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Geography inconsistencies; help with keywording

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GDRothenberg

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Premium Classic Member
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Apr 6, 2019
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14
Lightroom Version Number
12.1
Operating System
  1. macOS 13 Ventura
What is the best and most time-efficient way to put geographical information into LR Classic?
I find massive errors of omission and am spending too much time replicating geo data. Here is my process:

First, I place the pictures onto the right places in Map Module. (Note: my iPhone pix are already there.)
Second, I list the location in keywords in Library module, synching pictures with the same location. This is done in the top right box under Keywording title.
Third, under Keyword List in Library Mode I have hierarchical geo. For example, I have the Where>Europe>France>Paris> Eiffel Tower

Yet when I use the Metadata search for either GPS data, map location, or even City I get mostly No coordinates, Unknown, and Unknown city, respectively,

I realize LRC has some faults and doesn't link or coordinate everything. Realizing that, where should I invest my time in geotagging so that I can readily find my photos by location w/o all this extra time spent that's not yielding anything?
 
I always enter location data into the Key Word Field manually. Only takes a few seconds and you can quickly apply it in the grid to every shot from that location. For example, 2 weeks ago I was shooting in Sn Miguel de Allende and at the end of each day in post I would enter the location data in detail into Key Words, Title and Captions (country, state, town, place name and area description)

For example, as Key Words separated by commas, "Mexico, San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, World Heritage site, Colonial Town, Mountain Town, Central Mexico, Mountains, Colonial, Historical Site, Temple of San Antonio."

This only takes a few seconds in post using the grid and can be applied top every shot from that area shot that day. Just have to edit the precise location like the name of the church or building.

I would like lat-long in the data, but my cameras don't have it and I shoot only raw. Never shoot jpeg or with a phone and do not try to use phone apps with my shooting to add lat-long. But I might start that, especially on hikes. I'm a landscape shooter so I know it would be nice to have.

My Leica and Fuji GFX cameras do not have GPS.
 
Not sure what you question is, but if you are asking about adding GPS coordinates to images, I have two suggestions

1) Go to the Map Module in LrC and on the film strip and multi select a group of images (say "temple of San Antonio"). Then put that same location text in the search box for the map to position the map. Now just drag the clump of images from the filmstrip to the the map. this will add the GPS coordinates to the image. If the metadata location fields (Sublocation, City, State, Country) are blank and you have the catalog setting set to automatically look up address info, then suggestions for those fields will populate.

2) Get yourself a GPS Logger device to carry around with you when you shoot. There are many phone apps that do this but I don't like to drain my phone battery that much. Most Camera manufacturers sell these that fit in the hot shoe of the camera and automatically add GPS data to images as you shoot, but these are expensive and I'd need two since I shoot with two cameras. Instead I I have a stanalone device (Wintec WBT202) about the size of a small box of matches that produces (among other things) a GPX track log of my movements. I just let it run all day long in my shirt pocket. Then, using either the LrC Map module or other 3rd party SW (I like Geosetter), it will match the GPx tracklog file entries to images using the capture date/time from each image and will add the GPS coordinates to the images. I prefer Geosetter over LrC for this as Geosetter can also add keywords and fill the Location metadata fields with real data as it goes (LrC Map module only provides "suggestions" and you have to perform some tedius steps to convert the suggestions to real data). I usually run Geosetter against my images before I import them.
 
Thanks for trying to answer my question but it has not been fully answered.

I enter in data three different ways: via Map, and two keyword locations. Yet using Metadata in the Library filter will often show unknown city, location, country or coordinates for most of my pictures.

Thus, my question is which one method is the best way to enter geographic location? And using that method, which is the best way to filter on it? Because right now much of my time and effort has been wasted.
 
The most useful method is using a keyword Hierarchy for location information as you described. For example
1672687186526.png

There are 4 methods to To find images that are keyworded.

A) Use the Filter bar at the top of the grid (click "\" if it's not there). Then use the text filter tab, and select "Keyword" , "contains" or "Contains all", and type what you're looking for
1672687375559.png


B) Click on the right facing arrow at the right end of a KW in the Keyword List Panel (arrow only appears when mouse is on the KW). This will clear all the filters, change the "source" to All Photographs, and will set a metadata filter for just that one keyword
1672688451411.png


C) On the filter bar, use the metadata tab and set a column for Keyword. Then select the keywords you want it to include in the filter. This will be applied to whatever folder(s) and/or Collection(s) you have selected in the Folders or Collections Panel
1672688610193.png


D) Create a Smart Collection, and specify any combination of keywords and/or other metadata in the rules of the Smart Collection.

-----

The 2nd most useful is GPS coordinates. You can add those many ways as I indicated previously.

----

The IPTC metadata fields (Sublocation, Country, City, Sate/Province) are similar to using keywords but don't behave as a hierarchy and I don't find them as useful within LrC. As with KW's you can use a text filter, a metadata filter or Smart Collection. I just never got into them as I found using KW's way more convenient for various reasons.

However, the IPTC location fields can be quite useful if you post images on some websites as many image sharing websites utilize those fields for seaches by the public. I also think (not sure) that tools like Google Search make use of those fields as well as keywords on posted images.
 
Hey Dan, I'm learning from this thread. Never used the map module before. So, I went to my Mexico shots and grabbed a bunch of shots taken in the Cathedral in Queretaro. I found that church on the map and just moused them into that building and boom - I had the State in Mexico, the town and the GPS Coordinates in the metadata. Really cool and I will use that a lot now. The only thing it didn't do was actually include the name of the church, even though it was clearly marked on the map application, and I dropped those thumbnails right on the building. That would be cool because I shoot in a lot of churches. Kind of my hobby....
 
Not sure what you question is, but if you are asking about adding GPS coordinates to images, I have two suggestions

1) Go to the Map Module in LrC and on the film strip and multi select a group of images (say "temple of San Antonio"). Then put that same location text in the search box for the map to position the map. Now just drag the clump of images from the filmstrip to the the map. this will add the GPS coordinates to the image. If the metadata location fields (Sublocation, City, State, Country) are blank and you have the catalog setting set to automatically look up address info, then suggestions for those fields will populate.

2) Get yourself a GPS Logger device to carry around with you when you shoot. There are many phone apps that do this but I don't like to drain my phone battery that much. Most Camera manufacturers sell these that fit in the hot shoe of the camera and automatically add GPS data to images as you shoot, but these are expensive and I'd need two since I shoot with two cameras. Instead I I have a stanalone device (Wintec WBT202) about the size of a small box of matches that produces (among other things) a GPX track log of my movements. I just let it run all day long in my shirt pocket. Then, using either the LrC Map module or other 3rd party SW (I like Geosetter), it will match the GPx tracklog file entries to images using the capture date/time from each image and will add the GPS coordinates to the images. I prefer Geosetter over LrC for this as Geosetter can also add keywords and fill the Location metadata fields with real data as it goes (LrC Map module only provides "suggestions" and you have to perform some tedius steps to convert the suggestions to real data). I usually run Geosetter against my images before I import them.
Amazing Dan. I have of course heard of these devices for years on the camera blogs I frequent, but just haven't done it for my metadata and getting GPS coordinates into my travel shooting. I walk around with a Google Pixel 7 phone with battery pack and I have a Garmin Fenix 7 watch on my wrist, so I use the maps and navigation trackers a lot. I just haven't attached anything to my hot shoe. Besides, I shoot a lot of cameras on a trip.

But I will absolutely do the drag and drop into the map module. I just did that for the first time and it is awesome. I just dragged a couple of hundred shots into their exact locations (churches mostly but some palaces and museums too). I just wish it would also pick upo the name of the church or building since that is clearly undicated on the map and I drop it right on the building. Amazing really. That is now an official part of my future work flow!
 
The best way to filter on locations is with the Library Filter, setting up columns like this for example:

1672693034663.png


Unlike keywords, using columns for these 4 metadata fields allows you to focus on one or more folders or collections, rather than the whole catalogue, and see which photos don't yet have location info. You might include GPS as another column, which can be helpful.

This depends on entering the 4 location fields which you can do by dragging and dropping onto the map (relying on LR to look up the location data), and/or by entering those fields manually which is my preference. That's because I prefer England, Scotland etc as countries, rather than the UK, and don't like how the automatic lookup gives "administrative" names to other fields.

In the above case, I'd work through assigning countries and the unknown state, city and location fields.

In my case, I also run a script (plugin) which copies those 4 fields into keywords.

John
 
@GregJ - Glad you're getting it. IPTC is the global standards body of the news media and for their purposes they only felt the need to go down to lowest civic level which is sublocation. And, even so, Sublocation is a somewhat vague notion most commonly thought of as neighborhood. But all the fields refer to governmental land divisions and do not include commercial, private, or religious properties nor does it include geographic features such as waterfalls or mountain names. Of course that does not preclude you from using "Sublocation" in anyway you wish and can just type in the church name right in the Map Module. In fact I use Sublocation the same way you seem to for things like cathedral names or the names of waterfalls, mountians, lakes, street names and the like. Basically anything that would normally be present on a Rand McNally paper map.
 
@johnbeardy - Unlike keywords, using columns for these 4 metadata fields allows you to focus on one or more folders or collections, rather than the whole catalogue
John, I'm sure you know this, but for others - filtering on keywords, either with a text filter or a metadata filter, you are not limited to the whole catalog. You can select any one or more Folders and/or Collections and the filter will only look in those sources. The thing I think you are referring to is that when you click the right arrow on a KW in the Keyword List panel, it sets the source to "All Photographs" but that doesn't prevent you from then selecting some other source to use instead. The key to this working though is setting the filter lock (right end of the filter header bar) to its locked position which prevents the filter from being cleared each time you change sources. I leave that lock icon "locked" all the time just for this purpose as it is easy enough to click the "None" button if I do want to turn off all the filters.
 
The most useful method is using a keyword Hierarchy for location information as you described. For example
View attachment 20060
There are 4 methods to To find images that are keyworded.

A) Use the Filter bar at the top of the grid (click "\" if it's not there). Then use the text filter tab, and select "Keyword" , "contains" or "Contains all", and type what you're looking for
View attachment 20061

B) Click on the right facing arrow at the right end of a KW in the Keyword List Panel (arrow only appears when mouse is on the KW). This will clear all the filters, change the "source" to All Photographs, and will set a metadata filter for just that one keyword
View attachment 20062

C) On the filter bar, use the metadata tab and set a column for Keyword. Then select the keywords you want it to include in the filter. This will be applied to whatever folder(s) and/or Collection(s) you have selected in the Folders or Collections Panel
View attachment 20063

D) Create a Smart Collection, and specify any combination of keywords and/or other metadata in the rules of the Smart Collection.

-----

The 2nd most useful is GPS coordinates. You can add those many ways as I indicated previously.

----

The IPTC metadata fields (Sublocation, Country, City, Sate/Province) are similar to using keywords but don't behave as a hierarchy and I don't find them as useful within LrC. As with KW's you can use a text filter, a metadata filter or Smart Collection. I just never got into them as I found using KW's way more convenient for various reasons.

However, the IPTC location fields can be quite useful if you post images on some websites as many image sharing websites utilize those fields for seaches by the public. I also think (not sure) that tools like Google Search make use of those fields as well as keywords on posted images.
Hey Dan, I shot for two months in Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and Thailand at the beginning of the Pandemic. So using your example, I shot in all those places and at all of those Temples. I need to do a better job at key wording. I type a bunch of stuff into the Key Word box in post but don't have any of these hierarchy levels set up. You set all of that up right? I'm not sure how you enter all of that. But I will study on it and maybe do it on my next trip.
 
The first thing I reccomend (although others disagree) is to use the KeyWord List panel rather than the Keywording panel. They both manage the same set of keywords but I find the KW List version more intuitive as it really let's me see what's going on.

  • In the KW List panel the KW's you already entered in the other panel will already be there.
  • You can drag keywords around to form the hierarchy.
  • If you want to add a new KW under an existing parent, right click on the parent and select "Create new Keyword under <name of parent>". You will then get a dialog box where you give it a name, a synonym if you wish, and select options for that KW
  • If you have images selected in the film strip or grid: a check mark next to a KW means that ALL selected KW's have that KW explicistly assigned. If a KW has a minus sign next to it, it means that a) only some of the selected images have that KW explicitly assigned or B) this is a parent KW of a KW with a check mark.
 
@GregJ - Glad you're getting it. IPTC is the global standards body of the news media and for their purposes they only felt the need to go down to lowest civic level which is sublocation. And, even so, Sublocation is a somewhat vague notion most commonly thought of as neighborhood. But all the fields refer to governmental land divisions and do not include commercial, private, or religious properties nor does it include geographic features such as waterfalls or mountain names. Of course that does not preclude you from using "Sublocation" in anyway you wish and can just type in the church name right in the Map Module. In fact I use Sublocation the same way you seem to for things like cathedral names or the names of waterfalls, mountians, lakes, street names and the like. Basically anything that would normally be present on a Rand McNally paper map.
@Califdan

I added an external GPS to my Nikon D3, so almost all of my photos have GPS coordinates in the metadata. Using Google Maps (I think) I can get down to street address, which is sort of important for many of my urban location photos. Yet I can't seem to find a service that provides street address as sublocation. Adding all these street addresses manually is just not practical.
 
Can't help you there as I have not had a need for specific street address so have not researched possible sources.
 
Learned a lot on this thread guys. From now on in post I will drop the files on the map wherever I am. That is part of my workflow now.
I just wish (for example) that when I drop those files right on the Vatican that it would populate the meta with the name of the basilica.

I'm not wanting street addresses or physical building addresses, I just want the churches, museum or palace names to be grabbed, just like it shows on the map. But no matter, I can quickly add it in as you guys taught.
 
I thank everybody for their inputs. I now realize that I should have re-phrased my question differently. I began this thread listing the multiple ways I enter geo data. My question revolves around how LRC maps the data entered. Specifically, even though I enter a city and country in the key word list it might not show up when I filter by city. As someone earlier suggested, using a text query to find things may work better.
 
Keywords and IPTC Metadata fields (where Country, State/Province, City, and Sublocation are) are two completely different things. Just because you have a KW named "Buffalo", LrC has no way to know that this keyword is the name of a city rather than an animal. However if you place tghe word"Buffalo" into the IPTC "city" field then LrC assumes that the text is the name of a city. Of course you could also but "Uncle Fred" in the IPTC city field and LrC would assume that "Uncle Fred" is the name of a city.

When you filter for a "city" you are asking Lrc to ONLY look at the IPTC "City" field in metadta for matches to the name you type in. If you want to have it look at KW's, then select "Keywords" rather than "city" and it will ONLY look at keywords for the name you type in.

To repeat, they are two completely seperate things.
 
Keywords and IPTC Metadata fields (where Country, State/Province, City, and Sublocation are) are two completely different things. Just because you have a KW named "Buffalo", LrC has no way to know that this keyword is the name of a city rather than an animal. However if you place tghe word"Buffalo" into the IPTC "city" field then LrC assumes that the text is the name of a city. Of course you could also but "Uncle Fred" in the IPTC city field and LrC would assume that "Uncle Fred" is the name of a city.

When you filter for a "city" you are asking Lrc to ONLY look at the IPTC "City" field in metadta for matches to the name you type in. If you want to have it look at KW's, then select "Keywords" rather than "city" and it will ONLY look at keywords for the name you type in.

To repeat, they are two completely seperate things.
Thanks Dan, I understand completely. I have always used a lot of self-generated descriptive key words, but I have never used the (completely separate and are not key words) IPTC data fields. From now on I will fill in the IPC data and I will do it by using the map module to get Lat-Long, Country, City and State/Province. Then I will type in the exact location (like church or building name) in the Sublocation field. Why not? Won't take much longer to do this in post. I also might start using a hierarchy in Key Words. Maybe. I liked your examples. But I never use Collections, so I probably will never organize or call images up that way. But maybe.... You never know. Right now, I'm an old school folder structure guy.

Do you know what I called the folder that has all 800 of the raw files and their sidecar files in it from my recent 3-week trip to Mexico in 5 different locations? Are you ready for this? Yep ... I called it "Mexico Dec 2022." Inside that folder are 800 raw files each with Titles, Captions, Key Words and sensible identifying file names in the order shot. I'll never have trouble finding what I need from it in the future. That was my 25th Mexico folder that hold probably 15,000 shots.

You should see all my Italy folders.... LOL.
 
Do you know what I called the folder that has all 800 of the raw files and their sidecar files in it from my recent 3-week trip to Mexico in 5 different locations? Are you ready for this? Yep ... I called it "Mexico Dec 2022."
Same here. Entire Scotalnd trip in one folder with no subfolders
1672938561003.png


Where the power is, is with the keywords
1672938705874.png


I also fill in the IPTC location fields but don't use them in LrC. I only put them in so that searches by the public of exported images I post in various web services can be found (and maybe even purchased). Most web sites used for sharing images don't explain what gets looked at when people on the site type stuff in the "search" box and even less about what SEO thay make visible for external searches such as Google or Bing. I suspect that some of them use the IPTC fields if present in additon to keywords.
1672939113181.png
 
they are two completely seperate things
Note however that if you set a filter by text and select "Any searchable filed", LrC will look for the text in both Keywords and Metadata fields.
 
The four IPTC location fields have the advantage of certainty. Take the example of "Buffalo" as used above. Text filters on "Any searchable field" will give you photos including the animal, not just the city. That's perhaps an unlikely case, but by comparison filtering on City avoids that messiness.

On the other hand, reliance on the keyword hierarchy gives flexibility. On the good side, a Scottish location like Callanish is also commonly known by its Gallic name, which can be included as a synonym. You can't rely on LR reverse geotagging (auto completing the location fields from the GPS) and have to enter the keywords yourself, but then you can enter a hierarchy that is more sensible to you and less based on the administrative data looked up from Google. So for example, you might place Scotland as the country, rather than Google's UK, or another example might to use Manhatten as the city (Google says NYC) and Central Park as the location. If more than 4 levels seem right, you can handle that.

On the bad side, flexibility is also a lack of control and you can much more easily end up some Central Park images keyworded one way (eg Manhattan), others done differently (NYC) and that's harder to identify than with the four IPTC location fields. The same words can be place names and nouns or adjectives.

If you're concerned about other applications, both can be read elsewhere. But with web-based apps, I've rarely found any that read the good old 4 fields.

As I said before, my preference is to enter the 4 fields manually and then copy them over to keywords to get the best of both worlds.
 
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