Google Photos has this nice feature of geotagging pictures even if they didn't have EXIF GPS info. It does it based on your Android devices GPS history.

When downloading photos however, the GPS information seems to be lost. Is there a way to include it in the export? Is it possible that the GPS info is somewhere in the metadata?

  • Thanks for the education on why I could see location info in Google Photos but couldn't see it in the EXIF data. i thought I was going crazy (or it was somehow hidden in the MakersNote or UserComment) Apr 25, 2020 at 11:25

3 Answers 3


I use https://takeout.google.com and it downloads the pictures and the metadata in JSON format. Make sure to un-select everything but Google Photos.

  • That was actually helpful. I had to downlad my whole location history and manually associate it to the picture based on the timestamp (probably similar to what Google does). Jul 23, 2018 at 16:28
  • 1
    It doesn't appear possible to only download the meta-data... and I don't have the time or the bandwidth to download many gigabytes of data when i just need the meta-data. Also, I don't understand why it says I have over 1500 albums (one for each day I took a picture, apparently???) when I don't see any of these albums in Google Photos.
    – Michael
    Dec 22, 2018 at 21:16

Since I didn't find an easy way to do this. I made a script that uses Google's location history and tags jpeg files. Here it is. It'll work as long as Google has location data on you near the timestamp of your photos (highly possible).

I made a blog entry about this here.

  1. Mount GoogleDrive:

    ~$ google-drive-ocamlfuse ~/GoogleDrive

  2. Download spatial info -r recursively:

    ~$ exiftool -r -filename -ee -p '$filename, $gpslatitude, $gpslongitude' GoogleDrive/Google\ Photo/* > GooglePhotoSpatialInfo.csv

  • 3
    sadly, Google made the dubious decision to sever the link between Google Photos and Google Drive. I hope you don't mind that in so doing Google has wrecked, demolished, and totally annihilated your excellent solution.
    – Michael
    Jan 31, 2020 at 2:17

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