How to Geotag your Pictures Using Picasa and Google Earth

Put Your Photography on the Map (Literally)

Goal: Learn how to Geotags your photos and place them on a map quickly and easily using free software.

Geotag-Picasa What is Geotagging?

Geotagging is the process of adding geographical identification metadata (information about a file) to photos (and other media). This allows applications and web pages to identify and display where an image was taken. You can use Flickr and other services to place your photos on a map that shows their locations.

Where does the Geotag Data Reside?

The longitude and latitude information is placed inside the Exif data (data that identifies date, time, and camera settings, among other things) of an image.

That’s great, but how do you find and add the GPS coordinates to the Exif data in an image? It sounds pretty complicated and technical. Well, actually you can do it yourself in just a few simple and fun steps. The best part is, you probably already have and use the software that you’ll need.

What tools do you need?

  1. Your digital photos
  2. Google’s Picasa (Get Picasa here.)
  3. Google Earth (Get Google Earth here.)

Step By Step Instructions for Geotagging Photos with Picasa and Google Earth

Select the photo(s) to be geotagged in Picasa’s Library.

Picasa Image Library

Select Tools> Geotag> Geotag With Google Earth from the Picasa toolbar.

GeoTag With Google Earth

Or, click the  button in tGeoTaghe Tray at the bottom of the Picasa Library.

Geotag Button in Picasa

Google Earth opens displaying the Geotagging menu (showing your selected photos).

Google Earth Geotag menu

Navigate to the location where the “active” image was taken and click the Geotag button.

Find Geotag location in Google Earth

Move to the next image using the Left and Right Arrow buttons.

Geotag menu in Google Earth

Navigate to the location where the “active” next image was taken and click the Geotag button.

Note: If all of your images were take at the same location, you can click the Geotag All button to do the whole bunch in one shot.

Click the Done button when you are done Geotagging all of your images.

If you return to Picasa you will see a small “crosshairs” icon in the bottom right corner of your geotagged images in Picasa’s Library.

Geotagged Image icon in Picasa

Viewing Geotags in the Photos Exif Data

Right click on a Geotagged image and select Properties from the menu.

The Properties menu displays all of the Exif data for your image.

Image Properties Menu in Picasa

Scroll down the Properties menu to see the GPS Latitude, GPS Longitude, and GPS Altitude information.

Click the OK button to close the Properties menu.

The next time you open Google Earth, you will see your geotagged images hovering over the map where they were placed.

Geotagged images in Google Earth

See How it’s Done

This video by GoogleEarthVideoHelp shows you how to do the entire process.

Printable Instructions

Click here to download the Step by Step Instructions.

Additional Information and Resources


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