See geolocation of a photograph with Apple Preview

I'm obsessed with embedding location metadata in my photographs, or what's commonly called geotagging. In fact, it's the next step in my photography workflow right after importing my photos into Aperture.

Having this information is both fun and useful.

Looking at your photographs after a trip in Aperture's Places is a great way of reliving your adventures. You can also add maps, weather and other info to Web Journals with iPhone for iOS based on the location information. And if you ever forget where you took a particular photograph, the answer is just a click away.

I tend to add location information in 2 ways:

  1. Manually in Aperture's Places when I do an entire shoot in a single location.
  2. Automatically using GeoTagr on the iPhone when I'll be at multiple locations or when travelling.

Of course, Aperture and iPhoto aren't the only applications that can read location information.

Did you know you can see location information in Apple Preview?

This is one of those things that surprises most people when I show them.

Just open a photograph in Preview and display the Inspector (Tools>Show Inspector or cmd-I). In the Inspector window, click on the "More Info" button (the one with an info icon) and then click on GPS.

If the photograph is geotagged, you'll see altitude, latitude, longitude and a few other things, plus a map with the location highlighted.

The photograph below is of my first long exposure image taken a few days ago and today's photo of the day.


Clicking on the Locate button opens Apple Maps with the exact location.


How cool is that?

In the example above, Apple Maps says "Unknown Location" because I took the photograph in the rocky part of Gordon Bay and Apple doesn't have a landmark associated with it. But if you get closer you will see the exact place I was standing when I took that photograph.

This feature is also useful to see which photos do have location information embedded in the metadata. There are times when you don't want location info there and Preview makes it easy to check. For example, you might not want to post online photos taken at your house!