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With the previous versions of iPhoto, I was used to add a location for an album or batch of pictures taken during the same outdoor trip (backcountry skiing or alpinism tour for instance). My camera is not equipped with a GPS chip so I did it manually by placing a tag on the the Google Map tool integrated in iPhoto.

With the latest version of iPhoto 9.5 ('11), the google map tool has been replaced by the not so well finished Apple Maps. Which is OK from my point of view to use when you are within the civilized world, not really usable outside a city…

For me this tool is not usable, because the location edition area is a small thumbnail picture representing a map, on the lower right corner of iPhoto. I can move the tag, no problem, but it is a nightmare to locate it precisely where I want it to be (e.g. on the top of a mountain I climbed) due to the size of the edition area. I tried to edit the tag in the Maps application included in Maverick, but is seems that the tags are not shared between Maps and iPhoto. I also tried to edit the tag in the "Locations" function of iPhoto (in the left side bar), but it appears that the tags cannot be edit / moved in this view.

Here my question: how can I efficiently and manually edit the locations of a batch of pictures in iPhoto 9.5, within a window of the size of the app main window?

And a subsidiary question, in case the first question has no solution now: does a plug-ing exists to ease the location of pictures in iPhoto 9.5?

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2 Answers 2

I found a solution that solves my problem. In the menu "Window" go to the the function "Manage my locations" (translated from French, I do not have the exact name in English).

Then a scalable window with a map and a list of the already used locations appears. The items in the list can be edited (name, precise location on the map and the area or interest for the location)!

This implies that the location which is edited already exists in the list: it is not possible to add a new location with this function, but just to edit it.

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I also miss Google Maps in the newer iPhoto, so I use Picasa (which uses Google Maps) to add location data and keywords to the image files before importing them into iPhoto. Using Picasa for this is easier and has the added benefit that if I export them later as "originals" they have the location and keyword data embedded in the exif part of the file. When you add location and keywords to photos (or even change the name) in iPhoto, it stores the info in a database, not in the image file. I work only with JPEGs, so I don't know how Picasa handles RAW files.

Here's my process using standard apps already on my Mac (Mavericks) and Picasa 3.9 (free download):

  1. Use Image Capture to import photos to a folder on my desktop
  2. Use Automator to rename the images with the date and time, for example IMG-2014-01-02-143612. By including the time down to the second, every image has a unique name which will sort chronologically. This might also be a good time to add something descriptive to a group of photo titles, like IMG-2014-01-02-143612-Mount Everest :-)
  3. Open folder in Picasa 3.9 to add location and keywords. Picasa will write this information to the exif part of the file and won't touch the actual image data.
  4. Import images to iPhoto which will make use of the location data and keywords added in Picasa. If you export an "original" from iPhoto later, your location and keywords will be intact.
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