In this article we will review the Adobe Lightroom Map module and what it is used for. Long story short – Map module allows you to see where your images were taken on Google maps.
Map module uses geographic coordinates from your images’ metadata to pin them to actual locations. This geographic metadata is recorded by your camera (if it has functionality to do this) once you press the shutter release.
Many of the modern cameras and smartphones are capable of recording geographic metadata (geo tags). However, if your camera doesn’t have this functionality, or if you have for any reason disabled it, you can always tag your photo manually afterwards.
You also can load GPX tracklogs into Lightroom using a small icon below the map, or by using the Menu – Tracklog – Load Tracklog . After tracklogs are loaded, Lightroom will search for photos that have timestamps corresponding to the log and will offer you to tag them automatically.
In order to use the Lightroom Map module you have to be online, so Google maps can be loaded on your screen.
Let’s talk a bit about the Map module interface. On the right hand side you have the Navigator, your Saved Locations and Collections panels.
Navigator panel is basically a zoomed-out view of the currently viewed region.
Saved Locations as the name suggests store your saved locations. You can add those by clicking the “+” icon next to the panel’s name.
Collections show your collections of images. This panel works in the same way as in any other Lightroom module where it’s present.
On the main screen you have Google map loaded from the Internet with your images and search results shown on it. You can find the desired location by either browsing the map manually, or by typing its name into the Search field in the top right corner of the map window.
In the bottom right corner you have color legend of the tags that are shown on the current map.
There are 4 types of visual pin tags:
- Unselected photo
- Selected photo
- Group of photos (divided in two sub-groups)
- Search result
Map can be zoomed in and out using either native Google map slider in the top left corner, or Lightroom slider in the bottom left corner.
Below the main map window the usual Lightroom Filmstrip can be found.
Photos that have geo-location assigned to them have a small tag icon in the bottom right corner of their thumbnails.
In order to assign geo-location in Lightroom to an image that doesn’t have camera GPS metadata you can click it on the Filmstrip and drag to an actual location on the map. This will do the trick instantly. To map a group of images you can do exactly the same after selecting them all on the Filmstrip. This will create a “group of photos” tag on the map.
On the left hand side of the Lightroom Map module you have the Metadata panel.
In this panel you can view and edit metadata of the currently viewed photo. You can switch between different metadata types using the drop-down list located on the left from the panel’s name.
When exporting geo-tagged images from Adobe Lightroom you can to strip down the geographic metadata. For example, if you have an image of a river that is meant to be sold on stock sites and it doesn’t have to specify which river it exactly is. Or you can leave this metadata in place if you wish; in this case it will be included into EXIF data of the exported image. The export dialog window will offer you both these options.
We hope that this has thrown some light on how Adobe Lightroom Map module works and what you can use it for. If you have any questions or suggestions for our future articles, please feel free to drop us an email using the site contact form. Have a nice day!