I’ve finally got around to fixing the caption structure on most of my gallery, and cleaning up a lot of the albums. With the help of the Map Module, I’ve also tagged a lot of them with GPS data. The module lets you use a Google Map to add the locations, but a lot of locations required me to fire up Google Earth to get a decent map reading and GPS coordinates. Google Maps still has a long way to go with regards to the data available online for other countries.
You can see the map module in action with my gallery here: Chrisnelson.ca Gallery Photo Map
I like the module a lot, they have done a great job with it. I’ve added routes for our Peru and Cambodia/Vietnam trips, but need to spend some more time with the rest of the options. It can export to Google Earth, but I’m not sure that it is worth enabling yet – perhaps when individual photos are tagged instead. I also need to implement the magnification parts at some point. Places with multiple albums (New York, for example) only show the top one unless you zoom in a lot. Ideally those sorts of locations would have a magnifying glass there to show you can zoom in to see them all.
It was simple to add the GPS data to albums, but the module can also automatically populate GPS coordinates from EXIF headers. As devices get smaller, GPS will eventually be added to cameras (or you can do it now if you are high end). But for most of us, we will be adding the GPS data after the fact. There seems to be a number of ways to add GPS to JPEG EXIF information, but few deal with RAW files. I believe Picasa supports the raw files, and lets you tag GPS info, but somehow doubt it will update the XMP sidecar files that Adobe Bridge uses. Perhaps I need to convert them all to DNG? It looks like these guys seem to support DNG Geotagging, but I can’t find any info for XMP. I’ll have to give the latest version of Picasa a try anyway. (Update: I tried the latest version of Picasa, it didn’t seem to geotag RAW+XMP or DNG.)
Even if you get the GPS data into your RAW files, there seems to be bugs where the GPS data is not carried over to your jpegs anyway. Fix your stuff, Adobe! They really should be adding in robust support of GPS data in Bridge and Lightroom.
Speaking of lightroom, I’ve been playing around with it for a little while now. It has the potential to replace my existing workflow (Adobe Bridge and Camera RAW), but isn’t quite implemented correctly. First off, I’m a bit uncomfortable that most of the changes are stored in their database, not in actual files. This locks you into the product, and makes things like using multiple machines a pain in the ass. To their credit, they did add an update to allow the writing of sidecar files. But the files it writes aren’t compatible with the existing Adobe Camera Raw files. Uhg! They seem to support web exports, but I hope they create an export that will work with Gallery, like Picasa. That said, after some fixes and features, I could see it becoming my only workflow.