With its launch of iPhoto 09, Apple has begun showing some reasons why it's worth enduring the hassle of geotagging your photos.
It's generally not easy right now to label your photos with information about where you took the pictures--the process usually is done with special software to marry the photos with location data taken from a separate GPS receiver.
Phil Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of worldwide product marketing, demonstrated what you can do with iPhoto at the Macworld 2009 keynote Tuesday.
iPhoto 09 works best with photos that already have been tagged. That's getting more common, as GPS hardware support becomes less of a rarity. For example, Nikon's Coolpix P6000 has a built-in GPS receiver, and Nikon has begun selling its GP-1 GPS receiver, which can plug into its SLR's flash mount so location data is embedded in the photo. Apple's iPhone can geotag its own photos, and camera manufacturers say GPS support in cameras has become a matter of when, not if.
But the software also can help you tag your own images. Clicking a photo flips it over, letting you type in a location, then showing the spot using a map. (Google supplies back-end mapping services). Helpfully, iPhoto then can spread that location data to other photos with similar time stamps, and they can be bundled together into a group called an event.
OK, but what can you do? Once you have geotagged photos, what can you do with them?
For one thing, sift through them geographically using iPhotos' new Places interface. Viewing an iPhoto event can show an associated collection of pushpins on a map, and clicking each pin shows the photo.
For another, you can search for photos based on where you took them, not on whatever filing system you might use. iPhoto can handle geographic hierarchies, so if you labeled a photo with "Eiffel Tower," it'll find it with a search for "France" or "Paris." … Read more