How to Geo-Tag your Photographs with Google Maps

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A Guest post from Lisa Newton by Lisa Newton Travelin’ Local

geo-tag-photographs-google-maps.JPGMy business website is a hyper-local niche online lifestyle magazine, Travelin’ Local, where I features countless walking and bike riding maps, including a judicious quantity of photos to accompany my stories for the area that we specialize in, which includes Los Angeles and environs.

Eager to figure out and learn how to Geo-Tag my walks, I was amazed at the lack of information and knowledge regarding the how’s, what’s, where’s, when’s, why’s, and who’s, as it pertains to this technology and how to integrate it into stories, blogs, and websites. So, I took matters into my own hands and learned the old fashioned way; by investigation, experimentation, and implementation.

The first stop on my learn-by-doing adventure was, of course, the king of maps, Google.

google-maps.JPGSimply put, I would walk a route, and keep copious notes of the streets I was walking, the turns I made, or the landmarks I saw along the way.

While taking pictures at the same time, my goal is to obtain the best possible visual record of where I’m going, and where I’ve been. Sometimes, I would just shoot the street sign to avoid the interruption between story and record keeping, as well as having to not write anything down.

After I got home, I’d pull up my Google Maps and create a new map based on whatever particular story I was working on. You need to have a Google account in order to create a map, but that’s a snap to set up.

Once you have an account, go to My Maps and “Create a Map.”

hand.JPG moves the map around

marker.JPG creates a place marker. By using the dropdown menu, you are offered many choices for this icon.

line-tool.JPG the third and final option is the best of all. With its line tool dropdown list, Google provides several methods for mapping your route:

  1. Draw a line, which allows you to draw any type of line anywhere on your map
  2. Draw a line along roads: Just as the name suggests, the tool follows lines along established roads. Here it pays to mark your route by clicking often. Sometimes, Google tends to have a mind of its own.
  3. Draw a shape: If you need to map an area rather than a route, this freehand tool allows for that.

geo-tag-photographs-google-maps-1.JPGOnce you determine which tool suits your purpose, you’re ready to start creating.

After you get your route done, the fun part starts by adding points of interest, photos, comments, information, links, and any other necessary information to create the story you want your readers to enjoy.

Within the place marker box, Google gives you three options to take advantage of:

  • Plain text which is just as it reads; you type and it appears
  • Rich text parallels WYSIWYG, giving you the ability to add images, make font changes, and add bullets, etc., to your place maker. If you’re not an expert at coding, which is where I tend to live, this tool is a lifesaver.
  • Edit HTML allows you to get behind the scenes, so to speak, and change the coding or add coding as you deem fit.

geo-tag-photographs-google-maps-2.JPGBasically, if you’re skilled at coding, you can create a webpage for each place maker.

As far as geotagging your pictures within Google Maps, it’s a totally manual project. You place the marker where the photo was taken, and when you hit the image icon, an html box pops up. Each picture is uploaded via the Rich text tool, so each picture has to have its own URL. When I add pictures to Google Maps, I upload them to my blog first, cut and paste the URL, and then add them to Google.

Once you finish your map, the best part is that you can now embed it into your site, or share the link with friends:


View Hollywood Walk of Fame in a larger map

It’s a time consuming process, but one well worth the effort. I love sharing my walks with my readers, and Google Maps is one way to do that.

What experience have you had with Google Maps?

Lisa Newton is the publisher of the online lifestyle magazine Travelin’ Local.  Along with her passion for writing and photography, she loves discovering new places to go and sights to see in Los Angeles.

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  • I had tried that with Google Maps a couple of years ago, but found it too time-consuming back then. After reading your article, I think I may create a photo tour of the nice wilderness park near me. Thanks for the article, Lisa!

  • You may want to consider using a Geo-Tagging device which simply logs waypoints at regular intervals. It is a very simple device. When you get back upload the way points to your PC and then upload and synchronise your pictures. The software that comes with the device will automatically tag your photographs on the map. I wrote a blog on this if you are interested. Here is the link: http://pragnamix.wordpress.com/2009/08/16/geo-tagging-photographs-with-i-gotu-geo-tagging-device/

  • Picasa has a built-in geo-tagging feature. It uses Google Earth and streamlines the tagging process, especially for groups of photos.

  • I prefer the data logger route, the thought of having to individually place hundreds of photos onto a map dissuades me from even starting. I have the Wintec WBT-201 data logger, and I’ve had trouble getting my track into Google Maps. Google Earth is less of a problem, it shows the line track nicely, but Maps shows each data point with a blue pin (hundreds of them), rather than the simpler line representing the track. Neither of them show my photos along the track. After importing the geotagged photos into flickr (using Pictomio), the flickr map is rather inaccurate, putting my photos several hundred meters away from where they appear in the Pictomio track.

  • Rolling Stone

    There are also GPS units that attach to your camera. It embeds the coordinates into your meta data. If your a flickr user, which has maps, it automatically puts your photo via coordinates on the map. Easiest way possible. No 3rd parties are involved. Prices range from $100-150 USD.

  • Nick Thompson

    Aperture 3 now has geotagging in association with Google maps. I used to wait until I’d uploaded to Flickr before using their maps feature to tag photos. However, the Yahoo maps used by Flickr are inferior to those offered by Google – at least for the places I was trying to tag: New Zealand, Scotland and rural France.

    I’ve been tinkering with the new Aperture “places” feature and it seems pretty good. You can tag several photos from the same location at the same time, change the tag if you got it wrong, and, I gather that if you tick the appropriate boxes in preferences, that you can upload the geographic data with your picture to Flickr.

  • For a simple way to tag your photos, consider the java program at http://geotag.sourceforge.net/ – it is essentially an EXIF editor (uses exiftools) so you can fill in the geotag fields. If you need to figure out coordinates to type in, use google earth to locate where you took the photo. If you create a pin marker in google earth, you can copy and paste coordinate numbers.

    As noted, many of the geotagging programs use a GPS track and compare picture times to the GPS track times to geotag photos. This is nice if you have a GPS track and need to run a whole batch of photos.

    But for individual pictures, geotag seems to work well.

  • Great article. Thanks.

  • I’m yet to try this, but I have a gps enabled android phone, with an app that tracks where I’ve been and export it to .kml format. This way I can later on synchronize with the photos by matching timestamp via Google Earth.

  • To avoid the manual geotagging, you can use an iPhone to track your location while shooting photos. My iPhone app GeoLogTag is especially designed for that purpose.
    For Mac & Flickr users, it’s an all-in-one geotagging solution, since it also does the geotagging (over WiFi). There is a free version available that allows you to try things out first.

    App Store
    GeoLogTag website

  • Gerry

    If you have a gps (iPhone), Aperture, and the Mapature Pro plugin (maybe built into Aperture 3) you can import your track data and the software will geotag your photos by matching gps time with photo time. If you use Flickr, your uploaded photos will be placed on a Yahoo map, but Flickr also produces a geoFeed (max 25 items). If you copy the geoFeed URL and paste the URL into a the search field in Google Maps, voila, the photos appear on the map. Here is an example of the latest geotagged photos that have been tagged with Vancouver on Flickr:

    http://SplashURL.net/acg

    You can also import the track data into Google Maps after the photos have been placed and then save your own map as you mention above. That will give you the path of your walk and the photo placements and links.

  • I use the PhotoTrackr Mini http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/656648-REG/GiSTEQ_C7_02DPL900_PhotoTrackr_Mini_DPL900.html. It generates .xmp sidecar files for use with Lightroom. The one thing the ad doesn’t tell you is that if you shoot raw, you may have to pay $20 extra for the raw version of their software. The software is also somewhat of a data base that displays the pictures. You might not need to pay the extra just to generate the .xmp files. Outside of that it works very well and will tag all the pictures you can take in a day with just a little extra effort.

  • There’s a great little piece of FREE software called GPSed (www.gpsed.com) that you can install on almost any GPS-enabled smartphone (iPhone, Blackberry, Windows Mobile and Java versions available), that will log your track, upload it in near-realtime intervals to their site (where it displays via Google Maps), automatically updates your social-networking sites with links to your map, and when you’re done, can read your photos and geotag them automatically, placing them on the map alongside your track on the GPSed site. If you use Picasa Web Albums or Flikr, it will link to the photos directly and tag the copies you have there as well.

    I’ve been using it for a year or so now, first with my HTC phone, now with my Samsung.

  • I have been using GeoSetter, a free program that edits the EXIF data on JPG images and can update the sidecar files from Lightroom.

    http://www.geosetter.de/en/

    My workflow is to import the photos into Lightroom, refine and edit, and then save the sidecar data by right clicking the set and choosing Metadata, Save Metadata to files.
    Then fire up GeoSetter and navigate to the folder with the images. Edit the location for the photos and then write back out to the sidecar files. There is an option to edit the RAW file, but I would rather not touch the RAW image.
    Afterwards, select the same images in Lightroom and choose Metadata, Read Metadata from files. Then your files are geo-encoded. Works very well.

    I’ve noticed a few new freeware apps for saving location data on my GPS-enabled Windows Mobile phone. I plan to try a few of these out when shooting to see if I can match the data from the GPS log to the photos.

    Geoff

  • Great tutorial, thanks! This gives me some new ides. I had posted some of my shots to Bing Maps, and made it findable publicly by adding keywords. Then if someone searches and finds my pictures, they link back to my gallery.
    I like the idea to embed it in your blog, this looks like a really fun project (added to my growing list). Thanks again for sharing your steps, and for the idea!

  • Thanks for a very helpful tutorial. I’ve been wanting to add maps to my blog for a while, but I was concerned about using up too much bandwidth. This makes it seem like it wouldn’t be a problem, since you’re linking to the photos that are already on your website, and I could just do that.

  • Have you seen EveryTrail.com? You can geotag photos there and create “trips” to share on your website, facebook, etc.

  • Barrie

    Thanks a million for this very useful” how to”! I am looking forward to the day when GPS stamping is an affordable built-in feature like time and date….

  • Dusty

    Thanks for the handy article. Google maps is great, I love using it to plan a bike ride, or photo-walk and even see where I’ve been wandering…
    By the way…

  • If you’re a Mac person like me, have a look at HoudahGeo (http://www.houdah.com/houdahGeo/) . It’s shareware. It’s a little different from the other software products mentioned here in that your photos can stay on your drive or be uploaded to a photo sharing site. It creates a .kml file which is like an overlay to Google Maps containing the geotagging info and pointers to where your photos are stored; your photos are untouched. Send a copy of the .kml file to your friends and (if your photos are on a shared site) they’ll be able to see them. Plus, if you ever want to yank your photos you can – they’re not farmed out across the globe (at least not by this app).

    Disclaimer: happy user, not happy employee.

  • Chris

    I use a handheld GPS device – Garmin Oregon – which is in my camera bag all the time. Logs my track, then, when I get home, I download the saved track file to the same directory into which I download the
    day’s images. I use GPicSync (from Google) to geotag the images. This write a file which opens in Google Earth, showing very clearly the track and thumbnails of the images taken along the track. It’s very easy, and it’s very accurate. I also post some of my images on PBase, which is clever enough to recognise the geotagging and show a map with the location.

  • I tried to do this after a trip in Sarajevo (Bosnia Hercegovina) this january… but there is no way!!!
    Why? ‘Cause Sarajevo city map doesn’t exist on google maps.
    You see the two main roads and that’s all. Don’t ask my why, i’m still trying to understand!

  • Harro Kremer

    Maybe i’m a but puristic, but the article describes how photo’s can be linked to positions on a map (note the direction implied by “to”) rather than the geo information is associated with the photo. The fundamental distinction is that in the latter case, starting from an (arbitrary) set of pictures, the trail can always reconstructed while in the former case this is not true.

    I take a lot of pictures, sSince some photo’s are included in several maps, the map-based doesn’t work for me. My photomanagement software (adobe lightroom) is not (yet) able to read the kml files and store the location information in the exif data.

    Making the distinction between the two might by handy. How about geotagging vs geomapping?

    As far a tools: I’m perfectly happy with geosetter (which even tags my panasonic rw2 files).

  • Jimmy

    I got one of these for Christmas -i-gotU. It does the job for you.

    http://www.i-gotu.com/

  • There have been many great answers here each one of them with different merits and advantages. In my mind, they are all different routes to get to the end objective which is to know where your picture was taken. The different approaches posted by all the contributors do work. But like most things there is a bewildering range of workable choices. It is important that you start off with a clear idea of what is important to you. In my case:

    (1) I wanted something that would capture the location data automatically – I ended up getting the I-GotU which does the job. There are several others that have been mentioned in the various replies
    (2) I wanted my photograph files actually updated with the location data – The software which came with device does this. Some of the solutions offered actually only tag the location data of photographs that have been uploaded to Picasa or Flickr which was not quite what I was after as I tend to use my photograph in many different ways so I wanted the location data stored with my source picture.

    The real trick which I am still playing around with is trying to get the simplest workflow. This is what I have at the moment
    (1) Import my files into my working computer using Lightroom
    (2) Import the location data into the GPS tracking software and tag the photographs uploaded in (1) – this step actually saves the location information to the photo file
    (3) Backup the folder with the tagged and updated pictures
    (4) Update Lightroom with the geo tag information from the updated files

    I ma hoping to further simplify this when I get more time. There is no doubt that it is cumbersome and hopefully someone can help me simplify this more. I really wanted to get the pictures tagged as quickly as possible at its “source” so to speak so that I could send, upload my pictures anywhere and it would already be tagged. I use Lightroom to upload my pictures which have already been tagged to Flickr and Picasa

  • Marty-Seattle

    Try MapMyWalk.com and it’s sibs MapMyHike, MapMyRide, MapMyRun, etc. The website alows you to lay out a proposed walk using Google map tools but with some additional handy tools and social network style sharing feature(you can opt out of sharing). You can enter tracks from loggers or most GPS units. It has a “show elevation” feature that is cool. I think it is still free with a pro version available that I haven’t really needed yet. There is an iPhone app version for a few bucks that really rocks. It records your track and allows you to snap geocoded pictures with the iPhone camera. When you get home, the track is in your online account available on your PC or Mac with the pictures already pinned. Opt for sharing and anyone can see your route, time, comments, pictures, etc. When online, you can check their database for others that have already done routes like the one you are planning and get their comments and pictures.

  • unueco

    In your original post you said, “It’s a time consuming process….”

    For me that was a bit of an understatement. In fact, it has proved to be prohibitively cumbersome!

    My first stumbling block came when trying to upload photos to my map. The tool calls for a URL. I attempted to supply the URL to my local hard drive…..and failed.

    I eventually abandoned uploading the photo and proceeded to tracing my route. I used the “draw along road” option. After several clicks, I realized that the route was tracing to the wrong road……and then discovered that there seems to be no UNDO function available. After various combinations of right and left clicking I did eventually find the menu option BACK……

    ……which took me totally out of the map labeling and I lost all my work!

    I notice that some of reply posts here mention other websites or programs to accmplish this task. So I will try them out.

    Finally, just a word of semantics: This tip is titled “How to Geo-Tag your photos….” To my mind geo-tagging photos means having Lat/Long data of the location where the photo was taken imprinted in the photo. It seems tome what you are really doing with this tip is explaining how to photo illustrate a map or route — as opposed to geo-tagging photos.

    But anyway, thank you for taking the time to contribute to this website.

  • I discovered that the software that came with my I-GotU geo tagging device named @tripPC also offers a free version that is supported on Symbion, Windows Mobile and Java enabled mobile phones. The application once installed captures geo data of your trip on your mobile phone and geo tags any photographs taken while the application is active on your mobile phone. It also allows you to upload the trip details and photographs to your account on their website

    For more details see my blog article http://pragnamix.wordpress.com/2010/02/24/geo-tagging-with-your-nokia-mobile-phone/

  • Larry Handson
  • My initial look at mobile phone and tagging seem to show that the read information , lat, long is out sometimes by some distance. I have only used one mobile phone to date but have read the pictures back in several geo readers.

    Are others finding this to be true.

  • Craig

    A simple and great way for sharing pictures on the map is http://www.geopieces.com

  • Definitely believe that that you said. Your favorite reason seemed to be at the web the easiest factor
    to take into accout of. I say to you, I definitely get annoyed whilst
    people consider worries that they just don’t recognize about. You managed to hit the nail upon the highest and outlined out the whole thing with no need side effect , folks could take a signal. Will likely be again to get more. Thank you

  • Great how to guide for geo tagging photos!

    Once you have your photos geo tagged, you can share them on epical. Epical is a geo-social network that allows you to turn any location into a mini social network that you and your friends can use to post, comment, like, add photos and more.
    Give it a try using your newly tagged photos!

    Here is the iTunes link (Android version will be out soon):
    https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/epical/id659217873?mt=8

  • Martin

    Thank you 🙂

  • Ron Bates

    Thank you for your article. Sounds like you really had a fun time learning how to use google earth to geotag. I have been glad to see the increase of info on geotagging the last few years, but it is always great to read how people learned their own way.
    For any beginner geotaggers out there, here is a great article that discusses what it is, some equipment you might want, and some software that makes it easier. All in all it’s a great place to start. Thanks again.
    Check it out: http://www.paintshoppro.com/en/landing/geotag-photos/

Some Older Comments

  • Bill April 5, 2013 09:19 pm

    Definitely believe that that you said. Your favorite reason seemed to be at the web the easiest factor
    to take into accout of. I say to you, I definitely get annoyed whilst
    people consider worries that they just don't recognize about. You managed to hit the nail upon the highest and outlined out the whole thing with no need side effect , folks could take a signal. Will likely be again to get more. Thank you

  • Craig August 31, 2012 07:09 pm

    A simple and great way for sharing pictures on the map is www.geopieces.com

  • GPRSG March 17, 2012 08:31 am

    My initial look at mobile phone and tagging seem to show that the read information , lat, long is out sometimes by some distance. I have only used one mobile phone to date but have read the pictures back in several geo readers.

    Are others finding this to be true.

  • Larry Handson January 19, 2012 03:04 pm

    If you are using an Android phone, you can go and try this app in Android market:
    https://market.android.com/details?id=metocomp.imagetager&feature=search_result#?t=W251bGwsMSwyLDEsIm1ldG9jb21wLmltYWdldGFnZXIiXQ..

  • David Tan February 24, 2010 06:46 pm

    I discovered that the software that came with my I-GotU geo tagging device named @tripPC also offers a free version that is supported on Symbion, Windows Mobile and Java enabled mobile phones. The application once installed captures geo data of your trip on your mobile phone and geo tags any photographs taken while the application is active on your mobile phone. It also allows you to upload the trip details and photographs to your account on their website

    For more details see my blog article http://pragnamix.wordpress.com/2010/02/24/geo-tagging-with-your-nokia-mobile-phone/

  • unueco February 21, 2010 10:24 pm

    In your original post you said, "It’s a time consuming process...."

    For me that was a bit of an understatement. In fact, it has proved to be prohibitively cumbersome!

    My first stumbling block came when trying to upload photos to my map. The tool calls for a URL. I attempted to supply the URL to my local hard drive.....and failed.

    I eventually abandoned uploading the photo and proceeded to tracing my route. I used the "draw along road" option. After several clicks, I realized that the route was tracing to the wrong road......and then discovered that there seems to be no UNDO function available. After various combinations of right and left clicking I did eventually find the menu option BACK......

    ......which took me totally out of the map labeling and I lost all my work!

    I notice that some of reply posts here mention other websites or programs to accmplish this task. So I will try them out.

    Finally, just a word of semantics: This tip is titled "How to Geo-Tag your photos...." To my mind geo-tagging photos means having Lat/Long data of the location where the photo was taken imprinted in the photo. It seems tome what you are really doing with this tip is explaining how to photo illustrate a map or route -- as opposed to geo-tagging photos.

    But anyway, thank you for taking the time to contribute to this website.

  • Marty-Seattle February 21, 2010 05:47 am

    Try MapMyWalk.com and it's sibs MapMyHike, MapMyRide, MapMyRun, etc. The website alows you to lay out a proposed walk using Google map tools but with some additional handy tools and social network style sharing feature(you can opt out of sharing). You can enter tracks from loggers or most GPS units. It has a "show elevation" feature that is cool. I think it is still free with a pro version available that I haven't really needed yet. There is an iPhone app version for a few bucks that really rocks. It records your track and allows you to snap geocoded pictures with the iPhone camera. When you get home, the track is in your online account available on your PC or Mac with the pictures already pinned. Opt for sharing and anyone can see your route, time, comments, pictures, etc. When online, you can check their database for others that have already done routes like the one you are planning and get their comments and pictures.

  • David Tan February 20, 2010 10:31 am

    There have been many great answers here each one of them with different merits and advantages. In my mind, they are all different routes to get to the end objective which is to know where your picture was taken. The different approaches posted by all the contributors do work. But like most things there is a bewildering range of workable choices. It is important that you start off with a clear idea of what is important to you. In my case:

    (1) I wanted something that would capture the location data automatically - I ended up getting the I-GotU which does the job. There are several others that have been mentioned in the various replies
    (2) I wanted my photograph files actually updated with the location data - The software which came with device does this. Some of the solutions offered actually only tag the location data of photographs that have been uploaded to Picasa or Flickr which was not quite what I was after as I tend to use my photograph in many different ways so I wanted the location data stored with my source picture.

    The real trick which I am still playing around with is trying to get the simplest workflow. This is what I have at the moment
    (1) Import my files into my working computer using Lightroom
    (2) Import the location data into the GPS tracking software and tag the photographs uploaded in (1) - this step actually saves the location information to the photo file
    (3) Backup the folder with the tagged and updated pictures
    (4) Update Lightroom with the geo tag information from the updated files

    I ma hoping to further simplify this when I get more time. There is no doubt that it is cumbersome and hopefully someone can help me simplify this more. I really wanted to get the pictures tagged as quickly as possible at its "source" so to speak so that I could send, upload my pictures anywhere and it would already be tagged. I use Lightroom to upload my pictures which have already been tagged to Flickr and Picasa

  • Jimmy February 19, 2010 06:18 am

    I got one of these for Christmas -i-gotU. It does the job for you.

    http://www.i-gotu.com/

  • Harro Kremer February 19, 2010 05:03 am

    Maybe i'm a but puristic, but the article describes how photo's can be linked to positions on a map (note the direction implied by "to") rather than the geo information is associated with the photo. The fundamental distinction is that in the latter case, starting from an (arbitrary) set of pictures, the trail can always reconstructed while in the former case this is not true.

    I take a lot of pictures, sSince some photo's are included in several maps, the map-based doesn't work for me. My photomanagement software (adobe lightroom) is not (yet) able to read the kml files and store the location information in the exif data.

    Making the distinction between the two might by handy. How about geotagging vs geomapping?

    As far a tools: I'm perfectly happy with geosetter (which even tags my panasonic rw2 files).

  • Scalva February 19, 2010 03:24 am

    I tried to do this after a trip in Sarajevo (Bosnia Hercegovina) this january... but there is no way!!!
    Why? 'Cause Sarajevo city map doesn't exist on google maps.
    You see the two main roads and that's all. Don't ask my why, i'm still trying to understand!

  • Chris February 19, 2010 03:17 am

    I use a handheld GPS device - Garmin Oregon - which is in my camera bag all the time. Logs my track, then, when I get home, I download the saved track file to the same directory into which I download the
    day's images. I use GPicSync (from Google) to geotag the images. This write a file which opens in Google Earth, showing very clearly the track and thumbnails of the images taken along the track. It's very easy, and it's very accurate. I also post some of my images on PBase, which is clever enough to recognise the geotagging and show a map with the location.

  • Stephanie Mitchell February 19, 2010 03:17 am

    If you're a Mac person like me, have a look at HoudahGeo (http://www.houdah.com/houdahGeo/) . It's shareware. It's a little different from the other software products mentioned here in that your photos can stay on your drive or be uploaded to a photo sharing site. It creates a .kml file which is like an overlay to Google Maps containing the geotagging info and pointers to where your photos are stored; your photos are untouched. Send a copy of the .kml file to your friends and (if your photos are on a shared site) they'll be able to see them. Plus, if you ever want to yank your photos you can - they're not farmed out across the globe (at least not by this app).

    Disclaimer: happy user, not happy employee.

  • Dusty February 19, 2010 02:53 am

    Thanks for the handy article. Google maps is great, I love using it to plan a bike ride, or photo-walk and even see where I've been wandering...
    By the way...

  • Barrie February 19, 2010 02:48 am

    Thanks a million for this very useful" how to"! I am looking forward to the day when GPS stamping is an affordable built-in feature like time and date....

  • Chris February 18, 2010 12:36 pm

    Have you seen EveryTrail.com? You can geotag photos there and create "trips" to share on your website, facebook, etc.

  • Beth Partin February 17, 2010 04:25 am

    Thanks for a very helpful tutorial. I've been wanting to add maps to my blog for a while, but I was concerned about using up too much bandwidth. This makes it seem like it wouldn't be a problem, since you're linking to the photos that are already on your website, and I could just do that.

  • Tim @ Myfotoguy February 15, 2010 04:24 am

    Great tutorial, thanks! This gives me some new ides. I had posted some of my shots to Bing Maps, and made it findable publicly by adding keywords. Then if someone searches and finds my pictures, they link back to my gallery.
    I like the idea to embed it in your blog, this looks like a really fun project (added to my growing list). Thanks again for sharing your steps, and for the idea!

  • Geoff Faulkner February 13, 2010 10:40 am

    I have been using GeoSetter, a free program that edits the EXIF data on JPG images and can update the sidecar files from Lightroom.

    http://www.geosetter.de/en/

    My workflow is to import the photos into Lightroom, refine and edit, and then save the sidecar data by right clicking the set and choosing Metadata, Save Metadata to files.
    Then fire up GeoSetter and navigate to the folder with the images. Edit the location for the photos and then write back out to the sidecar files. There is an option to edit the RAW file, but I would rather not touch the RAW image.
    Afterwards, select the same images in Lightroom and choose Metadata, Read Metadata from files. Then your files are geo-encoded. Works very well.

    I've noticed a few new freeware apps for saving location data on my GPS-enabled Windows Mobile phone. I plan to try a few of these out when shooting to see if I can match the data from the GPS log to the photos.

    Geoff

  • Matt February 13, 2010 09:56 am

    There's a great little piece of FREE software called GPSed (www.gpsed.com) that you can install on almost any GPS-enabled smartphone (iPhone, Blackberry, Windows Mobile and Java versions available), that will log your track, upload it in near-realtime intervals to their site (where it displays via Google Maps), automatically updates your social-networking sites with links to your map, and when you're done, can read your photos and geotag them automatically, placing them on the map alongside your track on the GPSed site. If you use Picasa Web Albums or Flikr, it will link to the photos directly and tag the copies you have there as well.

    I've been using it for a year or so now, first with my HTC phone, now with my Samsung.

  • Terry Straehley February 13, 2010 07:20 am

    I use the PhotoTrackr Mini http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/656648-REG/GiSTEQ_C7_02DPL900_PhotoTrackr_Mini_DPL900.html. It generates .xmp sidecar files for use with Lightroom. The one thing the ad doesn't tell you is that if you shoot raw, you may have to pay $20 extra for the raw version of their software. The software is also somewhat of a data base that displays the pictures. You might not need to pay the extra just to generate the .xmp files. Outside of that it works very well and will tag all the pictures you can take in a day with just a little extra effort.

  • Gerry February 13, 2010 02:59 am

    If you have a gps (iPhone), Aperture, and the Mapature Pro plugin (maybe built into Aperture 3) you can import your track data and the software will geotag your photos by matching gps time with photo time. If you use Flickr, your uploaded photos will be placed on a Yahoo map, but Flickr also produces a geoFeed (max 25 items). If you copy the geoFeed URL and paste the URL into a the search field in Google Maps, voila, the photos appear on the map. Here is an example of the latest geotagged photos that have been tagged with Vancouver on Flickr:

    http://SplashURL.net/acg

    You can also import the track data into Google Maps after the photos have been placed and then save your own map as you mention above. That will give you the path of your walk and the photo placements and links.

  • Galarina February 13, 2010 01:21 am

    To avoid the manual geotagging, you can use an iPhone to track your location while shooting photos. My iPhone app GeoLogTag is especially designed for that purpose.
    For Mac & Flickr users, it's an all-in-one geotagging solution, since it also does the geotagging (over WiFi). There is a free version available that allows you to try things out first.

    App Store
    GeoLogTag website

  • vitor hirota February 12, 2010 11:21 pm

    I'm yet to try this, but I have a gps enabled android phone, with an app that tracks where I've been and export it to .kml format. This way I can later on synchronize with the photos by matching timestamp via Google Earth.

  • panoramic photo stitching February 12, 2010 04:17 pm

    Great article. Thanks.

  • Bryan February 12, 2010 03:51 pm

    For a simple way to tag your photos, consider the java program at http://geotag.sourceforge.net/ - it is essentially an EXIF editor (uses exiftools) so you can fill in the geotag fields. If you need to figure out coordinates to type in, use google earth to locate where you took the photo. If you create a pin marker in google earth, you can copy and paste coordinate numbers.

    As noted, many of the geotagging programs use a GPS track and compare picture times to the GPS track times to geotag photos. This is nice if you have a GPS track and need to run a whole batch of photos.

    But for individual pictures, geotag seems to work well.

  • Nick Thompson February 12, 2010 02:55 pm

    Aperture 3 now has geotagging in association with Google maps. I used to wait until I'd uploaded to Flickr before using their maps feature to tag photos. However, the Yahoo maps used by Flickr are inferior to those offered by Google - at least for the places I was trying to tag: New Zealand, Scotland and rural France.

    I've been tinkering with the new Aperture "places" feature and it seems pretty good. You can tag several photos from the same location at the same time, change the tag if you got it wrong, and, I gather that if you tick the appropriate boxes in preferences, that you can upload the geographic data with your picture to Flickr.

  • Rolling Stone February 12, 2010 01:33 pm

    There are also GPS units that attach to your camera. It embeds the coordinates into your meta data. If your a flickr user, which has maps, it automatically puts your photo via coordinates on the map. Easiest way possible. No 3rd parties are involved. Prices range from $100-150 USD.

  • Kevin February 12, 2010 01:23 pm

    I prefer the data logger route, the thought of having to individually place hundreds of photos onto a map dissuades me from even starting. I have the Wintec WBT-201 data logger, and I've had trouble getting my track into Google Maps. Google Earth is less of a problem, it shows the line track nicely, but Maps shows each data point with a blue pin (hundreds of them), rather than the simpler line representing the track. Neither of them show my photos along the track. After importing the geotagged photos into flickr (using Pictomio), the flickr map is rather inaccurate, putting my photos several hundred meters away from where they appear in the Pictomio track.

  • Barrett Cook February 12, 2010 09:40 am

    Picasa has a built-in geo-tagging feature. It uses Google Earth and streamlines the tagging process, especially for groups of photos.

  • David Tan February 12, 2010 07:56 am

    You may want to consider using a Geo-Tagging device which simply logs waypoints at regular intervals. It is a very simple device. When you get back upload the way points to your PC and then upload and synchronise your pictures. The software that comes with the device will automatically tag your photographs on the map. I wrote a blog on this if you are interested. Here is the link: http://pragnamix.wordpress.com/2009/08/16/geo-tagging-photographs-with-i-gotu-geo-tagging-device/

  • Eric Fry February 12, 2010 06:59 am

    I had tried that with Google Maps a couple of years ago, but found it too time-consuming back then. After reading your article, I think I may create a photo tour of the nice wilderness park near me. Thanks for the article, Lisa!

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