Geotagging Images for Geoengineers

Other Uses for Geotagged Photos

So the most obvious (and perhaps useful) way to use your geotagged photos is in Google Earth or Google Maps. But what else can you do with geotagged photos? I use Flickr for sharing my personal photos with friends and family. You can make use of your newly geotagged photos, but you need to change a few default settings to do so.

Figure 18 shows a screenshot of the "Your account" page of Flickr. Look under the Privacy & Permissions tab for the setting "Import EXIF location data" and set it to Yes as shown in Figure 19. Then you can upload your photos like you usually would with their online interface. I’ve read that the stand along "Flickr uploader" application doesn’t keep the EXIF location data if you tell it to resize the photos but I didn’t test that.

Figure 18: Editing Flickr account settings for Privacy & Permissions

Figure 19: Change "Import EXIF location data" to Yes

Figure 20 shows the usual page for viewing images from a photostream. But you’ll notice the map link highlighted by the cursor. Clicking on the link pops up a nice Yahoo! map showing the EXIF location (Figure 21). Provided your photos are public, this geotag information allows people to search for images by location as well as keyword.

Figure 20: Viewing a geotagged photo in Flickr (cursor is on link to view map)

Figure 21: Map in Flickr showing location of geotagged photo

As you might expect, Google’s Picasa software and web gallery also will import geotagged images. It allows you to see all of the geotagged photos from an album on one Google Map as seen in Figure 22 below. When you are looking at an individual image, you see a small location map like the one shown in Figure 23.

Figure 22: Picasa album showing geotagged photos

Figure 23: Small location map for individual geotagged image in Picasa


We started by looking at some of the equipment you can use for the GPS portion of the geotagging effort. Of course if you don’t have a GPS, you can always geotag your photos by hand with Picasa or Flickr or by using a bookmarklet with Flickr. So you set your camera clock to match the one on your GPS, and head out to take your photos with the GPS happily recording every move you make. Back home or in the office you download your photos and tracks and use RoboGEO or GPicSync to geotag them and create a file for viewing in Google Earth. We’ve covered enough of the basics of geotagging that if you have the equipment, you can geotag your next batch of project photos for use by you or your client. If you come across any better ways to geotag photos or any cool uses of them after that, be sure to drop me a note. Happy geotagging!