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More Photos Q&A: Finding your photos on a map, and dealing with metadata

Glenn Fleishman | May 4, 2015
What a difference a week makes! Well, not really. Photos for OS X is one week older, and Mac 911 still has a huge queue of your questions, bug reports, and honest frustrations.

What a difference a week makes! Well, not really. Photos for OS X is one week older, and Mac 911 still has a huge queue of your questions, bug reports, and honest frustrations.

Remember that whenever a software product ships, it's a compromise, and new ones more so than revisions. When 1.0.0 of Photos was released, Apple was already hard at work on 1.0.1, and if it conforms to the usual schedule within one to four weeks, we'll see a doozy of an update that mitigates some of what we're wrestling with now. Endure!

On to your questions.

Where did you go?

Photos' different approach to displaying location information embedded in a photo or video's metadata have caused the most consternation, because Apple has chosen an entirely different approach.

Jason Snell addressed how to geotag photos without using Photos in his column April 16. But readers are still trying to find out how to see locations on a map. I answered it briefly last week, but here's more. Wayne Koabel's question was typical: "After change to Photos from iPhoto, I can not find any places in my source list. How do I access the Places map in the new program?"

Media retain any geotagging, but that information isn't presented in a single map view. However, if you select View > Metadata > Location, a pushpin-in-a-square icon overlays the lower left of an image or video. (More on this Metadata item below.)

With the Info pane visible (Windows > Info), any image, video, or multiple selection that contains geotagging information will appear on a map at the pane's bottom.

Photos: Multiple Images Location in Info Pane

With multiple media items selected with at one geotagged item, the Info pane shows grouped placement on a map.

With nothing selected, the Info pane shows the coarse placement of all photos in your library. You can zoom in to see fine detail about where images are clustered, but there's no way to select a moment from that map, which seems like an oversight.

When viewing moments, if there are one or more geotagged media items in the set, the label for that place or range of places appears as the moment name in bold. To the right of the moment's name, a broader place name appears in fainter type. Click that, and a full-window map shows all the moment's photos. You can show larger increments of time, up to years, and click the location. (You can opt to show in larger or smaller groups by checking or unchecking the Summarize Photos option in Photos > Preferences in the General pane.)

We're all assuming Apple will add the ability to geotag media in a future release, although it's hard to know philosophically if they'll return the Places view — perhaps as an album, as it treats Faces.

 

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