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I’ve used iPhoto since the time I used my first Mac – the cute G3 Blueberry iBook. While sometimes I do simple photo editing, most of the time I’ve just transferred my shots from camera to the hard drive and keep them save there. But not until I wrote about using the Faces feature Use Face Recognition to Organize Photos With iPhoto [Mac] Use Face Recognition to Organize Photos With iPhoto [Mac] Read More that I realized that managing photos could be so addictive.

I’ve spent most of my free time last week in front of iPhoto. Aside from tagging faces with their names, I also have a lot of fun tagging photos with their location. This iPhoto feature is called Places, and it’s the ability to organize photos based on where they’re taken. Places is a nice example of integrating Google Map to an application.

how to organize photos

Let’s go Places

I’m not much of a traveller myself – yet – so I could only imagine how cool this feature will be for those travelling photographers. I don’t own a GPS-enabled camera either, so imagine again, if I did because Places supports geotagged photos.

I could, however, tag my existing photo collection. All I need are some free time and a decent internet connection.

Photos are usually grouped by events, and every photo in each event is usually taken at the same location. So, to start tagging photos with their location, the best place to start is “Events” under the “Library” menu.

how to organize photos

Select an event and click the small “i” sign on the bottom right corner of the event box. It will appear when you hover your mouse near the corner. Alternatively, you could select the event and go to “File –> Get Info” or hit “Control + I”.

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how to organize photos mac

An info box with some basic information about the event will appear. You could edit the event’s description and location here.

organize photos mac

Every time you edit the place, iPhoto will offer you to find that location on a map.

tag pictures

After few seconds of searching, a map will automatically appear. The location that you’ve searched will be pointed with a pin. Click “Assign to event” button and all the photos in the event will be tagged with that location.

tag pictures

If you are not sure whether the pin really pointed to the correct location, you could zoom in the map by double clicking on it or by clicking on the “plus” (+) button on the bottom left of the screen. You could also choose to view the map by Terrain, Satellite, or Hybrid (combination of both).

If there are several locations within one event, you could tag individual photos with different places. All you have to do is select pictures with similar location, and repeat the above process.

group photos

Finding the missing places

One of the (dis)advantages of living in an “unknown” part of the world is that, most of the times, the location you’ve entered can not be found by the map search.

If this is the case, you have to locate the places yourself. Rediscovering places in the map is fun. Drag the map to center the position of the approximate location and click “Drop Pin” button.

group photos

To place the pin in the exact point, zoom in on the map and drag the head of the pin to the desired position. You could also set the size of the area by sliding the arrows that appear by the sides of the circle.

group photos

The final step is writing down the name of that place.

organize photos

Organizing by Places

After the fun part is done, we can continue with even more fun: enjoying the photos based on the places. Zoom in on the area that you want to explore and click “Show Photos”. All the photos taken within the range of that map will be shown on the screen.

organize photos

Or, instead of “Map” view, you could also choose “Thumbnail” view where you’re given the option of narrowing down the on the location.

organize photos

Surely, with a GPS-enabled camera, all the geotagging would be done automatically. And those adventurers who travel a lot will have their map filled with pins. How exciting!

Do you go places and take pictures? Do geotag your photos to organize them? Share your adventures using the comments below.

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