I know that in JPG and TIFF images GPS location is (can be) stored in the Exif data. Are there any other formats that provide GPS location in metadata? I looked through the PNG specification and couldn't find anything on it.

  • You could also use sidecar files (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sidecar_file) to store metadata, including GPS data, if the original image format does not support it natively. – haimg Nov 25 '11 at 18:23
  • Thanks @haimg, I was curious to know because in the web app I'm writing I need to look for (and remove if present) GPS data from the metadata – Brandon Cordell Nov 25 '11 at 19:27
  • JPEG files can also store GPS info in XMP metadata. JPEG files have a third kind of metadata too, called IPTC. I'm not sure whether GPS info could also be stored in the IPTC metadata though. – hippietrail Jul 21 '19 at 11:30

Any image format that can handle metadata can store GPS locations in it, from what I can tell PNG can handle metadata, but the problem is that no one has bothered with storing that kind of data for PNG simply because it is not a common format used in cameras or location aware devices.

As to why it's never had any real support for adding in location-aware-ness then that's a question for the developers. At a guess I'd say it's probably because PNG has only really gained popularity as a free replacement for GIF images and JPEG is far better for it's high compression and reasonable image quality when used with modern high-megapixel digital cameras. A PNG from a 5MP or greater camera would be huge, while a JPEG is a reasonable size.

I just doubt there's any real drive to crowbar in a feature that isn't really needed.

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