One of my favourite things about Instagram is the Photo Map feature. I only really started travelling last summer on my trip around Europe, but since that time I’ve been lucky enough to visit more places than I could have imagined when I set off on that first trip. Of course I remember and appreciate those experiences in ways that have nothing to do with social media, but I won’t deny that it’s cool and rewarding to have a visual representation of my adventures through my Photo Map. Adding a location to your pictures is also a cool way for people interested in a specific place to see your photos – by clicking a location you can see a whole collection of photos tagged from there, for example the Eiffel tower or Angor Wat temple!
One of the problems I’ve run into a few times is adding the location of a photo after I’m no longer in the area I was when it was taken. Sure, it’s called Instagram, but when I’m somewhere truly beautiful I much prefer to take a few photos then just enjoy my time there and post photos online when I have downtime, like back at the hostel or when I’m home. But when you’re no longer at the location you were when you took the photo, sometimes you can’t find the right location to properly add the photo to your map. Yes, I realize there are real, actual problems in the world and this is very much not one of them, but there’s a simple fix so I thought I’d share it in case anyone is running into this issue as well. Unfortunately, if you’ve already posted your photo there’s no way to go back and change the location short of deleting and re-posting.
First, if you use an iPhone to take photos, make sure your camera has Location Services turned on: Settings > Privacy > Location Services > Camera. If you use VSCOCam to edit your photos, make sure location data is enabled for import and export: Settings > Privacy. Turning these settings on will mean that you probably won’t encounter this problem in the future.
If you take photos on your camera, they’ll usually have location data, but that data might be stripped from the photo if you email it to yourself, like I do. Alternatively, if you use another photo editing app, it might strip the location data when you export your photo, regardless of the device you used to take it.
Here’s how this works on Instagram, in my experience. If your photo has embedded location data, Instagram will suggest places “nearby” based on that data, regardless of your actual physical location. For example, if I’m in Korea but I have a photo with location data saying the photo was taken in Toronto, Instagram will suggest possible locations in Toronto where I might have been when I took it. If your photo does not have embedded location data, Instagram will suggest places nearby based on your actual physical location. Meaning that if I’m in Korea trying to post a picture I took while I was in Toronto but that doesn’t have any embedded location data, Instagram will suggest places within a few miles of where me and my phone are currently standing, in Korea.
As an example, the above photo was taken while I was sitting in my apartment in Korea. It shows location search results based on the location data embedded into the photo I was posting to Instagram, which was taken at Shibuya crossing in Tokyo.
Enter Koredoko! This awesome, free app lets you geotag photos that don’t have any embedded location data.
- Click the “+” symbol in the bottom right corner and click through to Settings > Extention. Make sure the “Extention” and “Show Ads” options are both turned on.
- Click the symbol with three stacked horizontal lines in the bottom left corner to access your camera roll.
- Choose a picture that you want to add location data to, then simply drag and drop it to the location on the map where you were when you took it. You might have to do some zooming in and re-adjusting to get it to the right approximate location but overall this is a very straightforward process.
- Click the blue “i” on the right hand side of the location data box.
- Then click the export button at the top right of the information box that will appear. See the photo above for what it should look like.
- Choose “Save with Metadata” from the pop-up menu.
From there, adding the photo to your Photo Map on Instagram should be easy. Just make sure the “Add to Photo Map” option is turned on, then choose “Name This Location” and search for whichever location your little heart desires. When you share the photo, it’ll show up on your map.
Like I said, not an overly important problem by any means, but hey – if it helps anyone at all, I’m happy to share what I’ve learned. I thought my last Instagram Tips post on hashtagging was also a bit trivial, but I’ve gotten some feedback from people who were really grateful for the information, which makes it all worthwhile for me. I hope this can help you too!
I learned most of what I know on this subject through this awesome article on Fatemeh Fahkraie’s website. She does a great job of explaining the concept and introducing the app as well as another app option if Koredoko doesn’t work for you. She’s also updated the article a few times as new information has come up, so it’s definitely worth a look if you’re still trying to figure this out for yourself. In her post, she says that you should turn Instagram Location Services off in your iPhone settings in order to force the app to use the photo’s metadata, but in my experience the location data “trumps” your physical location. If it doesn’t work for you though, try the fix she outlines.
Happy ‘gramming! You can follow me on Instagram @lifeinlimboblog.