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Google Drive: How to sort images by date

Dozens of Kodachrome film negatives are piled up in a wooden drawer, each of them protected by a white 'transparency' frame.

Unsplash: Jason Leung

Imagine you’re going for a hike. You’re enjoying the view from the top of a mountain. You start the ascent. You’re heading back down again. You arrive at the trailhead ready to embark on an adventure.

Wait, something’s wrong. You probably wouldn’t tell a story in this order. And you probably wouldn’t want to look at a slideshow if the images aren’t in chronological order.

Luckily, there’s a solution to your problem. Assuming you use Google Drive, all you have to do is launch imageSort, enter the name of the folder where you keep your image files, and after a few seconds, they will be sorted by date.

In case you want to revert to the previous state, simply reenter the same folder name and the original filenames will be restored. Just make sure not to delete the spreadsheet titled original_filenames_do_not_delete.

Launch imageSort

Known issue: If you edit your pictures before you upload them, Google Drive seems to refer to the file modified timestamp instead of the picture taken timestamp even though the latter is still present in the EXIF metadata. Of course, you can still download your pictures and rename them on your local machine. Should you know about a way to access the correct metadata via Google Drive API, please tell me.

Privacy policy

When using imageSort, at no time does any personal data get transferred to any third parties. Please don’t just take my word for it, have a look at the source code and feel free to use, share and modify my code.

imageSort requires permission to view and manage the files in your Google Drive and permission to view and manage your spreadsheets in Google Drive. The latter is needed to create a new spreadsheet in your Google Drive containing the original filenames, so you can undo any changes by simply running the script for a second time. You can revoke these permissions at any time if you don’t want to keep using imageSort.

Florian Lehmuth
31 August 2018
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