Geotagging your digital photos

Sharing your geotagged photos
Once location details have been added to your photos, the real fun can begin. Geotagging opens up a raft of new ways in which your images can be shared with friends or put on show for the world to view.

Most popular internet-based photo sharing services support geotagged photos but two of the most popular are Yahoo's Flickr and Picasa Web Albums.

The Flickr web interface makes geotagging photos and placing them on a map about as easy as it can get. After uploading your photos to the site, it's simply a matter of zooming in to the exact location you took them on the map and dragging and dropping them into place. That's it.

Once on the map, your photos appear as small dots. Clicking on a dot opens a small preview window which you can click on again to access the full-sized photograph.

As well as your own photos, the map interface allows you to search through those tagged by other Flickr users. Navigate to a selected location and use the search function to find what you're looking for. Planning a trip to London? Enter the city name into the search box and a film strip of all tagged photos recently taken in the city will be displayed. Click on the photo and the location it was taken appears on the map.

One factor to remember when tagging photos in this way is privacy. While you may not mind if the world at large knows you had a burger in Leicester Square, you might not be so keen on everyone knowing exactly where you live and what the inside of your house looks like.

With this in mind, the site lets you choose a "geoprivacy" rating for each photo you upload. Options include allowing photos only to be seen by you, your family and friends or anyone who uses the site.

Picasa Web Albums
Like Flickr, Picasa Web Albums offers an easy point-and-click method of geotagging photos and adding them to a map. Each appears as a small thumbnail (rather than a dot) which opens to a larger preview pane when clicked.

Once tagged on a map, your photos can be easily shared with friends and family by emailing a link to your photo online album. This link provides the recipient with permission to access to the album where they can display all tagged photos on a map. If they have the Google Earth application installed, they can see all tagged photos on satellite images of the area.

As each individual photo is opened, a map showing the location it was taken is displayed alongside it, together with details such as caption and the date it was taken.

Such mapping features are a useful way to keep friends and family up-to-date when travelling. Why simply boast about hiking in the Grand Canyon on a postcard when you can send a geotagged photo of you doing just that and have it appear on a map?

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Valerie posted a comment   

I use my iPhone 3G as a GPS tracker while shooting with my Nikon D40x. The iPhone app GeoLogTag ($5) is very easy to use and accuracy is awesome (within a few meters). I use the GPX file generated by GeoLogTag in combination with GPSPhotoLinker (free) to do the geotagging on my Mac. This makes it a very cheap geotagging solution for me.


gpsphotographer posted a comment   
United States

I just wanted to chime in on your discussion about geotagging your images...

Found Maperture Pro for Aperture from Übermind that is currently in BETA testing. It allows for visual geotagging & reverse geocoding of your images as well as automatic GPS tagging from a tracklog data file. The software seems to be definitely in the right direction and is really stable thus far. Far superior than anything I've tried for trying to stamp GPS information into my images.

It also allows you to upload already geotagged images to view on the map!

Here's the link...

If you're looking for a GPS geotagging solution, this is my vote!


fharun posted a comment   

You said that high end cameras such as Canon 40D is able to "directly connect an external GPS receiver". Can you explain how is this done? As i'm a 40D user and would like to have geo-tagging capabilities.

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