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.
Now if only someone could put together some magical glue to automatically populate the City, State/Province, and Country fields in a photo’s IPTC metadata set based on its latitude & longitude, one more step could be taken out of the cataloging process. I won’t hold my breath, though :).