Toolbox update 3: Extracting data from MakerNote

This one is for all you biologists using cameras or camera traps out here! Certain cameras and camera traps, such as those from Reconyx, now store much of the image data in binary format in MakerNote. Apart from the Date and Time, which are the most important information we need for data analyses, Reconyx camera trap pictures have additional information such as Temperature and Moon Phases (see below).

Reconyx camera trap photo of a Malayan Sunbear using a viaduct in the Kenyir Wildlife Corridor. © Rimba

Unfortunately,  the data in MakerNote is not readily extracted by databases built on Microsoft platforms. We initially tried to use one of the more popular camera trap data management platforms, Camera Base, to extract data from the Reconyx pictures, but were unsuccessful.  Luckily for us, the maker of Camera Base, Mathias Tobler, offered a useful script to extract data from MakerNote using Phil Harvey’s ExifTool.

Now you can batch export data in MakerNote from all your photos at one go, so you won’t have to read off the Date and Time information from each individual photo (if you were planning on doing it)! Rimba’s ex researcher, William, created a step-by-step guide on how to do this and you can download this here.

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