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One of the more increasingly popular trends among photography buffs of all skill levels is geo-tagging. Geo- tagging photos means including information in a photo's data about the location in which the photo was taken. More and more cameras are hitting the market with built-in geo-tagging capabilities and iPhoto '09 has a feature called Places, which lets you tag, find and organize your photos based on where they were taken. Even if you don't have a GPS enabled camera and many still don't, or if your iPhoto library is filled with photos that have no location information, and again that's probably the majority of people right now it's still super-easy to add that information into your photos using iPhoto. Let's see how Places works? Now if you are shooting photos with a GPS-enabled camera and that includes the iPhone 3G's camera you don't have to do any work at all. The location data is already added to the photo as soon as you snap the picture. So when you input your pictures into iPhoto they will be able to start using Places right away.
So for example some of the photos here already have location information in them. To see the information for a particular photograph you want to just click at Info button. And here we see this Google Map showing us the location where this photo was taken, and because this is Google Maps we can also view a satellite photo as well as a hybrid of the terrain and satellite maps. And I can navigate to my next photo. See its location information? Again looking at the hybrid, the satellite or the terrain. And again with any photo that already has location data in it. Just click its Info button and you can see where that photo was taken. I like satellite view because you can usually zoom way in and get a good look at the location. For instance, right here we are looking at the Hoover Dam.
Now additionally you can see the location information for an entire event. Let me go to my Events view. For example here in my Australia event you can see location pins placed in several areas to show where the photos in this set were taken. Skim your mouse over the thumbnails, also highlights the pines so you can quickly see where that particular photo was shot. And again we can zoom in on the map, like so. So you can do this with each photo or event that has location data embedded in it.
But let's take a look at how to use Places with photos that haven't yet been geo-tagged. For example this event of photos from my trip to Stone Harbor, New Jersey haven't yet been tagged with location information. If I click the Info button you just see a generic map down here. To add the location information click where it says Enter event location and I'll type Stone Harbor. Notice as you type iPhoto offers suggestions of the location for you, and as you continue to type it just narrows down those locations. So right there I can see Stone Harbor, New Jersey, United States. That's correct. I click on that, and there it is.
So now all the photos in this event have been tagged is being taken in Stone Harbor, New Jersey. Then we have Satellite and Hybrid. Now if that's as specific as you want to get with geo-tagging. That's fine. But you might want to be a little bit more precise when you add location data to your photos. For example these photos in the Peabody Hotel taken in Orlando, Florida, all tag has been taken in Orlando where the Peabody Hotel is located. But really all the photos in this set were taken at that hotel. So I want to go in and specify that hotel is location for these photos.
So I'll click where it currently says Orlando and type Peabody Hotel, and you see that iPhoto has no suggestions for this location. In cases like this where iPhoto isn't able to find the location you are specifying all you have to do is a Google search. Click New place and here with Google search selected you can search for Peabody Hotel or whatever location you happened to be looking for. iPhoto does a quick search for me. Now in this case it found a Peabody Hotel in Tennessee. Now the one I'm looking for is in Orlando. So if it doesn't find the location you are looking for you might want to try a little bit more specific, so I'll type Orlando, And there it is. So here it's showing me a car rental location, the restaurants at the hotel, but here's the entry for just the hotel.
Now if I want to get really specific about where that pin is located I can zoom in a little bit so I can see what's going on. Drag my map around, and I can see the hotel right there. There is a duct design that it had on the roof in one of my photos, right there. So what I'm going to do is just take that pin and drag it on top of hotel and you can also adjust the radius of the circle to specify the area where those photos were taken. So I can just drag it around the hotel itself, maybe like so.
So you can be extremely precise with setting your locations here. Once you are happy with that location, just click Assign to event. And there it is. You can see now all these photos are all tagged with the Peabody Orlando Hotel. So that's how to add location data to photos that don't already have location data. Again if your camera adds location automatically you don't have to do anything other than import the photos into iPhoto. Now where this all really gets cool is after you have got all of your photos or at least the decent portion of them tagged with location information. You can then browse through them based on location using the Places view, which you see here.
Now right now I'm seeing a world map because I have photos from the US and Australia and up here in Taiwan. If all your photos were taken in the US, for example, Places will just zoom into the US map by default. Double-clicking on the map also zooms into a particular location, and you can double-click it couple times if you really want to zoom in. Rolling your mouse over a pin gives you the name of its location, and then clicking the little arrow next to the name shows you all the photos taken in that location. Clicking Map takes you to the back to the Map view, and again you can continue going through here, rolling over a pin, click arrow next to its name and seeing the pictures from that location.
Clicking Zoom All shows you the entire map again. And this Places map is pretty smart. When you zoomed into a location clicking Show Photos shows you all the photos taken in the visible portion of that map. Lastly, Places also has a Column view, which you can view by clicking the Column button right here. This lets you browse through your photos based on location. Just make your way from left- to-right narrowing down your search by country, state, city and even point of interest. This lets you really narrow down your search.
So again if I wanted to look at my pictures from Australia but I wanted to narrow them down to just the photos in Melbourne, click on there. And again you can just narrow down from country, state, city and point of interest. So that's Places in iPhoto '09. It's another great way to organize and search through your photos.
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