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How to take photos with location information and send them with your rural grant or payment application.

First published:
20 April 2023
Last updated:


Some applications and claims require geotagged photographs. Photographs should be saved in an easily accessible location and be submitted with the relevant application. We will not be able to pay your claim without relevant geotagged photographs.

What is a geotagged photograph?

A geotagged photograph includes location information within the photograph file data. Most mobile phones have an internet connection and a camera. They will record GPS coordinates on their own. They also record the date and time the photograph was taken.

Geotagging means that the mobile phone will store information about the photo. This includes where the photograph was taken. This is stored within the photograph file.

Why do I need to take geotagged photographs?

Welsh Government staff will check the time and location data of your uploaded geotagged photographs. We will then cross check these with your application or contract. This allows us to:

  • verify your claim
  • make sure any capital works are completed as agreed and within the contract period
  • make sure activities are completed as agreed and within the contract period
  • make sure any items meet or exceed the item specification

How do I geotag my photographs?

Almost all mobile phones with internet access and a camera will be able to geotag your photographs.

Please note: the GPS coordinates will not display on the photo. The How to check photograph properties section will tell you how to confirm your photo's geotag information.

To make sure that your mobile phone is set up right, please follow the steps below. The steps and terms used may vary depending on the model of your phone.

For all devices, ensure you are using the default Camera application for your device. Third-party Camera applications can cause issues recording location information.

Apple iPhones and iPads

  1. Launch the Settings app (a cog icon) from your iPhone or iPad Home screen
  2. Tap on ‘Privacy’
  3. Tap on ‘Location Services’ and make sure this option is turned on
  4. Tap on the Camera icon
  5. Choose ‘While Using the App’

If you use an iPhone 8 or above you will also need to select the following settings:

  1. Launch the Settings app
  2. Tap on ‘Camera’
  3. Tap on ‘Formats’
  4. Choose ‘Most Compatible’

If the format setting is set to ‘High Efficiency’ your photo file will not record location data. This is the default setting for iPhone 8 and above and you must change this to take geotagged photos. If this is not changed your file will show an error when uploading to RPW Online.

If you use an iPhone 7 or below you will also need to select the following settings:

  1. Launch the Settings app
  2. Tap on ‘Camera’
  3. Ensure that the Keep Normal Photo is toggled ‘On’

Android phones

Most mobile phones use the android operating system. Examples of mobile phones using Android include Sony, Samsung, LG and HTC.

Firstly, make sure that your phone is set up to use GPS (Global Positioning System) to record your location.

  1. On your home screen, go to Settings (a cog icon). You may need to tap on the Applications or Menu icon first.
  2. Go to ‘Location’. This may be listed in its own right or it may be under ‘General Settings’ or ‘Privacy and Safety’.
  3. Make sure the location option is turned on. If prompted, choose ‘High accuracy’ or ‘GPS’.

Secondly, make sure that your camera is set up to geotag your photographs.

  1. Launch your Camera application
  2. Tap on the Settings icon
  3. Make sure that the ‘Geo-tagging’ or ‘Location tag’ or ‘GPS’ option is turned on

Windows phones

  1. On your home screen, tap on the ‘Settings’ option or icon (a cog icon)
  2. Tap ‘Privacy’
  3. Tap on ‘Location Service’ and make sure this option is turned on
  4. Under ‘Choose apps that can use your precise location’, scroll down the list and make sure ‘Camera’ is turned on

Other devices

Your tablet or digital camera will also be able to geotag photographs if they have inbuilt GPS.

Taking suitable photographs

Photographs which provide good evidence are:

  • in focus
  • include the extent of works which are due to take place
  • include a reference point, like a large tree or building

How do I transfer and save geotagged photographs?

Transfer your geotagged photographs to your computer or laptop, following your device guidance. You may wish to email the photograph to yourself as an attachment from your mobile phone.

It is very important to save the photographs in a memorable location.

You need to name your photographs with care. You should be able to identify them easily. This makes it possible to match them to the appropriate item when you upload your photographs as part of your application or claim. You may wish to include an ID number or reference which uniquely identifies the subject of the claim. You could also include the CRN if you are completing claims on behalf of many customers.

Example of save file: A0099999_YC001234_Pencochbottom_After_Wideshot

Photographs should be saved as jpeg files. They should have a resolution of at least 400 x 600 pixels.

How to check photograph properties

You can check the resolution and location details of your photo. You can do this after you have saved and transferred the file to your computer or laptop.


Hold down the ‘Alt’ key and press ‘Enter’ or right click on the photograph. Then select ‘properties’ or ‘file information’.

Apple Mac

Hold down the ‘Command’ key and press the letter ‘i’.

Both options will open the file details for that photograph. This includes the resolution of the photographs and the GPS coordinates. It also shows details of the time you took the photo.

You can enter the GPS coordinates into your search engine. This will display the location you took the photograph on a map.

How do I upload my geotagged photographs?

For claims

This applies to:

  • Capital Works Claims
  • Growing for the Environment Claims
  • Small Grants – Efficiency Claims
  • Nutrient Management Investment Scheme Claims

Once you have submitted your claim form, you need to submit the geotagged photographs. This is so the Welsh Government can verify your claim and make sure the activity has been completed as agreed.

You can do this by using the ‘Document Upload’ function on your RPW Online account.

The document upload screen will show the claims available for you to submit geotagged photographs. This will also include:

  • details of the contract
  • how many photographs have been uploaded against before, during and after
  • if you have completed your upload
  1. Click the ‘Upload’ button next to the before and after sections of the contract to add your geotagged photos.
  2. Click ‘Add Files’ to open on your computer browser and select the relevant photos.
  3. Once you have selected the required photo click ‘Open’.
  4. Successfully added files will show with a green tick. Unsuccessful photographs will show with a red cross and a reason why it has not been accepted.
  5. Click ‘Upload’ to add the photo to your claim.
  6. Once you have added all the before and after photos click ‘Mark as Complete’. If you need to add additional photos at any point you will still be able to do so.

For grant claims

This applies to Small Grants Woodland Creation Claims.

Once you have submitted your Grant Claim form you need to submit the geotagged photographs. This is so that the Welsh Government can verify your claim and make sure the Capital Works have been completed as agreed.

You can do this by adding your geotagged photos to the ‘Documents received by RPW - Grant Claim Form Summary’ message. This is created upon submission of your Grant Claim. You can find this in the ‘Messages’ area of your RPW Online account.

Within the Grant Claim Form Summary message, click the ‘Add Files’ button to add your geotagged photos.

For EOI applications

You will be able to add the geotagged photos when you select an item in the EOI application form.

Once an item is selected a button will become available for you to add the photo.

More information is available in the How to Complete guidance.

What do I do if I see an error when uploading my file?

Geotagged photographs must be taken at and match the location of the item or works.

You may see an error when uploading your file to RPW Online for the following reasons:

  • the file type is not a jpeg image file
  • the photograph file may not have the correct location information
  • the photograph file may be missing location information

If you see an error when uploading your geotagged photograph:

  1. Check that your photograph file is in jpeg format. You can view the file properties by following the steps in the How to check photograph properties section of this guidance.
  2. Check that the location information in the file properties is correct. If the information is missing the file will not be valid.
  3. Check your device settings are correct. You can find the steps to check this in the How do I geotag my photographs section of this guidance.
  4. For any further issues, contact the RPW Customer Contact Centre.