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At this point we should be aware that the iPhone has both a camera and built-in GPS capabilities. This combination of features allows you to do what's called geotagging your photos. Essentially this means that when you shoot a photo with your iPhone, it can encode your location information into that photo so you can later use one of any photo management applications on your computer to view and display your location information. But in order to geotag your photos you have to allow it to do so. Now the first time you open your Camera app you probably saw a message saying that the camera wants to use your location information and you have the choice to allow or not allow that.
In order to geotag your photos you have to give the Camera app permission to acquire your location information. Regardless of whether you allow it or disallow it at the time, the place to go to check your location preferences is in Settings>Privacy>Location Services. And in here make sure Location Services is set to On and then make sure Location Services for the Camera app specifically has been turned on. Now just because you have location services turned on doesn't mean your iPhone will be able to the geotag all the photos you shoot. As we'll see in Chapter 9, several different factors contribute to whether or not the iPhone can get an accurate read on your location including the quality of your cellular reception, the presence of any nearby Wi-Fi networks and whether you're inside or outdoors.
But if your iPhone is able to figure out your location it will geotag the photos you shoot. And you can see your photos based on the location they were shot by going into your Photo library and selecting Places. Here you'll see pins on a map indicating where you shot photos. Tap a pin to see all the photos shot in that location. But what about the photos you didn't shoot with your iPhone that aren't geotagged? Can you still organize them by places? Yes you can. For example, here on the Mac I have iPhoto open and here are some shots I took with my iPhone.
I just need to select an image, open the Info pane and the map is displayed with the location of my photo marked with a pin. iPhoto also has the Places feature, which lets you sort, manage, and view your images based on their location. If you're on Windows you can use a program like the free Picasa from Google to manage your photos. Here I can see which photos have been geotagged by the little geotag icon in the lower right-hand corner. If I select one these photos and then click the Places panel, I'll again see a map showing me where that photo was taken.
This is really just a small sampling; there are dozens of other photo management applications out there that support geotag information. So if you want to keep a record of where your photos were shot, just make sure Location Services are turned on, on your iPhone. Now on that note let me show you one more cool trick. Now your iPhone may not be your primary camera, although these days it's turning into the primary camera for many people. But if you have a dedicated digital camera that you use to shoot the majority of your photos, unless you bought a model that includes geotagging capabilities, the photos you shoot on your camera won't be geotagged. Here is where the iPhone can help out. Any time you're out and about shooting photos with your regular camera, take a shot with your iPhone, too. That way you'll have the location data stored on your iPhone's photo.
Then import both your iPhone photo and your regular digital camera photos into your photo editing application, like Picasa in this case. Here in Picasa, select the photo you shot with your iPhone, the one that has the geotag information, and then hold down Shift or Ctrl and select all the non-geotagged photos you shot with your regular camera that were shot in the same location. Then go to the tools menu and choose Geotag>Geotag with Google Earth.
Now this does require that you also have the free Google Earth application installed which you can download from Google. Google Earth will then zoom in to the source photo's geotag location, and right here we see a satellite photo of, in this case Shibuya Crossing in Tokyo. Notice this dialog box that pops up in the lower right-hand corner telling me to geotag a photo by navigating to the location where I took the photo. So you can geotag photos by hand, but since I had one photo selected that was already geotagged, Google Earth brought me right to this location. Now all I have to do is click Geotag All, and you can see Google Earth zooms out a little bit and now if I go back to Picasa, I can see all of these photos have now been geotagged with that same information that came from the original photo.
Now if you're using iPhoto on a Mac, start by selecting one of your photos that has been geotagged, like this one here, and then choose Edit>Copy. Then find the photos that were taken near the same location that haven't been geotagged, like this one here, and choose Edit>Paste Location and you can see that adds that same location to that photo, and you can continue this process for any other photos that haven't been geotagged that you do have the geotag information for. Now if you use other photo management software you'll have to dig around to see if it supports copying location information, but as you can see it's pretty easy to do in programs like iPhoto and Picasa.
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