It appears that over time, applications I use tend to mysteriously lose functionality when they are “updated” or “new” versions are released. Yes, I use Apple Inc. products. The latest seems to be the inability to set GPS data in photographs that don’t already contain them. Apple’s new Photos application completely lacks the feature and Aperture (no longer being updated) will not allow modification of the originals. Hence, there I was, just back from a trip around the Grand Canyon with a bunch of photos that needed to be Geo-tagged and no easy way to do it.

Yes, You can geo-tag in Aperture, but the tags are only within Aperture – they are not written to the “Master” or “Original.” I wanted them in the original, mostly for safety sake. I’ve had software corrupt itself before. I didn’t want to go to the effort of tagging everything only to lose it if Aperture (or a future Apple Inc. product) decided to munge itself.

The Internet provided a few pay applications for this purpose. HoudaGeo being one that seemed to work. But I was reluctant to spend the $30USD for something I knew could be done easier and cheaper.

I worked at the bash command line with exiftool for some time before deciding to use AppleScript rather than bash or Python as a control script. AppleScript was the only way I could find to get the underlying “managed” file names of the photos within Aperture. Lindsay Berger has a well done script that displays the EXIF data from Aperture. Some simple modifications were all I needed. In the end, the AppleScript below did the trick, with exiftool installed and doing the grunt-work in the background.