Extract GPS coordinates from photos using Java


You have taken a lot photos while you were on holidays and now you wish to extract the GPS coordinates from each photo; assuming they exist. Some photos do not carry GPS information due to settings or mobile phone or both.


The image file contains a lot of metadata information like when it was created, the file size, et cetera. There are libraries that given the image file, they can easily extract this information for us.

In this tutorial, we’ll use the metadata extractor. It comes as Maven dependency and it’s free.


Let’s start a Maven project and add this dependency to the pom.xml as follows:


Adding the photo in the resources directory

import com.drew.imaging.ImageMetadataReader;
import com.drew.imaging.ImageProcessingException;
import com.drew.metadata.Directory;
import com.drew.metadata.Metadata;
import com.drew.metadata.Tag;

import java.io.File;
import java.io.IOException;
import java.util.Objects;

public class App {

    public static void main(String[] args) throws ImageProcessingException, IOException {

        String file = Objects.requireNonNull(App.class.getClassLoader().getResource("photo.jpg")).getFile();
        File jpegFile = new File(file);
        Metadata metadata = ImageMetadataReader.readMetadata(jpegFile);

        for (Directory directory : metadata.getDirectories()) {
            for (Tag tag : directory.getTags()) {

The code above opens the image file “photo.jpg” that is placed in the resources folder. The structure of the project with src and test, etc. comes from Maven.

Running the main method will simply print in the console the coordinates; if they are in the file otherwise nothing is printed.


Copying and pasting the Latitude and Longitude above separated by comma in the Google Maps, it should show the location with a pin point.


This was a simple post that extracts GPS information from a photo using the metadata-extractor Java library. A nice idea to take this further would be to plug the Latitude and Longitude automatically to a map API like Google Maps JS Api, or Mapbox, etc.

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