Map your photos with iPhoto ’09
Mac Tip #380, 15 April 2009
iPhoto ’09 takes all the hard work out of finding photos — if they have GPS co-ordinates embedded, as iPhone photos mostly do. Here’s how it works.
I saw this amazing tree called a “Sausage Tree” when I was in Honolulu. I took a photo. Here, let me show you … [opens iPhoto] … ummm … [scrolls] … it was … [scrolls more, and more, and more] … Oh, here it is.
Sound familiar? Looking for photos you want to show people? That kind of endless searching scenario is over, thanks to GPS-enabled cameras and cameraphones, and iPhoto ’09.
Note: there are many screenshots for this post; a gallery is included here. Click any image to see a larger version.
When you first set up iPhoto ’09 it asks if you will allow it to look up photo locations. Choose Yes to make use of iPhoto ’09′s powerful new mapping features.
Import photos in the usual way into iPhoto. The iPhone usually includes GPS data in the photos, but not all ‘regular’ cameras do yet. You can add GPS data yourself though.1
View Extended Photo Info
To see the GPS co-ordinates for a selected photo choose View Extended Photo Info from the Photos menu. As with previous versions of iPhoto (explained in GPS tells iPhone and iPhoto roughly where they are) this shows useful information, but it can’t be clicked or copied.
iPhoto ’09 has powerful mapping
Connect to the Internet. View thumbnails of photos in iPhoto and hover over one that has GPS co-ordinates embedded. A small
i is displayed in the bottom right corner. Click the
i and the photo ‘flips’ to display a pin in a map.
Use the controls immediately below the map to zoom in or out, and view as terrain, satellite or hybrid. The screenshot shows a satellite view of Wellington’s Queen’s Wharf, beside the helicopter terminal. That is almost exactly where I stood to take the photo I’d selected.
Browse by location
In the left-hand Library column of iPhoto ’09 is a new Places item. Click on that to view your photos by where they were taken.
Use the View buttons below the photos to view them as a list (of thumbnails) or as pins on a map. Click a map pin to see the photo. Double click on the map to zoom in.
The new mapping features in iPhoto ’09 are absolutely riveting. They are an utterly sensible integration of mapping and imaging in a way that would not have been even possible only a couple of years ago.
1 Here’s how Maria Langer adds GPS coordinates to her photos:
A while back, I decided I wanted to include the GPS coordinates in the EXIF data for my photos. Because my cameras (a Nikon D80 and a Nikon CoolPix something-or-other) don’t have built-in GPS features or communicate via bluetooth (or any other method) with a GPS, I have to manually attach the GPS coordinates to the photos.
I say manually, but I do this with software that automates the process. (I’m not a complete idiot.)
Read Maria’s full instructions at: My Geotagging Workflow.