Author Topic: Suggestions/feedback on GPS tagging features in Photo Mechanic 5  (Read 1193 times)

Offline RealGrouchy

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Suggestions/feedback on GPS tagging features in Photo Mechanic 5
« on: December 27, 2018, 12:43:02 PM »

(Don't let the name deceive you--this message isn't meant to be read as complaining!)

After just one day of geotagging with Photo Mechanic 5, I'm very pleased with the program (it helps that I didn't look at the price before downloading the trial :P).

Over the last decade, I've used many programs to geotag my photos from the GPS track I record on my phone. I can no longer use Lightroom on Windows 8.1, so I'll very likely be purchasing a PM5 license before my trial period is up.

While it's all fresh on my mind as a new user, I've compiled the following comments/suggestions and organized them for ease of reference:

1. Tool availability and menus:
1a. The menu options "File > Import GPS Coordinates...", "Edit > Select Photos with GPS", "Edit > Select Date Range" and "Image > Set GPS Coordinates..." are the functions I use most often. Unlike most other menu options, none of these has a keyboard shortcut. :( I also don't see an option when I type Alt, File or Alt, Edit.
1b. It would be nice to be able to customize the toolbar to add buttons for the features I use most.
1c. Even though I've configured the GPS Home in "Edit > Settings > Set GPS Home...", it still shows Palo Alto when I open the "File > Import GPS Coordinates..." window and the "Image > Set GPS Coordinates..." window. (I realize this doesn't matter for my workflow, it's just weird)

2. In the "File > Import GPS Coordinates..." window, adding GPS tracks:
2a. When I click the "add" button to add a GPS track to the import, I'd like select multiple files in the file explorer window (Windows 8.1) so I don't have to click "Add" and scroll within the folder for each track.
2b. If I add a bunch of GPS tracks to the current import and realize I need to adjust my selection, I need to close the window. When I reopen the window, I have to re-select the individual GPS tracks.
2c. When I click "Plot GPS Logs", there's no indication of progress or how long it might take to finish. It usually takes at least a couple of minutes for my tracks.
2d. Because I have to move my cursor back and forth between the "Add" button and selecting the desired GPS track while adding files to the selection, I sometimes accidentally click the "Plot GPS Logs" button, and I have to wait until it finishes this before I can continue adding tracks.

3. In the "File > Import GPS Coordinates..." window, after the tracks have finished plotting:
3a. The Import window sometimes hides behind the main PM5 window and I have to switch to another application and switch back to get it, since Windows doesn't consider this to be its own window.
3b. If I go to some other task while waiting for the tracks to plot, there's no other visual cue that the plotting is complete, (other than the Import window hiding behind the main window)
3c. When I'm adjusting the GMT Offset toggles to try to find the right match for my photos, if I get to +/-59 minutes (for example) and want to reset the minutes back to 0, I can't simply type "0" in the minutes box, I have to click and hold the down/up button until it gets to the desired number (but I can put the cursor in the minutes box)
3d. Many of my tracks show 'noise' around the building I'm in and when I have a few of these tracks loaded this can obscure the map to the point that I can't tell if the pin is in the correct location. It'd be nice to be able to toggle the track layer so I can see just the pin and the map, then toggle them back on as I move on to the remaining photos. Alternately, if I can set the opacity of the plot line in settings (though still they are so thick that I probably wouldn't be able to see the map clearly)

4. In the "File > Import GPS Coordinates..." window, reviewing tracks and navigating between photos:
4a. It would be nice if this window told me which photo I'm on within the current selection (e.g. Photo #1 of 40 in the current selection)
4b. It would be nice if I could resize the preview of the image, either in the window or in the config settings--or even if it reflected the preview image size in the main window (I realize I can click to view a larger image in the Import window, but the thumbnails are just a little too small for me!)
4c. It would be nice if there were even smaller preview/thumbnails of the next and previous image in the selection next to the current preview image (similar to Cover Flow view in Mac), so if I'm looking at photo #4 in the selection of 10, it shows a smaller thumbnail of photo #3 to the left and #5 to the right.
4d. When I dismiss a photo in the "Import GPS Coordinates" window (e.g. because of a gap in my GPS track), the next photo's thumbnail loads immediately but the dismissed photo's coordinates (or lack thereof) remain displayed. Sometimes I dismiss more photos than I should because I didn't realize that the track picked back up. Ideally after dismissing a photo it would show no location data (not even "none, none") until the next photo's info is loaded.
4e. It's *really* easy to dismiss a photo, and really tedious to re-tag it (I either have to cancel the import, re-select the photo and then re-add all of the tracks in the Import window, or I have to figure out what track is associated with that photo and re-add that track). Some sort of 'undo' feature here would be great.
4f. If I have a bunch of photos selected and a bunch of tracks already plotted and I realize partway through reviewing them that the offset changed (because I reset my camera or because of Daylight Savings, etc.), it'd be nice to be able to dismiss all the photos after the current photo so I can still set the tracks of the photos I've already reviewed.
4g. When a photo falls on a gap in my GPS track and it's on the straight line between the nearest points, it would be nice to be able to adjust the individual photo locations while I am in this window. Currently, I have to choose between adding the incorrect location and remembering which photos I'll need to adjust later, or dismiss the photos from the set and manually set the locations with more difficulty (I won't be able to drag the pin from the 'gap' location, I'll have to search for the actual location)

5. In the "Image > Set GPS Coordinates..." window:
5a. It would be nice to 'dismiss' a photo from the selection while in this window as with the others (so I can select the badly-tagged and untagged photos plus a well-tagged one from nearby, use the nearby photo's pin as a reference point to drag to the correct location for the untagged photos, then dismiss the nearby photo so I can apply the location to all of the current photos, but not the reference photo. "Add remaining" comes close but there may be badly-tagged photos that I want to overwrite, without overwriting the nearby photo)
5b. The UI on this window is really confusing. I don't think I'll ever get the hang of clicking "Accept" before clicking "Apply", especially with these buttons so far away from each other.
5c. The close button is not in an intuitive location (it should be in a corner!)

Again, this is still an excellent program that does what I want better than any other one I've used; there are many features that work well which I haven't mentioned, and others which I had put on my list but took off after I discovered them already in the program.

Maybe it's just a coincidence and I've only been tagging very clean photosets so far, but this is the first geotagging software I've used where I haven't had to adjust the time offset within, or even between, batches.

These are observations that would work to my specific workflow, which I realize isn't always the most common use case. Obviously some of these would be easier to implement than others, but I've listed them all so that the developers can decide which, if any, of these features are worth implementing. I'm happy with the program as it is now, but I'd be a little more productive if some of the things I mentioned are changed.

- RG>

(PS: The sticky post in this topic is from 2012 and references a Cataloguing feature. Is that message still current?)