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I have just gone through the process of importing photos into Organizer, applying tags (People, Places, etc …) and then saving the metadata to the files that are located on a shared NAS drive, so that other members of my family who do not have the Organizer software on their computers can readily search for the photos using the metadata. Having completed this process I have discovered that the "Save Metadata to File" command overwrites ALL metadata including GPS coordinates.
I appreciate that it can be argued that "this is what the command is designed to do", but I do think that it would be prudent to include a confirmation box that indicates what information will be overwritten, and the option to retaining any of the existing information BEFORE committing the save, as explained below.
The photos that I imported in my catalogue were taken at various locations around Hyde Park in London (which for the benefit of those not familiar with the locality is approximately the same size as Central Park in New York) and the photos included GPS information obtained by the camera (a smart phone) at the time they were taken. Within Elements Organizer 2018 I associated them via the "Places" command with Hyde Park, and after tagging the "Event" and "People", I then "Save Metadata to File".
It was only when another member of my family noticed that the view of the photos didn't align with the route that we walked that I realise the GPS coordinates for ALL of the pictures had been overwritten with the same values, which I subsequently discovered, aligned with the position of the "Hyde Park" label on Google maps.
This outcome has happened in other instances, but in the above case I fortunately had not emptied the Recycle Bin on my computer so was able to retrieve the original information.
Whilst a GPS coordinates record the absolute position where a photo was taken (to understandable level of accuracy), a "Place" actually covers a geographical area on a map that bounds a number of GPS coordinates
I cannot understand why the "original" GPS coordinates were overwritten with the coordinates that aligned with the "random" location where a label was placed on Google maps, although I can accept that in the cases where GPS coordinates did not exist, it would be an acceptable solution.
I can't help but notice in the forums that there have been a number of posts that cover the "Places" functionality within the Elements Organizer product, and the integration with Google maps. The functionality really needs looking into and sorting out, because dare I mention, there seem to be a lot of ongoing issues with the product … and there are other products on the market, some which are freeware / shareware, that out perform. My faith in the product is beginning to expire.
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It's important that you also report that bug in the feedback forum:
In the present user to user forum, you get in touch at best with support people from Adobe, not with the ones with a power of decision.
Your posts in that feedback forum are always read and dispatched to the right persons and teams, even if you don't get a personal answer there. I am pretty sure that the issue has already been reported, not only for Elements but also for Lightroom. The idea is to first search for a similar report of the issue (I did not find this one in my quick search) then to vote to give priority to the isue. Or create your own bug report. It's enough to copy and paste your text or to include the link in this forum.
Your issue my have been already discussed by other users in the present forum. See also:
I understand how important geotagging may be for many, but I don't care much (yet) for geotagging myself, so I can't suggest workarounds or solutions. For my organization in catalogs, managing places is only important for a very small part of my images as I don't travel much. As you have found, the geotagging solution in Elements is too dependent of Google. You can't create your own tag hierarchies, something I can easily do manually via 'standard' keywords an personal tree definitions. Also, people with older PSE versions up to PSE14 recently can no longer display the maps in Google.
Hi Michel (MichelBParis)
Thank you for your response. I will report the suggestion about a confirmation box before saving metadata to a file in the feedback forum.
I am new to "digital asset management" having recently upgraded to a laptop, and also brought a NAS drive, that collectively have the storage capacity and capability to manage a collection of 11,000+ photos and video files in different formats (jpg, avi, m2ts, mts, mov, MP4 , and more recently RAW) that I have accumulated over the last 15 years, taken with different devices, which were stored on the hard drive of the PCs and Laptops that I was using at the time the files were taken. I was advised to use the Adobe products to manage my collection.
Although the issue I raised relates to GPS coordinates, it would be useful to highlight any metadata that will be overwritten when the "Save Metadata to File" command is used, hence allowing a comparison between the "Before" and "After" so that any errors can be fixed, or not overwritten. I have seen this feature on other products.
As mentioned in my post, once I have organised by photos in the Elements Organizer, I save the metadata to the file so it can be read by other products that can read the IPTC / XMP tags, and also to "future proof" my collection of photos & videos because having reviewed the issues that some users have experienced when upgrading between versions of the Adobe products, I am becoming increasingly concerned about committing my collection to a single product.
Geotagging is a useful feature to me because a large part of my collection were taken on vacation. I'm an "outdoor" person who enjoys motorcycle touring, and hill walking, and often "turn a corner" to see the most amazing scenery, or building, etc... and I spontaneously stop and take pictures, making sure that I record my GPS coordinates so that when I get home I can work out what it was I saw … often using Google maps
When it comes to tagging the photos with the "Place" using Elements Organizer I am wrestling with the "Place" functionality. The integration with Google Maps does not build a consistent hierarchy that is compliant with the IPTC standard (Country, State / Province, Location, Sub-Location), and as illustrated in my first post, a Sub-Location is actually a geographical area that bounds photos that were taken from different positions. My example about Hyde Park was a simplified to illustrate this. When I wrote the post I was frustrated that I have used the same procedure on other photos taken at other remote locations, which I will probably never visit again, and the location details have been overwritten
Than you again for your response. I have marked this discussion answered, and will wait and see if the suggestion and issues I raised are resolved.
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Since my last reply I have been successfully using Adobe Bridge to edit Metadata. The Photoshop Elements Organizer is just that ... an "organizer" that can sort & filter media (photos, videos, etc.) based on the metadata. I think the solution is simply a case of using the "right tool" for the job 🙂