July 2, 2007
Source: Camera Darkroom
Author: Ian Lyons
A number of readers have contacted me via e-mail to ask why I’ve not included any information on Lightroom 1.1′s ability to use embedded GPS data to link up with Google Earth. The reason is actually quite simple – it’s not a new feature. Nevertheless, folk have asked that some reference be made to the feature, so who am I to argue.
Some months back Martin Evening had used a number of images from my photo shoot in Antarctica to illustrate an article he wrote on the subject of GPS and Google Maps for LightroomNews. Martin’s excellent article should provide sufficient information on how Lightroom handles GPS data in images, etc but I’ve included a couple of screenshots to whet your appetite for the possibilities this feature offers.
Before travelling to Antarctica I had borrowed a Sony GPS-1 GPS recording device. Other than basic setup info I had no idea as to how it worked or if it even would work where I was going. I also didn’t make a fuss about having it with me because with my luck it would likely have failed. Anyway, I used it when we landed in the Falkland Islands and again on South Georgia.
It wasn’t until I returned home that I was able to convert and embed the data into the XMP sidecar file for each image. The software I used for this was LoadMyTracks to convert the Sony data to GPX and GPS PhotoLinker to write the track data into my files. I’m sure that there are many alternatives, and those more familiar with GPS tagging will no doubt know quicker and/or easier ways.
Tip: Lightroom does not allow direct input or in-line editing of GPS data, in fact the GPS fields only appear in the metadata panel when you’ve selected an image that has GPS data already embedded.
If GPS data is found during photo import Lightroom may display one or more fields (e.g. GPS, Altitude, etc) in the EXIF panel of some metadata panels. An action arrow is placed on the right side of the GPS Longitude & Latitude field, pressing the action arrow will automatically, subject to you being connected to the internet, open your web browser at the Google Maps page for this location. Use the Google Map controls to zoom and navigate your way around. Anyway, without boring you any more with details; I’ve included an example screenshot from Google Earth. This screenshot shows a satellite view of Stromness Harbour, South Georgia, which is the same location depicted in the screenshot used above.
My experience of GPS tagging of images is fairly limited but given how successful it was during the trip, especially on the Falkland Islands and South Georgia, I expect that it will eventually take over from the voice annotation feature on my Canon 1DM2 – Wow, hold on a minute…