Geotagging, referring to the contents of digital items such as pictures being marked with geographic information. For example, a digital picture can be added with geographic information includes: longitude, latitude, Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), altitude, and even heading information. These information can be embedded in the photos’ EXIF file.

 taken in ChongJiang, Guizhou, China

taken in ChongJiang, Guizhou, China

With software (such as Adobe Lightroom), when you open the photo, you can see the EXIF data, such as:
GPSVersion ID: 2.2.0.0
GPS Latitude: 25 deg 43 ‘23.72 “N
GPS Longitude: 108 deg 51 ‘57.77 “E
GPSAltitude Ref: Above Sea Level
GPSAltitude: 572 m
GPSTime Stamp: 02:19:15
GPSSatellites: 07
GPSImg Direction Ref: Magnetic North
GPSImg Direction: 133
GPSDate Stamp: 2009:10:03

This article introduce two of the most popular ways to add geographical information to the photos.

1: Direct write: that is when you press the camera shutter, the geographic information is written into the photo. This method requires the camera itself is able to write GPS data into images. The current high-end Nikon cameras, such as the Nikon D3, D3x, D300, D700, D2X, D2Hs, D2Xs, D200 and Fujifilm S5 Pro and D90, D5000, are able to write GPS signal to digital photos and they all have GPS connectors. All we need is a little GPS receiver (such as MetaGPS , http://www.metagps.com). The advantage of this method is the obvious, there is no follow-up treatment and it does not need any other software.

MetaGPS geotagging GPS receiver Nikon DSLR on Nikon D90

MetaGPS geotagging GPS receiver Nikon DSLR on Nikon D90

2: In direct write: that is, when you press the shutter, geographic information is NOT written into pictures but stored in another medium (such as CF card). You can use computers to post-process and join the geographic information log with the digital photos. The draw back for this method is the post-processing hassle. However, you can use any camera to take pictures and later on joint the geotagging information to the pictures.

There are many post-processing software, free with locr, PhotoMapper, etc., the software can import GPS logs and digital photos, and then join the GPS coordinates with digital photos.

When you have the geotagged photos, you can upload them to flickr. Flickr use yahoomap to display geotagged images for each specific location. Of course, the best location display software or google earth or google map. Many website such as panoramio.com or locr.com display the pictures with location using google map. http://www.panoramio.com/

 Beijing Atlantic City on googlemap

Beijing Atlantic City on googlemap

With geotagged picture, people around the world not only can see you photos, then can also see where your photos are taken. Of cause, you can also take a virtual tour around the world with google map and the geotagged photos other people take.