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View iPhone Image Location Data With Photoshop CS5

Yesterday I read an article on location data that is included with all images taken on your iPhone. This type of location data, which is also known as Geo Data or GPS Data, is included behind the scenes on all sorts of media that you create on a day to day basis so while I knew this and was familiar with the type of data that is included I had never spent much time looking into this data. Since I typically use Adobe Photoshop to edit images I figured I would start there and see how I can view location data for images taken on my iPhone within Photoshop CS5 which is the current version I am using.

View iPhone Photo Location Data Using Photoshop CS5:

To be able to view the location data or GPS data as Adobe calls it you will be required to install a new information panel or Photoshop plugin. Doing so is easy and will allow you to view the location data attached with each iPhone image you edit within Adobe Photoshop CS5. Follow the directions below to view GPS Data from an iPhone image on Photoshop CS5 for Mac OSX. The directions are split into two sections including installing the GPS Data plugin for Adobe Photoshop and then viewing the GPS data of an iPhone image from within Photoshop CS5. This plugin may be included by default in Adobe Photoshop CS6 though I have not verified that yet and with the information below you would easily be able to determine if the data is readily available within Adobe Photoshop CS6.

Install Adobe Photoshop CS5 GPS Data Information Panel On A Mac:

  1. Download GPS Data Info Panel: First click here to download the GPS Data Panel for Photoshop CS5 for Mac from Adobe. It is worth spending a couple moments to read through the details on the first page before clicking on the Proceed To Download button located near the top of the page.
  2. Mount GPS Data Panel: After the GPS Data Panel dmg file is downloaded you will want to double click on it to mount it on your Mac. Once mounted the GPS Data Panel will look like the below example image in a Finder window on OSX.
    Adobe GPS Data Panel Mounted In Finder
  3. Copy GPS Data Panel: I believe in this step it is much easier to copy the data from the new mounted volume instead of dragging the folder in place as it is sometimes tricky to drag a mounted volume into a new location. Open a terminal window and copy the below command into the terminal window which will copy the GPS Data Panel into the correct location.

    1. sudo cp -pR /Volumes/gpsData /Library/Application\ Support/Adobe/XMP/Custom\ File\ Info\ Panels/3.0/panels/

    Please make sure to not include the trailing “/” after gpsData as that will copy the contents of the mounted volume versus copying the folder to the panels directory. You can verify the contents of the panels directory, which should now include the gpsData folder by issuing the below “ls -alh” command as shown in the example image.
    Adobe Photoshop Custom File Info GPS DataNotice the gpsData folder that now exists in the list of directories underneath the panels directory.

  4. Restart Photoshop CS5: If you have Photoshop CS5 already running you will need to restart it for the new GPS Data Information Panel to display. Once restarted the GPS Data panel will be available underneath the File Information panels within Photoshop.
After following the above directions you will be able to view iPhone GPS data from images within Photoshop using the directions below.
View GPS Data From iPhone Images Using Photoshop CS5:
  1. Launch Photoshop: If Photoshop is not already running on your Mac go ahead and launch it now.
  2. Open iPhone Image In Photoshop: Open one of the images from your iPhone in Adobe Photoshop CS5. The example image we are using below is of my kids getting ready for a parade on Broadway in Louisville, KY. The street and city are important as I will show how the image displays the exact location using longitude and latitude below.
    iPhone Image Opened In Photoshop CS5 On MacNotice in the example image displayed above the location printed on the store in the background of the image displays “735 E Broadway” which is “735 East Broadway, Louisville, KY” and is the reason I selected this image to show the accuracy of the GPS data included with iPhone images.
  3. Open Photoshop Image Information Panels: Now click File in the top navigation menu and select File Info near the bottom of the drop down menu and shown in the below example image.
    Photoshop Image File Info MenuOnce you select File Info the below Photoshop Information Panels window will display. The Panels simply mean the different tabs within the Photoshop Image Information window including Description, IPTC, Camera Data, IPTC Extension, Audio Data, Video Data, and now GPS Data (which you may not be able to see from the initial Info window).
    Photoshop Image Information Window With Info Panels
  4. Open Photoshop Image GPS Data Window: Click the down arrow located in the top right corner of the Photoshop File Info window to display a list of the available Info Panels you can view as shown in the below example image.
    Photoshop File Info List Of Panels: GPS DataNotice the last option if the GPS Data and once you click on it the GPS Data information panel will display.
  5. Verifying iPhone Image GPS Data: So once the GPS Data panel is clicked on from the drop down menu the GPS details of the iPhone image will display as shown in the below example image.
    iPhone Image GPS Data Displaying In PhotoshopAs you can see the GPS details show a latitude of “38° 14′ 42″ N” and a longitude of  “85° 44′ 26.4″ W”. If you do a search on Google Maps for “38° 14′ 42″ N  85° 44′ 26.4″ W” then you will see the below location on the map.
    iPhone Image GPS Data Accuracy Displayed In Photoshop
    As you can see the location displays as 719 East Broadway in Louisville Kentucky which is clustered into the same building as 735 East Broadway in Louisville, KY. The cool part about the example image noted in step one and the Google Map displayed in step five is the fact that you can see the same building in the background when looking at the Street View of the Google Map which confirms the accuracy of the GPS data within iPhone images.

So not only is this a tutorial regarding how to view iPhone image GPS data from within Photoshop but it should be a reminder that any time you upload an iPhone image or share an iPhone image that it is very easy for others to find the exact location of where that image was taken. Do not share images if this concerns you or scrub the GPS data before uploading which I will detail in a future tutorial.

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