Directory listing with file creation date

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johbot
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Directory listing with file creation date

Post by johbot »

Hi,

I have been presented with a portable hard drive full of images of roads and footpaths. There are over 1,000,000 images in 2,000 or so directories. Each image is a series taken at a location (GPS data is there too) to show the condition of those roads and footpaths. The images are labelled as xxxx-left.jpg xxx-right.jpg etc so are pretty useless unless you know the direction the vehicle was travelling when the image was taken.
But I don't know what direction it was travelling and that is what I need to work out. You see, a road, any road, may have been travelled and photographed in different segments and each segment in a different direction.

So my plan is that I should be able to tell direction from the difference between the GPS co-ordinates between two images in a directory. I'm thinking that in order to do this I need a directory listing of all the images and their creation date. If my first image was taken at 9:00 and the next one at 9:01 and then one at 9:02 then I should be able to follow that sequence and see which direction was taken from the difference in GPS co-ordinates.

But how do I get that listing of all my files?

I'm working in Windows XP.

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stuck
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Re: Directory listing with file creation date

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John Gray
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Re: Directory listing with file creation date

Post by John Gray »

You could start at the top-level directory and do in a BATch file something like:
for /r %%a in (.) do dir /od /tc %%a >> dirlist.txt
but the resulting file might be difficult to sort...

Also beware that the creation date is NOT a stable field - the only valid one is the File Modified date/time.
John Gray

Think how stupid the average person is, then realise that half of the population are stupider than that.

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stuck
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Re: Directory listing with file creation date

Post by stuck »

Given that as John has pointed out that the file creation dates is not actually reliable and what you are trying to do is reassemble the order in which the files were taken then the date you really want to know is the one that the camera wrote into the EXIF information of the image.

The best tool for looking at EXIF tags is EXIFTool by Phil Harvey. However this is a command line tool and I've never used it directly. I've only ever used it via the GUI front end for Windows. I guess a command line tool would lend itself to use in a BATch file.

If the GPS data is also in the EXIF data then it could be that the only tool you need to do this whole job is EXIFTool, check out the EXIFTool Forum.

If I have time tonight when I get home I'll have a look and what I can do with the GUI version. I have several photos that I didn't take and that the Windows file dates do not equate to the actual date taken so they might provide me with a suitable experimental set.

Of course this assumes that the EXIF data is still within the images that you are trying to reorder.

Ken

Jim Cone
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Re: Directory listing with file creation date

Post by Jim Cone »

Another option is my 'Files or Folders' Excel workbook.
You would have to do two or more separate searches as the excel worksheet holds 65000 rows.
The program creates hyperlinks to each file ( with a button that removes them) and can
add a comment to each listed file that contains a copy of the file image.

You specify the directory/folder and whether you want to search sub folders and also the type of file you want listed, such as "*.jpg"
The resultant list provides: file name, file path, file type, file size and date last modified and can be sorted by any of those attributes.

The program is time-limited at 3 weeks. Download from... https://www.dropbox.com/sh/ttybwg5e9r31 ... Tcw4a?dl=0
Last edited by Jim Cone on 22 Sep 2016, 15:19, edited 1 time in total.

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stuck
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Re: Directory listing with file creation date

Post by stuck »

In Explorer 'details' view you can add a column called 'Date Picture taken'. This appears to be the date held within the image EXIF data. You can then list the files in that order.

Then there's a Google search for 'rename files based on EXIF date' which turns up loads of hits and thus would allow you to convert the file names into dates but I wouldn't know which to recommend. I dare say you could find something to rename files based on GPS data too.

Ken

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johbot
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Re: Directory listing with file creation date

Post by johbot »

Thank you for all the suggestions. I will try them out and get back with the answer that worked.