LR8 GPS coordinates not preserved in exported JPG

New Here ,
Feb 17, 2019 Feb 17, 2019

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Hello everyone,

I find that LR doesn't preserve the GPS coordinates in exported JPG, and rounds/truncates them off at 3 decimal places of a second. The original coordinates also come from JPG. I'm aware that we're talking about a difference of only 1 inch, but I use LR to batch process drone pictures for photogrammetry applications so preserving GPS accuracy is essential for me. Is there any solution to this? Copy and pasting isn't practical for me because there are far too many pictures to process. Thanks!

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LEGEND ,
Feb 18, 2019 Feb 18, 2019

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I think our metadata expert johnrellis​ needs to comment here. But as far as fixing the problem, a program like Exiftool can, in bulk, copy the GPS from the originals to the exported photos.

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Feb 18, 2019 Feb 18, 2019

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I did a quick look into this. While LR preserves full precision in the catalog, it exports coordinates to a precision of just 1 part in 10,000 for minutes. That’s equivalent to about 1 part in 167 for seconds, or a little more than 2 decimal digits, or roughly 6”.

It’s a trivial bug to fix but given Adobe’s past track record with such bugs, I think it’s not likely it will get fixed any time in the next many months. So you may want to consider workarounds or using another program. I’m traveling today but tomorrow I might be able to suggest more LR workarounds in addition to the ExifTool suggestion by dj_Paige.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 18, 2019 Feb 18, 2019

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johnrellis  wrote

I did a quick look into this. While LR preserves full precision in the catalog, it exports coordinates to a precision of just 1 part in 10,000 for minutes. That’s equivalent to about 1 part in 167 for seconds, or a little more than 2 decimal digits, or roughly 6”.

Bug or just truncating the data for some reason by perhaps design?

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LEGEND ,
Feb 18, 2019 Feb 18, 2019

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Seems like poor coding if it's not a bug.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 18, 2019 Feb 18, 2019

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dj_paige  wrote

Seems like poor coding if it's not a bug.

Perhaps. But if you look at Adobe's use of truncating some data, it's hard to know.

In Photoshop, Lab values are truncated in the info palette, in LR they are not. PS has been truncating the values before LR existed. Not sure I'd call that a bug. I wish PS would operate like LR but that's another story.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 18, 2019 Feb 18, 2019

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thedigitaldog  wrote

johnrellis   wrote

I did a quick look into this. While LR preserves full precision in the catalog, it exports coordinates to a precision of just 1 part in 10,000 for minutes. That’s equivalent to about 1 part in 167 for seconds, or a little more than 2 decimal digits, or roughly 6”.

Bug or just truncating the data for some reason by perhaps design?

Irritating as it is, I suspect this is a case of truncating where "near enough is good enough", and dates back to when the Map module was first introduced. That being said, the engineering team has been doing some work on the map module recently. So, it might be a good time to flag this issue as something that needs to be addressed sooner rather later. If the OP hasn't already submitted a report at Lightroom Classic CC | Photoshop Family Customer Community then I suggest now's the time to do it.  

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LEGEND ,
Feb 18, 2019 Feb 18, 2019

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But ... it costs nothing to output all the available decimal places ... they're already in the database ...

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 18, 2019 Feb 18, 2019

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dj_paige  wrote

But ... it costs nothing to output all the available decimal places ... they're already in the database ...

True, but as Andrew has already intimated the engineers probably didn't think it necessary at the time. Remember, the Map module was first incorporated into the application in version 4. Back then, many GPS logging devices available to the general public were limited to an accuracy of yards/metres not inches/cms'

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Feb 18, 2019 Feb 18, 2019

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Here's the outline of a workaround that would let you keep using LR: Get the Run Any Command plugin and download and install the free ExifTool.  Using Run Any Command, make a post-processing action for your export preset that runs ExifTool and stores the catalog coordinates for the original photo in the exported photo.  There's a fair learning curve to all this, so if you can't figure it out, let me know, and tomorrow I'll provide a recipe. 

And I'll post a complete bug report explaining the cause and the trivial fix: Use a denominator of 5,000,000 rather than 10,000 in the rational (fraction) that stores minutes in the EXIF coordinates fields, which will give 500 times as much precision.  (You can do better than that using the EXIF standard, but it would require a few more lines of code and a deeper understanding of computer arithmetic.)

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Feb 20, 2019 Feb 20, 2019

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Here's the bug report I filed: Lightroom: Loses precision in exported EXIF GPS coordinates | Photoshop Family Customer Community . sk12345, please add details about your application and why you care about the coordinate precision, and click Me Too and Follow in the upper-right corner. That will make it more likely Adobe will prioritize a fix, and you'll be notified when the bug's status changes. As I indicated before, the fix is trivial, changing a constant from 10,000 to 50,000,000.

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New Here ,
Feb 20, 2019 Feb 20, 2019

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This bug has caused me so much grief and so much wasted time! I have been preprocessing geo referenced drone images for photogrammetry survey map work with LR and I had no idea that LR was converting my GPS coordinates to degrees, minutes, seconds and then back to rounded decimals upon exports. I have been assuming that the incorrect GPS coordinates were a result of my drone's GPS.

2019-02-20_16-47-36.jpgAdobe PLEASE FIX!

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Feb 20, 2019 Feb 20, 2019

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Please add your information to the bug report in the official Adobe feedback forum linked above. Adobe product developers read everything posted there but rarely participate here (a user-to-user forum). 

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Most Valuable Participant ,
May 14, 2019 May 14, 2019

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I'm more than pleasantly surprised -- this is fixed in LR 8.3: Lightroom: Loses precision in exported EXIF GPS coordinates | Photoshop Family Customer Community . That's the fastest that any non-fatal metadata bug has ever gotten fixed.

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New Here ,
May 15, 2019 May 15, 2019

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I experienced this irritating bug for years.  To make "album covers" for my event folders I'd make a virtual copy of (usually the 1st) an image in the event and then apply a develop preset to make it fuzzy and dark.  Then I'd export a copy which would apply a watermark  and import that directly back to the same folder. 

Anyway, every one of my covers when selected with the original would show "<mixed>" for the GPS values because of this loss of precision.  I always assumed it was a case of them using floating point, which isn't precise.  I just tried out the latest version that you said was fixed and sure enough my covers and originals now have the same GPS coordinates.  Like you, I'm stunned that a bug has actually been fixed. 

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LEGEND ,
May 15, 2019 May 15, 2019

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Agreeing

Adobe has developed an unpleasant reputation on these matters, that bugs can take years to get fixed, if they get fixed at all. On the other hand, I don't give Adobe much credit on this ... as a programmer myself, if you have (For example) a number with 6 digits after the decimal place, and only 3 digits are printing out, this is one of the most trivial things to fix.

So unless this is the beginning of a trend where bugs get fixed quicker, I'm not impressed.

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Most Valuable Participant ,
May 15, 2019 May 15, 2019

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So unless this is the beginning of a trend where bugs get fixed quicker

I monitor the feedback forum closely, I think there has been distinct improvement over the last year or so. A number of multi-year bugs have been fixed and many recently reported bugs that aren't major (affecting huge numbers of people) are getting fixed too.  So I'm cautiously (very cautiously) optimistic...

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