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Digital Photography Feature - Geotagging

The software supplied with the Sony GPS is an add-on for Sony Picture Motion Browser, which is supplied with the unit as well, and also comes with all Sony digital cameras. The plug-in adds the GPS data to your photos, and can also display them on Google Maps.

ATP does not supply any software with its GPS PhotoFinder, but instead recommends using Google's popular Picasa and Google Earth software, both of which are available for free download. Picasa has a button to automatically locate any selected Geotagged photo in Google Earth, and this is arguably the best way to view them. It includes the option to correct any inaccuracies using the mouse to drag a crosshairs to the correct location, and can save pictures and locations in the My Picasa Pictures section of the Places index, allowing you to quickly locate and ‘fly' to those locations.

Unfortunately the option to share Geotagged photos via the Panaramio image-sharing service seems to have been disabled in the current version 5 beta, but hopefully it will be reinstated at some point in the future. It is possible to share Google Earth locations via your own website if you have one, but this is quite a complicated procedure.

Other online services can also use Geotagging to share photos. The popular photo sharing website Flickr now includes a map section, where you can drag and drop photos onto a moveable, zoomable map, which can be shared with friends, family or the general Flickr-using public just as your other photos can. This is quick and effective if you only want to map a couple of photos, but Flickr can't read the GPS-added EXIF data to automatically locate photos on the map, so adding a large group of pictures can be time consuming. However there are some unofficial third-party applications that integrate with Flickr and can automatically add GPS-geotagged images to your map.

There are other websites that use images keyed to maps as a form of social networking, of which perhaps the best is Locr. Free to join but with paid premium accounts available, Locr is one of the few such sites that does use embedded GPS location data to accurately position your photos on a Google Maps map, which like Flickr can be set to varying levels of privacy or shared with the general public. Free and easy-to-use Geotagging software is available for download from the Locr site.

With the affordable GPS location devices becoming more readily available and the rapid rise of social networking and image-sharing sites on the internet, Geotagging is sure to become more popular as a way of sharing your travels, adventures and view of the world, and with the easy-to-use devices and freely available software I've shown you here, anyone can try it, so get snapping, get tagging and let the world know where you've been.

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