After experiencing a loss of significant GPS data in Aperture I found HoudahGeo.  It seemed this application might be my solution in re-tagging my masters.

I downloaded the demo HoudahGeo and I'm not sure if my expectations are incorrect, if my process is incorrect or if I have a problem with the software.

First, lets start with my expectations (understanding) of the capabilities of HourdaGeo
- I have files in Aperture which require geolocational data
- All files are Managed by Aperture
- My Aperture database is on my local (internal) drive
- I think that I open HoudahGeo, tag my images and safe the exif data then notify Aperture and the geotags are written to the masters images so that if I ever have to ingest them again the data is there.

What happens in reality
I Execute HoudahGeo
I select my image(s) from the Load stage
I select the Process stage and, using Geocode using Google Earth, geo-locate the image
I then move on to the Output stage and, using EXIF/XMP export I export the image.
I am bypassing XMP sidecars and am expecting the EXIF data to be written directly to my Aperture Master.
I Notify iPhoto/Aperture and sure enough the coordinates to appear in Aperture.

However,  GPS Exif data are not in the master.  
This is confirmed by using exiftool to display the exif data of the master.  
The file timestamp of the master (as viewed by Finder) shows no edit (modification) and the exiftool returns no geodata.  
The file modification timestamp exif data (as viewed by exiftool) shows no update.
Updating metadata from the master (in Aperture) clears all geolocational data from the Aperture database for the image in question.

I did however opt to create backups when exporting the EXIF data.  Going to the backup directory I see that an image file has been created.  Using exiftool I can see that there is indeed GPS data present.  Importing that image into Aperture results in … no GPS data being displayed in the Aperture interface, but exiftool does indicate that GPS data is indeed present in the file.  

The downside is that the backup image has about a 50% chance of being a smaller image than the original.

So I am confused on a couple levels.
1) Why is the original master not written to?  Isn't this the purpose (or one of the purposes) of HoudahGeo?
2) Why are copies not always the size expected? (they appear to be exactly half the size of the original)
3) Why are copies exif locational data not recognized by Aperture?

The only entry (out of the ordinary) that I see in the console log is a reference from yesterday (before I started geotaging tests today) that the read only setting could not be removed from the Aperture database.  From my understanding this is a security feature of Aperture (sandboxing) which goes back to Aperture 3.2.x.

1/4/14 10:03:12.049 PM HoudahGeo[75766]: Unable to remove read-only database file at /Volumes/Users/Users/gblankenship/Pictures/Aperture Library.aplibrary/Database/apdb/Library-readOnly.apdb: “Library-readOnly.apdb” couldn’t be removed.

Are my expectations incorrect?  Or am I doing something wrong?
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Your expectations are correct.

You seem to have misunderstood the "create copies" option during EXIF export. With that selected, the image files are first copied and then tagged. The originals remain untouched.

HoudahGeo, by default, does not modify the file timestamp when writing tags. There is a hidden preference to disable this feature.

Please check one thing. In the right-hand sidebar of the Process step, verify that the "Master Path" does indeed point to the master rather than a preview image create by Aperture.
If it does not point to the Master, chances are that the Aperture lost the reference to the master image. Use Aperture to reconnect the files.

Please post or email support an image where Aperture does not recognize the GPS data.

The Console message is probably only a minor problem. In order to gain access to master files, HoudahGeo needs to read from the Aperture database. Aperture however locks that database while it is running. HoudahGeo works around this problem by creating a copy of the database file and reading from that on. The original one is called Library.apdb. HoudahGeo creates Library-readOnly.apdb. Before creating this file, HoudahGeo needs to remove an outdated copy.

Can you tell if the path /Volumes/Users/Users/gblankenship/Pictures/Aperture Library.aplibrary is correct?

Pierre Bernard
Houdah Software s.à r.l.
Houdah Software s. à r. l.

HoudahGeo: One-stop photo geocoding
HoudahSpot: Advanced file search utility
Tembo: Easy and effective file search
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Got it!  Bad selection of options.  Thanks for the quick reply.  Heading over to purchase now.
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