Geotagging 101


Thanks to digital photography I take thousands of pictures a year.  I have about 15,000 images stored on my computer, only sortable by date or folder name.  So, I have recently started to tag these images with keywords describing the individuals and events in the pictures.  In the future when I want to be able to locate all pictures of my son sleeping in a car or pictures of my husband and I on vacation, I will be able to simply click on a few check boxes or type in a selection of keywords in my photo software.  Of course doing this for 15,000 images is a time consuming job.

Along with tagging the images with the people and activities in them I often use keywords to describe the location the image was taken.  As cameras have become more advanced, some are now including GPS capabilities, which means that this will longer be necessary.  Cameras with GPS technologies allow location information (longitude and latitude) to be written directly to the file at the moment the image is shot.  This ability is also available on some newer BlackBerry® smartphones and is termed “Geotagging”.

What is geotagging?

A digital photo is geotagged when location data (latitude and longitude coordinates) are added to the digital file alongside the photo’s existing EXIF data.

What you need:

BlackBerry with camera and GPS (enabled)

How to turn on Geotagging:

(Note these instructions are specific to BlackBerry® BoldTM smartphone because that is what I have)

  1. From camera screen click on the BlackBerry menu button (this is the button with the BlackBerry logo).
  2. In this menu choose “Options”
  3. Scroll down to “Geotagging” and set to “Enabled”
  4. Click on the BlackBerry menu button again and choose “Save”

When you are in the camera screen you should see a small map icon in the right hand corner.  This indicates that you have enabled geotagging.  However, in order for it to work you will also have to ensure that you have turned on GPS Services.

To turn on GPS Services on your BlackBerry:

  1. Go to “Options”
  2. Choose “Advanced Options”
  3. Scroll down and click on “GPS”
  4. Choose “Location On” for GPS Services

In the camera the geotag icon (the little globe in the right hand corner) needs to be white in order for the geotagging feature to work.  If the icon is red it is not picking up your location via the GPS.  For the most part this will be an issue when you are indoors or if you have just turned on your phone, as it may not have coordinated your location with the satellite yet.  To be sure that you are connecting with GPS – open BlackBerry Maps®  and “Start GPS navigation”.

Now you are ready to shoot photos with geotags!

Watch for a future post on fun with Geotagging!

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