Geotagging–Windows Live Photo Gallery beta (Wave 4)

WLPGb-logo-smA new feature in Windows Live Photo Gallery beta is geotagging. With GPS receivers even showing up in imagecameras, tagging pictures with the location where they were taken is becoming increasingly popular. If you have pictures that were geotagged in the camera or some other way, Photo Gallery shows the location in the Tag and caption pane on the right.  This pane is turned on or off on the View tab. Photo Gallery displays thumbnails organized in many way, including “Geotag”, the picture location. Just right-click an empty spot in the main gallery window and select Group byGeotag.

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imageThe thumbnails are then nicely organized by location as illustrated here. In the metadata of the picture file, the location is stored as the geographic coordinates. Photo Gallery translates that information into the location address as shown above.

For most locations this works very well. The address of the park where the goose was photographed is actually 225, not 251 as shown above, a minor “mislocation”. In some cases Photo Gallery cannot determine the address and then it shows just the city or even just the state.

imageYou can do the geotagging by entering the full address where the picture was taken. Just select the thumbnail and in the Tag and caption pane under the Geotag label, click Add imagegeotag A text entry field opens so you can type in the address. There will be a dropdown menu to permit selecting a previously entered address, so this process is very easy – if you know the address.

There are many places that I take pictures, in parks, on beaches, in streets and places in cities, where I just have no idea what the address is. What do you do if you don’t know the address and want to locate the picture accurately, not just by city or state?

Easy, locate the place on a map. Just click the Map, image, button. Oops – they forgot the Map button! Maybe it wasn’t ready for the beta, surely it will be in the final edition. Microsoft has all the pieces, so let’s just imagine how it will work. You can simulate this just like I did by downloading Microsoft Pro Photo Tools – it’s free. And it does a beautiful job. I don’t know why Microsoft hides this gem, which they call “Tools for the passionate photographer”. It has been around for years imageand allows adding all kinds of metadata imageto photos. See my post Metadata: Geotagging and More with Microsoft Pro Photo Tools.

When you download and install this application, it will show up in the Photo Gallery Create tab under More tools. Unfortunately it will not launch from here. Pity.

So you have to launch it on its own. When Pro Photo Tools opens it shows a big inviting area on the right with the words “Drop photos here”.

Just select the thumbnails in Photo Gallery and drag them over to this window.

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Click Map Browse and Bing maps, with all its marvelous features, comes up and shows the location of the photos as pins in the map. Point to a pin and you see a small thumbnail (or several when the location was marked as the same). Take a look at these screen shots:

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Note the pins in the map in the left illustration. Note how you can even see your photo in the Bing Bird’s eye view, and, of course, Aerial view is also available. To mark the location of a photo using Pro Photo Tools, load the photos into the Thumbnails pane, then drag them unto the precise location on the map, one or more at a time. You can also drag them into Aerial view to accurately locate where the picture was taken. My guess is that this is how Photo Gallery in its finished form will work. In the meantime, the tools are there for your enjoyment.

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About Ludwig

Lending a helping hand where I can. . . My motto: If it is worth doing, it is worth doing well.
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2 Responses to Geotagging–Windows Live Photo Gallery beta (Wave 4)

  1. Tom says:

    This is great info, thanks. After I add the Geotag through Pro Photo Tools it allows me to right click on the tag and “Map it”. This brings up Bing maps in my browser with the photo spot. Is there a way to change this so it brings up Google Earth instead?

    It appears that latitude and longitude Geotags are standard but other Google Earth tags like altitude, heading, tilt and roll work with GE and Flickr but not MS Live Photo Gallery. 😦 Maybe one day clicking “Map it” will bring up Google Earth with the right direction for the photo.

    • LudwigKeck says:

      Windows Live Photo Gallery has been improved in how it handles geotag data. It sometimes assigned coordinates incorrectly. If you do not have Build 15.4.3508.1109 (or later) download the latest version. I don’t expect Microsoft to provide a Google maps option in WLPG, since you already have it in Picasa. Look at your picture in Picasa, open the Places pane (View – Places). You will see a pin on any picture with geo-coordinates set, lower right, click on the picture, the places pane will zoom in to the location. Picasa, of course, uses Google maps.

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