Exif Fixer

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Make any panoramic JPEG image work as an interactive panorama in Facebook and be recognised properly in Google services

If you shoot 360 photos with a 360 camera (Ricoh Theta or similar) or use the 'panorama' feature in a smartphone camera app, Facebook and Google know the results should be used as an interactive panorama. This is thanks to some embedded metadata these sites look for when an image is uploaded. But if you edit your shots in Photoshop or similar tools you may wipe out this metadata – and if you shoot and stitch your own 360 panoramas the files may not have the metadata in the first place.

Exif Fixer helps fix this; it reads the full metadata from a selected JPEG image, and if the required elements are missing it can add them for you with a single click.

 

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Exif Fixer is entirely free to use. If you like it feel free to throw a dollar/etc or two into the tip jar (PayPal link), but that really isn't required.

To use: Click to choose a JPEG, or drag-and-drop a JPEG into the main image area. If the necessary properties are missing you can add the data in a single click.

Equirectangular panoramas (360x180 degrees), 360 cylinders and partial (non-360) cylinder panoramas are all supported. For partial panoramas (for example smartphone pano snaps) estimate the approximate angle of coverage with the slider and the rest of the calculations are made for you.

If you find a 360-degree cylinder doesn't perform in Facebook as an interactive image, setting it manually to equirectangular should help. But be aware that the two different projection types produce slightly different visual behaviour. If you want to experiment it is useful to test with Facebook posts set to 'Only Me' privacy.

You may set the North point in your panorama if you like, although this isn't required and is only minimally used by services at this time.

First-time launch: Mac users may need to open this app the first time by right-clicking/control-clicking and selecting 'Open'. Windows users may see a one-time warning about allowing unauthorised applications to run. In both cases this only happens once.

Virus warning from Avast anti-virus software? A recent version of Avast's security software for Windows reported the Win32:Xpaj-gen virus inside the zip archive. This is a known 'false positive' alert, and it has been fixed in the latest Avast updates. To be 100% clear: the virus report by Avast software is a false positive; the zip archive is clean, and updating the Avast virus definitions cures the problem.

This software is free to use, of course. If you like it please visit the IVRPA Facebook page and show us what you're doing. Bug reports and questions are also welcome – you can find me on Twitter (@thatkeith) and Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/thatkeithmartin)

See below for a link to older versions.

— Keith Martin

 

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Hints & tips

Facebook supports both equirectangular and cylindrical panoramas. Cylinder panoramas that are taller than 86° and are a full 360° around will automatically be tagged as equirectangular to help produce the right visual behaviour in Facebook, but you can override this if you prefer.

Currently, when set up with Exif Fixer, full 360 cylinders only work in Facebook when tagged as equirectangular. I am trying to pin down the issue with ProjectionType=cylindrical and the precise calculations required to have it recognised in Facebook and will release an update the moment I solve this. For now, set all 360 cylinders as 'equirectangular'.

Google supports spherical (equirectangular) panoramas. You can upload cylinders to Street View via a desktop web browser and they will be given the necessary padding to the top and bottom, in black. If you want to upload using the Street View app you should add this padding yourself to make the image precisely 2:1 width to height ratio.

You can edit the text in the main text field once you've opened an image. You don't need to touch this at all, but if you wish to experiment with the values and parameters that are added to the image you can do that here. If you do more than just changing the existing numbers make sure each line is exiftool-friendly (see this exiftool documentation for reference), and don't include "exiftool" at the beginning.

(Yes, technically, this does make Exif Fixer the only visual exiftool-based metadata editor on the Mac platform. It is specifically designed for panoramic image tagging, so you'll have to know how to structure other exiftool commands. Please let me know if you would find a more general exif editing tool useful.)

Change notes

Version 2.2:

  • Adds drag-and-drop support
  • Accommodates Facebook's mistaken requirement for 360° cylinders to be labelled as equirectangular

Version 2.2 (19.8.16 upload, no code changes)

  • Shorter UI to fit into 768px-height laptop screens

Version 2.4 (2.3 was internal only):

  • Recognise the difference between short (under 86°) panoramas and taller ones and tag them accordingly. (Can be overridden, but this will produce different projection effects in Facebook. Test your experiments.)

Older versions are available here

Many thanks to Paul Dunning for the exiftool embedding help