Geotagging Your Photos

Do you know where you were when you took all of your photos? Should you care? When someone asks you where you took that photo of yours, could you tell them with any accuracy where? Maybe you need to geotag your photos…

Geotagging is the process of applying (tagging) the geologic location of where a photo was taken. Why in the world would you want to do this?

  • You can tell others exactly where you were when you took a photo. Maybe they would like to be there too and see what you saw. What better way to tell them than with a geotag that takes them to the exact map location on Bing or Google maps, for example.
  • It helps you remember where you were when you took a photo so that you can go back there and shoot again if you want to.
  • Ahhhh, memories. You can reminisce about the trip you took or the things you saw with a map in front of you and the photos to match!

Geotagging can be easy too. You can either do it with a GPS unit that you can buy for around $120, or with software. I’ve done both:

  • The GPS hardware method lets you track and log exactly where you were, but the drawback is that it is another thing to carry on you and to have charged up. I have used a GiSTEQ PhotoTrackr with some success.
  • For a long time I used a software program called Geosetter. Here’s how it worked for me:
    • I can usually remember where I was when I took a photo, so when I get back home I just go into Geosetter, locate where I was, and apply the location information to my photos. Then in Lightroom (I’ve already imported them as DNGs by this point), I select “read metadata” for each file that I geotagged with Geosetter, and a new field “GPS” shows up as well as filled location and sublocation fields. Thereafter when I tune-up my photos and produce JPEGs from them, the location information is in there. (Geosetter also applies location information directly to JPEGs from the camera also.)
  • Now, I use Lightroom. Lightroom 4 has location tagging built in and it is easy to use. I just go in there and put a pin in the location on the map where I took the photo. Easy!

You may want to know and others may also want to know where you took that spectacular photo. Be able to tell them by geotagging your photos!