Geotagging in Lightroom after the fact

June 23, 2012  •  Leave a Comment

In an earlier post, I reviewed a neat little product called GPS4cam that allows you to use your smart phone to geotag your photos. But what about all the images you've taken in the past? Lightroom 4 makes it easy, if you know where they were taken. 

In Lightroom, you simply select a group of photos to which you want to append geotag data. Then open the Map module and use the search bar to find the location they came from. Your search term can be as loose as "Paris, France" or, as in the example below, as precise as "Ste. Ettienne du Mont, Paris." (I am using this method to try to get down to the neighborhood level for as many of our Paris pictures as possible.)

120623-104433lr_map_1

Once Google Maps has found the location, use the slider just below the map (to the right of the word "Hybrid" in the above example) to zoom in and navigate to the precise point you want to tag. Once you're satisfied, simply select the images you want to geotag in the strip, unless you have already done so, as then drag and drop them onto the spot you want to tag. Your photos will be added to the map.

120623-104533lr_map_2 How do you conveniently locate candidate photos? If you've placed photos in collections by location, as I have, it's easy work. If you placed locations in your keywords, use them to filter your results, or filter by location. Of course, that depends on your having entered this information into your metadata.

If not, you might browse "All Photographs" in your collection sequentially, finding photos taken at the same location and adding them a quick collection by pressing B on your keyboard. (Or, better yet, add them to a permanent collection. Then call up the map module, place your photos where they belong, and move on. 

In any collection, you can restrict your view of what is NOT yet geotragged by selecting "Untagged" from the Location Filter at the top of the Map Module screen. 

There's also a way to find photos anywhere in your catalog that are not geotagged. Set up a Smart Collection called "Not in Map" using the following criteria (whether you match "any" or "all" from the pull-down menu makes no difference in this case, unless you add other criteria): 

120623-112041Not_in_map This Smart Collection will dynamically contain all your images that lack geotag data. You might use it to select sequences of photos shot in the same location and manually add them to your map using the above method. When you return to this Smart Collection, you will find they are no longer there, telling you you've been successful. 


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