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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 to 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 application on your computer to view and display your location info. But in order to geotag your photos, you have to allow your iPhone 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. You had a 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 allowed or disallowed it at that time, the place you go to check your location preferences is Settings > General. And then here, make sure Location Services is set to ON. Now just because you have Location Services turned on, it doesn't mean your iPhone will be able to 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 WiFi 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. Unfortunately, there is no way on the iPhone to see whether or not your photos are geotagged. You have to sync your photos to your computer, and then use another application to see your geotag information. For example, here on the Mac I have iPhoto open. Here are some shots I took with my iPhone. Now I just need to click the I button in any thumbnail and a map is displayed with the location of my photo marked with a pin. iPhoto also has a feature called Places, 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 you can just select the photo that's been geotagged, click Places, and you'll see a map appear indicating where that photo was taken. This is all just a small sampling of what's possible. 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 is turned ON on your iPhone. Now on that note, let me show you one more cool trick. Your iPhone is probably not going to be your primary camera. You're most likely going to have a dedicated digital camera that you use to shoot the majority of your photos.
But unless you bought a model that includes geotagging capabilities, the photos you shot on your camera won't be geotagged. Here is where your iPhone can help you out. Anytime you're out and about shooting photos with the regular camera, take a shot with your iPhone too. That way you have the location data stored in 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, just select that photo, then hold down the Shift, and select all the non-geotagged photos you shot with your regular camera. 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. You can see here the Google Earth is now zooming into the location, and right there we see a satellite photograph of the Hoover Dam. Notice the dialog box that pops up telling me to geotag a photo by navigating to the location where you took the photo. So you can geotag photos by hand, but because I had one photo selected that was already geotagged, Google Earth automatically brought me here.
Now all I have to do is click Geotag All. You can see that Google Earth zooms in a little bit more, maybe a little bit more precise. Now if I go back to Picasa, you can see that those two other photos have not both been geotagged with the same information that came from the original photo. Now if you're using iPhoto on a Mac, start by right-clicking or Control-clicking the photo you shot with your iPhone, and then choose Copy. Then select the non-geotagged photos you shot with your regular camera, right-click, and choose Paste Location.
That applies your iPhone geotag data to all of your regular photos. So you can see if I turn over these thumbnails, they're both geotagged to the exact same location. 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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