GoPro HERO 12 GPS option missing

The GoPro HERO12 Black is the first GoPro flagship camera that does not come with GPS capabilities since 2015.

7 years ago, the HERO5 Black introduced GPS data when GoPro was competing with Garmin Virb's lineup of GPS-enabled sports-oriented cameras.

The camera (HERO12 Black) itself still records many telemetry fields (accelerometer, orientation, camera settings, etc.), just not a GPS route. The GPS chip might still be there, as early reports indicate that photos do have geo-tagging, but the brand would have decided to disable it while recording video to extend battery life and prevent overheating. Users could already do that manually with previous models, but GoPro has just removed the option now.


If the GPS antenna is still there, GoPro might give us the option to enable it in a future GoPro Labs firmware version. Update: GoPro is also stating that the GPS module is not even in the camera. Any photo geo-tagging might be coming from the phone location or by AI image recognition done by Google.

This is an interesting choice. It's true that Garmin Virb cameras are no longer around creating an incentive to compete in the GPS front, but both Insta360 and DJI have recently introduced ways to embed GPS data into the video, by connecting the action camera to a Bluetooth remote. GoPro just came up with a new remote control, but the GPS feature seems to also be missing there.

The solution, or rather a workaround

The most obvious “fix” is to just record the GPS data with your phone and sync it to the video later in Telemetry Overlay.

These two apps (with their corresponding best settings) work great:

  • GPS Logger for Android: The default settings are fine (1-second interval, no filters), but enabling EGM96 is recommended
  • GPX Trail Tracker for iOS: Set the app Distance filter to zero and export a GPX with TrackPoints (trk), not WayPoints

The easiest way to have your data in sync with the video is to start both the GoPro video and the phone GPX track at the same time, but this tutorial shows many more ways to synchronize video and data.

To go one step further, you can also record GPS and performance metrics with a dedicated tracker for your activity. For example, Garmin cycling devices can record additional metrics like cadence, heart rate, or power. OBD2 adapters transmit technical streams from almost any car model, like RPM, temperature, pressures, throttle, and brake levels… Aviation instruments record airspeed, barometric altitude, precise attitude, etc. Hundreds of formats and devices are supported. See a comprehensive list here.

The alternatives

Of course, having the camera record the GPS data directly was convenient, so here are some great alternatives with internal GPS recording: