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IPhone 3g only pulled in location of photographs taken in UK and USA

2015-10-11   Views:0

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I have returned recently from a cruise , flying out to SIngapore and sailing back to Southampton, calling in at various locations, Thailand ,Malaysia, India, Oman,Jordan, Egypt, Greece and Rome. A great trip, took lots of photographs plus a lot with

I have returned recently from a cruise , flying out to SIngapore and sailing back to Southampton, calling in at various locations, Thailand ,Malaysia, India, Oman,Jordan, Egypt, Greece and Rome.
A great trip, took lots of photographs plus a lot with the iPhone for the GPS location of places. The phone was turned on throughout as normal, with roaming turned off. Shots were imported into Aperture 3 and I was disappointed to find location data only for the shots taken in the Uk at the beginning and end of the trip. Previously I found the same iPhone picked up location data in the USA quite happily with the same standard settings.
Any ideas ?

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I posted this question on a photography centred web site and received the following reply, which may be of interest to others, thanks to Nick Bull
Each satellite in the GPS network has a very accurate atomic clock inside which is synchronised to each other (so they all have the same time). The satellites then constantly beam out signals which contains the time it was sent and its precise location in orbit (and a few other bits of information). Using this information from at least four satellites, it is possible for the GPS device (on the ground) to triangulate the location on Earth. There is not, however, any communication between the device and the satellite. The stand-alone GPS device usually needs several minutes is because it takes several iterations of calculations to get the accuracy required. When you start the GPS device again after turning it off, providing a "short time" has elapsed, or the location has not changed sufficiently since the last activation, it is possible to use the previous known location to "assist" the calculations and therefore provide a fix quicker.
The iPhone's GPS system works on a system known as "A-GPS" or Assisted-GPS (although it is more of a hybrid A-GPS). This uses triangulation from cell towers (it works out how long it takes for the signal to reach a number of cell towers whose locations are known and then can work out a rough location). This is then used as a helper for the GPS system to get a lock more accurately and, because you give the algorithms some starting location, it can find the location quicker. There is nothing transmitted through the data connection with regards satellite location as this is transmitted by the actual satellites all the time. If you are using a Wi-Fi connection then there is a system called Skyhook that can provide the iPhone with your location based on the wi-fi network - this is the only time data is sent across the internet to provide location information.
GPS on the iPhone can (and does) work with or without data connection (unless you are relying on the Skyhook system). It can also work when there is no cell signal (you can take your SIM card out and it will still work - you just can't use it in Airplane mode). As long as you have a "clear view" of the sky then it can use the satellite signal to calculate your location. If you are in a city or other area with high structures, there can be problems with the satellite signals bouncing off buildings and giving multi-path errors. The actual calculation and "lock" time can be from 40 seconds to five minutes depending on how many satellites are "visible".
So, to the OP, if you were carrying your phone with you, the GPS system only activates when you use a location-aware app (the camera, maps app, etc). If you just have the phone on, but in your pocket or bag, then the GPS won't be active. When you pull your iPhone out to take a picture, it doesn't know your location and it could take up to 5 minutes to calculate your location. So if you take your phone out, fire up the camera app and take a picture straight away, it won't have time to get your location. In the UK/USA it can triangulate your cell-tower location to give you a rough location (which is usually fairly accurate). It works differently in other countries, I believe, or you didn't have sufficient cell-tower coverage.
I would suggest that you invest in an app called MotionX GPS (they do a lite version too). This can be started and then the screen locked (to save battery) and it will constantly log your GPS location. This GPS track can then be downloaded at the end of your trip and imported into Aperture 3 to geo-tag the photos you have taken. This is the method I have used on many trips abroad without problem.
I'd like to point out that I have nothing to do with MotionX GPS other than being a happy user of their software.
Hope this helps!

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