Google Maps and Lightroom

by David Miller

After picking up my bags (and other things) and moving to Southern California this past week, I did what I always do when arriving in a new location: I picked up my camera and headed out to take some photos. Upon importing my shots into Lightroom and adding the appropriate metadata, I was treated with the small sugar–rush of a new branch in my Metadata Browser: Santa Monica.

Poking around in the Locations browser reminded me that Eric Scouten, one of Lightroom’s developers recently explained how to geocode your images after they have been imported into Lightroom. His tutorial uses a Mac application named HoudahGeo to embed the location into your images existing metadata, but the steps taken outside of Lightroom will be similar if you use another tool to get the job done.

Being a total GPS neophyte who doesn’t own a camera with built–in GPS support or even an external tracking unit, I resorted to manually grabbing the latitude and longitude of my photos through HoudahGeo’s Google Maps integration. Dropping a pin on the location of every photo you take will definitely get tiring quickly, but it’s a great way for those without the necessary hardware to dip their toes into the pool of geocoding.


2007-11-14 09:09:24
Workflow under Windows:

- Import raw or jpg from camera
- Rename files with exiftool script
- Add GPS with gps2photo (syncronize with nmea o gpx)
- Geosetter (uses exiftool) to insert City, State/Province and Country

Working in Lightroom

Sorry, at the moment only in german but they are working on a english version.

2007-11-15 13:21:54
Google Earth and Picasa work well for windows, with the added advantage of being able to tag multiple photos with the same location in one click. Also, it's handy for places google maps doesn't go, e.g. Australia's Great Barrier Reef.

By using the maps on the dive company's site, and comparing those to the satellite images on a google earth, I was able to accurately tag the exact reefs the photos where taken at ;-)


Pierre Bernard
2007-11-15 15:15:08
HoudahGeo DOES offer reverse geocoding to derive city and country information from the GPS coordinates. Check under the Geocoding menu.
2007-11-19 00:05:46
As I understand neither Picasa nor Google Earth support synchronizing with a GPS-Logfile. Yes, tagging multiple files with one location but not multiple files with multiple locations in a batch- or multiselection-mode.
If you have yet the GPS-data in your images neither Picasa nor Google Earth offer a way to get City, State/Province etc. into your IPTC-Data
Pierre Bernard
2007-12-07 03:22:21
That magical glue is there. Right within HoudahGeo.

It's called "reverse geocoding" and can be accessed from the "Geo" menu.

BTW, you may take away some of the "tiring" part by geocoding several images at once. Even if some need minor adjustment in a second step. You may also copy-paste coordinates from one image to the other.

Pierre Bernard
Houdah Software s.à r.l.