iPhoto '11: Managing image location accuracy

If you have a GPS-capable digital camera, using the Places feature in iPhoto ’11 is a great way to view images based on the location in which they were taken. However, sometimes the location coordinates registered by your GPS-capable camera may not be entirely accurate, or may not get detected. This results in your image being placed inaccurately or not seen on your Places map in iPhoto ’11.

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If you import an image that is not seen or has an inaccurate location in your Places map, you can manually change your picture's position to the appropriate location. If you are sure that the image contains GPS location data, you can also have iPhoto rescan the image to correctly set its location on the Places map.

Manually change your picture's position to the appropriate location

  1. In iPhoto ’11, select Places. Locate the image that is misplaced on the map.
  2. Hover over the pin for this location. Click the arrow that appears; if there is more than one photo associated with this location, they will also appear.

  3. Select the image and open the Information Panel by clicking the appropriate icon:

  4. Above the Places map, select the photo location field and type in the name of the place where the photo or event was taken. (You may notice suggested locations that appear as you type in the name of the location.)

  5. Alternately, you can select, drag, and drop your pin into the proper location.

Manually rescan an image for location

  1. In iPhoto '11, select your Photos library and locate the image that does not appear on your map.
  2. Click that image and choose Rescan for Location from the Photos menu.


Note: The GPS receiver in your digital camera receives signals from several GPS satellites to calculate your longitude, latitude, and altitude. GPS can accurately calculate a position to within 50 feet, provided it can see at least four separate GPS satellites. Several factors can affect GPS reception and accuracy:

  • Unobstructed view of the sky
 - GPS satellites orbit over 20,000 kilometers above Earth, and the signals are relatively weak. Car roofs, buildings, tinted glass, and other obstructions can block GPS signals.

  • Wide field of view
 - GPS requires at least four satellites to accurately determine your location, and visibility to the horizon is useful. GPS may not accurately determine your position in cities, deep valleys or canyons, or through a single window.

  • Accurate time - GPS compares the GPS satellite signal time code to your device's current time. If your time is inaccurate by a few minutes or hours, it takes longer to initially determine your position. Enable the Automatic Time setting on the device if possible.
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