag Photos” button to complete the process. Right then it clicked, PlaceTagger had magically synced all of the GPS data between my devices with no settings, options, or configuration -- it just worked.
PlaceTagger 2 has the most invisible implementation of iCloud I have ever seen.
When the tagging process was complete, I simply imported my photos in to iPhoto just as I normally would and experienced no issues. In iPhoto’s “Info” section for each of these photos is now a little Google Map containing the exact location the photo was taken.
If you are a user of a standard digital camera and have an iOS device then I highly recommend PlaceTagger 2 to add GPS data to all of your future photos. This suite of geotagging apps does not just add functionality to your Apple devices, but it also breathes new life in to older technology like my Canon SD770. You do not have to be a prosumer to enjoy the benefits of PlaceTagger because its polished user interface and refined feature set makes it the ideal companion app to photographers of any skill level.