Early Innovations


The latest at Early Innovations

01/22/2010: PhotoLinker 2.1

PhotoLinker 2.1 is finally out. The biggest feature request, high quality maps, has been added with Microsoft's Bing Maps. Other notable features include a location search bar, which should help for manual geotagging, NMEA track log support, and greatly enhanced date and time shifting tools. Check out the release notes for the complete list.

Along with this update its worth noting that Early Innovations is now a full time job for me, as I completely graduate school over the winter.


05/28/2009: PhotoLinker 2.0

PhotoLinker 2.0 is out! This upgrade includes a huge list of features and a big step forward for geotagging. Parts of the code in PhotoLinker I've been working on for four years now, so it's a really pleasure to finally be able to show it off. Definitely checkout the screencast as I think it gives a good overview of the major features, although there's plenty more to be discovered. We'll be adding documentation over the next several weeks.

So what about GPSPhotoLinker? GPSPhotoLinker 1.6 is still free, and in fact, just updated to version 1.6.1. GPSPhotoLinker is the "lite" version of PhotoLinker -- we just dropped the "GPS" in the name to reflect the fact that there's no longer a dependence on GPS receivers.

I'll be heading on a much needed vacation (far away from email) for the first 10 days in June, but I'll get back to your emails and forum posts as soon as possible.


09/05/2008: New website! New version of GPSPhotoLinker!

We just completed the move to a new, permanent website. Previously everything was hosted on my personal space at Oregon State University, but as I'm hoping to graduate soon, that turns out to not be a very good long term solution. The domain earlyinnovations.com will now permanently host GPSPhotoLinker and other forthcoming products.

GPSPhotoLinker 1.6.0 is now out of beta and released. Check out the release notes for all the details, but in short, everything that went missing from version 1.5 is back in, plus many new features and some substantial speed upgrades. IKImageBrowserView now almost completely works without leaking memory. If the rumor sites are at all true, the last of the memory leaks could be fixed in Mac OS X version 10.5.5. We'll see.

If you're having problems with the new website or GPSPhotoLinker, please email and let us know.


04/10/2008: GPSPhotoLinker Leopard Status

I still haven’t focused on on brining GPSPhotoLinker out of beta due to time spent on some other projects. I did bump the version up to beta 6 today with really only two changes. I upgraded ExifTool versions, which includes an important workaround for Canon 40D CR2 files that was causing the image to change colors. Additionally, I also dumped ImageIO in favor of ExifTool for reading the DateTimeDigitized tag. It was pointed out me by an astute user the the time was off on some of his images. After some digging we found that ImageIO incorrectly shifts the time zone added to the XMP copy of the IPTC data. Unfortunately, ImageIO gives no way of correcting for this, so yet again, this bug forces me to abandon Apple’s implementation.


12/20/2007: GPSPhotoLinker Leopard Status

GPSPhotoLinker 1.6.0b5 has proven to be very stable so I am now posting it in the usually download spots. I won’t be updating much, if at all, over the holidays, but if you do have any comments, don’t hesitate to write.


12/17/2007: GPSPhotoLinker Leopard Status

I made a substantial number of significant bug fixes. There was a bit of memory leaking going on, especially during batch save operations. I found a few other problems with the criteria during batch save (one bad example: I had inadvertently flipped the AND and OR operation in the UI). I also found that I was not shifting the time DateTimeDigitized tag along with the DateTimeOriginal. Plus a ton of other things.

One major annoyance has been the number of bugs in the frameworks I have uncovered. You’ve already heard about IKImageBrowser leaking memory to the point of me having to remove it, but there are also several other. Another bug is the drawer on the side that shows loaded files can be completely orphaned from its window. It doesn’t resize with the window, and if you force to be on the right side of the window you can completely orphan it from the main view. This problem, like the IKImageBrowser problem, arises when using garbage collection.

Probably the most annoying bug is the failure of ImageIO to correctly read the GPS metadata. My plan was to do all of the writing of tags using ExifTool, but then read all the tags using ImageIO as a nice validation technique. In fact, by doing this I discovered a couple of bugs. First, ImageIO returns incorrect latitude and longitude values. Actually, the values are correct to about 7 digits, but are then garbage after that. In addition, it simply returns nothing for the GPSDate tag. You can observe both of these mistakes in the Get Info panel in Preview. So now I'm using ExifTool to read those tags, slowing things down tremendously, but at least returning the correct values.

I am now quite confident that release will be stable for the majority of users.

  • GPSPhotoLinker 1.6.0b5 [3.9 MB]


12/16/2007: GPSPhotoLinker Leopard Status

Editable map servers, feedback while loading photos, manual coordinate entry, geotagging with waypoints, better thread safety, view on map for the loaded photo and more bug fixes, of course.

I had to eliminate the photo browser as an option -- it will return when Apple fixes the problems there. I still have a list of a few missing features and known bugs, but it should be getting better.

  • GPSPhotoLinker 1.6.0b4 [3.9 MB]


12/12/2007: GPSPhotoLinker Leopard Status

More bugs gone, and more features back. I fixed at least one crashing bug.

  • GPSPhotoLinker 1.6.0b3 [3.9 MB]


12/11/2007: GPSPhotoLinker Leopard Status

Only minor changes. Some users are reporting what appear to be fairly random crashes in just about every aspect of the program. I haven’t yet figured out where these are originating. However, if you are loading lots of photos, or even just a few RAW images, please try using the program without using the photo browser view. The photo browser is known to leak memory (a bug in Apple’s ImageKit). So if you immediately switch to the list view and try all the normal functions from there, I would like to hear about your experience.

  • GPSPhotoLinker 1.6.0b2 [3.9 MB]


12/09/2007: GPSPhotoLinker Leopard Status

I just completed a much more stable version of GPSPhotoLinker that I am posting. The same caveats apply as last time: there are features missing, you need to backup your photos, and GPSBabel is still not incorporated. However, the whole experience should be much more pleasant and in most cases I think you should be able to return to geotagging your photos as usual.

I am looking for feedback on this version, so even if things work as expected, I’d love to hear about it. Please email me at the usual email address Jeffrey Early.

  • GPSPhotoLinker 1.6.0b1 [3.9 MB]


12/02/2007: GPSPhotoLinker Leopard Status

I have an extremely unstable and unfinished version that you may download and use at your own risk. First, however, you should read the following notes:

  • This is an alpha version. This means it is not feature complete and is buggy. The app has been rewritten from the ground up, so anything is game for a bug.
  • You should back up your photos before using this application. You should also keep the backup until you have long convinced yourself the geotagging worked.
  • The application does not (yet) download tracks, you will need to use GPSBabel directly.
  • To import photos or gpx files, just drag them onto the application icon.

To download the pre-release version, remove leopard.php from the current url and replace it with GPSPhotoLinkerLeopardPreview.zip -- please do not distribute a direct url to the download, this is strictly pre-release.

I hope to have a few more updates throughout the week, so stay tuned.


11/19/2007: GPSPhotoLinker Leopard Status

The short version...

Don’t worry! It’s coming soon!

The long version...

GPSPhotoLinker uses ExifTool to read and write the gps metadata to the photos. However, ExifTool is perl library and therefore cannot be directly linked to from C. A nice solution to this problem is CamelBones, an Objective-C/Perl bridge, which GPSPhotoLinker uses to do all of the communication with ExifTool. Unfortunately, CamelBones is not yet leopard compatible and that’s why you’re getting the cryptic error about the “perl module not loading” at startup. As soon as CamelBones is updated, I will release GPSPhotoLinker 1.5.3 which will run under both 10.4 and 10.5.

I am, however, also working on a second solution. I decided to work around CamelBones and at the same time do the rewrite to GPSPhotoLinker that I have envisioned for a while now. This rewrite will be 10.5 only in order to take advantage of IKImageBrowser, garbage collection, properties, and many other new developer features which make my life easier. I am aiming for feature parity with GPSPhotoLinker 1.5, although the improved code base will greatly increase my ability to add new features in the future. The rewrite is easily half-way done and I hope to have an alpha version publicly available around Thanksgiving (time willing).

Thanks to everyone who has written me in the last few weeks, it is very encouraging...


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