Metadata, the “invisible” details in photos, can be managed with a number of tools. One very capable program is the free Microsoft Pro Photo Tools. This program has been around for a while, but it is still available at [updated 15 Apr 2011 – LK] microsoft.com/download
[this URL no longer works: http://www.microsoft.com/prophoto/downloads/default.aspx.]
With this tool, all sorts of fields in the metadata “arena” can be filled in or changed.
In the left pane the various groups can be selected, the next pane provides the entry boxes. The descriptive tags are called “Keywords” here and are in the “Description” group. Tags are added and manipulated much more efficiently in Windows Live Photo Gallery. Most of fields have drop-down menus showing previously used data. It is then easy to just click on that entry. The rightmost pane, as you can see in the top picture, shows the thumbnails of the photos loaded into the program. Note that under “Photographer” it is possible to enter full personal data – not a good idea for photos that will be posted on the Internet.
The feature that I appreciate the most is the way “Location” data can be added. This makes “geotagging” fun and easy. You can bring in data from A GPS unit, or, as I will describe here, by adding the location data manually.
The right pane has a “Map Browse” tab. This brings up an interactive world map – just like Bing maps, well, it really is Bing Maps. The selected thumbnails are now displayed along the bottom. The main area shows the map. You can zoom in to the exact location where a photo was taken. In “Aerial” view it is really easy to find your spot. Then you drag the thumbnail onto the map. When you release the pointer a “push pin” is placed on the map and the coordinates are entered in the fields on the left.
The illustration here shows a photo of a bud on a sweetgum tree being placed. If the “Road” map or “Aerial” map is not quite enough to find the place, there is also “Bird’s eye” available. You cannot pick the place in the bird’s eye view, and already placed pins may be slightly out of place, but this feature is very helpful. Take a look at the aerial vie and a photo of the tree:
I placed three pins, they are shown in the oblique photo on the other side of the trail, the actual position was at the fingertip of the pointer. In the other views they are, of course, in the right place. Note of warning: Not everyplace on earth is mapped and photographed in the detail shown here, at least not yet.
As you drag the thumbnails into the map, they are removed from the collection at the bottom. A nice way to know when you are finished. You can select several thumbnails an place them simultaneously onto the map:
As you zoom out, the pins remain in the correct locations. Here is a “road” view:
A small flag shows the photo and its file name when you move the pointer to a pin.
When you select “Save Selected Images with new data” from the File menu, all the added or modified data is stored into the files.
There you have it. Microsoft Pro Photo Tools – a really powerful program for geotagging and adding metadata to photos.
If you are interested in more information on metadata, visit photometadata.org . This organization offers information, tutorials, even training events.
Prior posts in this series:
© 2010 Ludwig Keck
The gateway to my blogs and galleries is Café Ludwig