HoudahGeo 5 review: Now every DSLR photo can include geotags

Add geotags to photos shot using cameras without built-in GPS hardware.

Smartphones take great pictures, and they’re also smarter than digital cameras that lack the necessary GPS hardware to record or geotag the current location as shots are taken. What if you want to add GPS information to the photos you take with higher-quality digital SLR cameras?

Tag, you’re it

Enter HoudahGeo 5.0 (US$39), a Mac application designed to add, edit, or remove GPS metadata embedded in digital photos. While you can assign a location in OS X Photos, HoudahGeo offers a more comprehensive slate of features targeted at seasoned shutterbugs, but easy enough for novices to use.

houdahgeo5 process

Add geotag data from a GPS track logger, search for a place, or use a reference file shot at the same location on your iOS device.

HoudahGeo works directly with GPS track loggers, supporting the most popular data formats including GPX and NMEA. (Houdah recommends installing the free trial to confirm compatibility with your device prior to purchase.) Photos are matched against recorded track logs and waypoints, but users can also pin the desired location on a built-in map.

For consumers who don’t want to invest in a dedicated logger, HoudahGeo also matches GPS data using reference photos taken with an iPhone or iPad. After moving to each new location, grab a quick shot with your iOS device, then load photos from both cameras into the same HoudahGeo project and select Geocode from Reference Photos on the toolbar.

Should you forget to make a reference photo but know where images were taken, HoudahGeo searches anywhere in the world by city name, landmark, or address. Once you have the correct latitude and longitude, automatically looking up the altitude or adding a location name are just a mouse click away.

Friend of the library

HoudahGeo works in three modes: Load, where images are imported from SD cards, folders, or supported photo libraries; Process, for tagging and editing; and Output, to save metadata in a handful of formats (EXIF/XMP, KML, CSV, Google Earth) or upload geotagged images directly to Flickr. (There’s no support for OS X’s share extension.)

houdahgeo5 load

HoudahGeo 5 can import images directly from photo libraries, any folder on your Mac, or SD cards from a digital SLR camera.

iPhoto, Aperture, and Adobe Lightroom libraries can be directly accessed and after editing, HoudahGeo can notify the host application that changes have been made without reimporting the image. The software writes information to JPEG or RAW image files using industry-standard EXIF, XMP, and IPTC, so metadata produced will be as usable in the future as it is today.

Although you can access the OS X Photos library through the same media browser, saving updated GPS information isn’t supported; instead, Houdah recommends writing geotags before importing images to Photos. It’s not an ideal workaround, but HoudahGeo is otherwise far more resourceful than the Info panel in Apple’s own software.

One downside is that HoudahGeo’s built-in maps can be a little hit or miss. Rather than license Apple Maps or Google Maps, the software relies on open source data, which often failed to refresh the proper map, satellite, or hybrid views. (You can open the selected coordinates from more reliable services in Output mode, however.)

houdahgeo5 output

Once tagged, metadata can be added directly to your images or library, with the exception of OS X Photos.

Bottom line

HoudahGeo 5.0 offers everything you need to geotag any digital photo, aside from the lack of full OS X Photos library support.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags photos

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

J.R. Bookwalter

Macworld.com
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Crucial Ballistix Elite 32GB Kit (4 x 8GB) DDR4-3000 UDIMM

Learn more >

Gadgets & Things

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Family Friendly

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Plox Star Wars Death Star Levitating Bluetooth Speaker

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?