A geotagged image is an image that is linked to a specific geographical location. These images usually contain GPS coordinates. They may also contain the azimuth (the camera’s direction during photo taking). You can find the image’s latitude and longitude coordinates by checking the image’s location info in the property section. Software is also used to identify the image coordinate in Google Maps. Then, these images are pinned to indicate the exact location they were taken.

Location-specific information must be attached to the photograph’s onsite data to reveal the image’s exact location on maps. This information is less useful and invisible to site visitors but essential to search engines. It lets the search engine know the geographical location where your content is relevant to restrict search queries. In this case, your content will only be part of the search results to users’ queries in the tagged location. If you want to learn more about GeoTag Images, we are here to help.

Finding Location-Specific Information in a Geotagged Image

Your camera application can add GPS coordinates (by default) to your image file. When capturing an image with your smartphone, you also capture additional data containing lots of information regarding the photo. This information is called metadata, stored in the EXIF document (Exchangeable Image File Format). The metadata contained in EXIF includes the date and time, name of the file, smartphone model, aperture, size of the file, focal length, ISO, image resolution and shutter speed

These are basic photo details. EXIF will also capture and store the shooting location in terms of longitude and latitude detected by your smartphone. Both Android and IOS can track location details and use their GPS systems to record location coordinates when set. 

You can find photos of your image’s GPS coordinates under the ‘properties’ tab. If you’re on a Windows computer, right-click the image, select ‘properties,’ and find the ‘details’ tab. Check the GPS option for longitude and latitude coordinates. In macOS, right-click the photo and select the ‘get info’ option. Then check GPS coordinates in the ‘more info’ section.

Some images don’t have GPS coordinates. The photo owner may have deactivated this option or deleted them manually. In addition, multiple image-sharing services online may exclude geotagging data for privacy purposes.

Different Ways of Geotagging an Image

You can geotag an image in multiple ways, both manual and automatic. Automatic methods are easier and more precise than manual ones but depend on a stable signal. They use built-in GPS or connected GPS. 

  • Built-in GPS 

Most camera phones have Built-in GPS receivers. Specific models may even include a compass to detect the camera’s facing during the photoshoot.

  • Connected GPS 

Other phone cameras and digital cameras support an external GPS receiver. You can connect them by inserting the receiver in the flash shoe or the memory card slot. A connected GPS remains turned on, and when the camera is on, it provides the necessary geographical information.

  • Manual Geotagging

Besides using built-in GPS and connected GPS, you can add location information to photos. You can achieve this even after taking an image without a GPS device. One way is by entering the coordinates directly (such as via Exif specification). Another way is by the aid of a software tool. With a software tool, you can select a location from a map. You can also use tools to tag street addresses, cities, or postal codes.

Why are Geotagged Images Necessary?

Given that geotagged photos carry a location, you can have them in a web map for access by a broader audience. For example, product and service companies can leverage geotagging if they operate in a geographically limited area. They can also use geotagging for useful insights into customer activity. Once they know how and where consumers interact with their content, they can effectively customize their offers and message. Besides using photos to check site conditions, you can use their coordinates for geolocation. in addition, while you’re on a trip or vacation, you can geotag photos from different sites and landmarks and put them on a web map to display specific locations.

As you can see above, a geotagged image is often linked to a specific location. This is so because further details are included whenever you capture an image using your smartphone or digital camera. One of these is the location information stored as GPS coordinates (longitude and latitude). You will also find these details under the properties bar of the image.