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.
Thank you so much for the hat tip, Steph! I’m really glad to see that the method is working for you!
You’re welcome Fatemeh! Thank *you* so much for the article in the first place! Such helpful information.
I’m actually experiencing a problem viewing my photo map. I have been selecting the ‘add to photo map’ option for all my photos for the past couple years now, but my photo map is light gray (inactive). So, my location services are turned ON and I am adding the photos to the map, but I can’t look at it. Do you know of any way to fix this? If not, no problem. Thanks in advance!
Hi Heather, thanks for your comment! Unfortunately I’m not aware of how to fix that problem, I’m sorry! I hope you are able to figure it out because that must be frustrating. You could try deleting and re-downloading the app to see if that would maybe re-set things. Sorry I can’t be more help!
Hi! How do I officially name(geo-tag in blue letters) a location if it doesn’t exist in the current instagram (or google API)? Say I opened a new business on the street, will I always need to custom name it with gray letters when I tag my location? How can i make it “official” and blue ?
Hey carbo! I’m sorry, I don’t have the answer for that one yet, but I’ll try and do some research and maybe try and find the solution! If I do, I’ll be sure to let you know and share it in a blog post. Thanks for the great question though! Good luck.
All of instagram’s locations are stored on Foursquare, and you can add new locations in foursquare’s database. I think this link might help you bit.ly/1jkJ8eX
Thanks so much Mark!!
I have been googling about this issue and never found an answer until now.. It worked!! THANK YOUUUU! :D it has been driving me crazy.. Thanks for sharing, really!
Hey Adrijana, so glad it worked for you!
Thank you very much, been looking for a way to get around this for ages!
Hey Vish, so glad I could help!
Thank u so much! I’ve been trying to find a way for geo-tagging even months later. This is so helpful! Now I just wish there would be something to do to fix locations on already uploaded on IG.
I’m putting it out there. Maybe someone will hear my plead :p
Hey! Unfortunately I’m not aware of any way to eliminate location data from already uploaded photos short of deleting them and reposting! But if I hear of anything, I’ll let you know. Thanks!
This helped so much. I use it for #tbt and now I can add the location :) thank you so much x
this helped more than I can explain, thank you thank you thank you!
Thanks so much for sharing this, it worked perfectly! I agree that many times we snap and share later because that makes it easier to enjoy our trip. This is such a great fix and I appreciated it (even though it seems like something trivial)! It helps when I share photos I’ve edited for my photography business after I’ve come home!
I’m glad it helped Andrea! I think it’s much better to focus on the trip in the moment and worry about the Instagramming later. :)
If you don’t want to use Instagram, there is another app called “Photo Footprint – Your photo album on map” to see your photo locations. http://bit.ly/PhotoFootprint
Thanks! Helped a lot, always wondered if this was possible
Thank you for the wonderful post and the link to Fatemeh’s post, both your blogs helped a lot!
However, I do have 1 issue still.
After I geo-tag my photos using Koredoko, use InstaSize and upload on Instagram, the geo-tag goes away!
Does anyone know any re-sizing app that keeps the photo’s geo-tag? Or do I have to resize my photo first before geo-tagging it on Koredoko?
Thank you in advance!
Hey Trish, thanks for your comment! I don’t know exactly, but I would say probably resizing first (basically having the exact photo you want) before putting it through Koredoko would probably work. I have also used Afterlight to put the white borders around a photo before and I believe it holds the location data. Good luck!
Is there any way to remove geotags once an image has been uploaded to twitter. For instance , you took a picture of a location (not realizing geotag was turned on) which was fine but for privacy reasons, you shouldn’t have tagged the location. Is there anything that can be done short of deleting the image from Instagram?
Hi Karina, thanks for your comment. Unfortunately I don’t currently know of any way to do this, short of deleting the photo and reposting. I’ll look into it and if I find anything I’ll let you know. Thanks!
Ahh thank you so much! This was exactly the type of solution I was looking for and it worked perfectly! I also enjoy looking at my photo map and like it to actually reflect where the picture was taken so this was a lot of help!
I’m so glad that it helped you out Sam! I know exactly what you mean about the photo map, I love looking at mine too. :)
Thank you so much for this article! Helped me out loads :D
I’m so glad!
Wow! Thanks for this! I moved from Japan to Spain via the UK and I came across your post! Gonna install now (soo many pics to sort & post).
Cool name too… Koredoko is Japanese for Where is/was this? :)
Hey Sue Ann! Awesome, I’m so glad this will help you out. Your journey sounds amazing.
Thank you THANK YOU so much :)
You’re so welcome!
I see no way to drag the photo. When I try to drag a photo, the whole map moves along with it. Obviously, I’m the only one with this issue. It’s driving me mad. Is there a step I’m missing?
Aahhhh… After a few more tries, it seems that on my iPad, I have to touch the N/A section just right for it to drag.
Hmm, that’s odd! But I’m glad you figured out a way that works for you. :)
If you just click and hold a pin should appear.
was able to drag and get coordinates but when I save with metadata and load onto IG and select “name this location” It just shows locations near where I am. Can someone help?
Hey Minh Dinh! I just re-tested this system and it still works perfectly for me. I would recommend checking your settings as Fatemeh outlines in her article on this topic. http://fatemehfakhraie.com/2013/09/16/how-to-add-geotags-to-your-instagram-photos/
Doesn’t work. I’ve saved the metadata, but all the locations still show up as physically near me.
Hey M1979, I’m sorry this didn’t work for you! I’ve just re-tested the system I outline in the post and it works perfectly for me. I would recommend checking your settings as Fatemeh outlines in her article on this topic. http://fatemehfakhraie.com/2013/09/16/how-to-add-geotags-to-your-instagram-photos/
Hey check out Mega Gram if you ever need more followers https://MegaGram-Followers.blogspot.com
i have an instagram location for my store. Everything shown is right for the address and then when you click it on the photo map it brings me to a different location, how can i fix this?
Hi there, thanks for the nice post! I’m turning to you with a question you may or may not be able to answer, but I have searched for an answer to no avail and now I’m turning to you since you seem to have a grip on the subject :-)
When I first signed up for Instagram I deleted all of my photos from the photo map and turned off location access for privacy, also thinking I just didn’t want to use it thus graying out the location pin. Now I have started doing some traveling I would like to use it but I can’t seem to re-activate it. I have turned location access back on and I’m able to upload photos with the option to ‘post to map’, however, the pin remains grayed out. I understand that I won’t be able to see the previous posts on the map, but the last three I have uploaded should by all intents and purposes have shown up there :-(
Any insights you or anyone on the thread have would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you!! Been looking for a solution to this problem for awhile now. Works wonders :)
Thanks Stephanie for this article,very useful!
Cool! I was on a road trip to Milwaukee, WI last summer and I love the Chicago area so I grabbed my DSLR and snapped a photo of the Chicago Skyline sign on I-94! I had my laptop and I emailed the photo to my iPhone and posted it on Instagram…I didn’t realize it but it saved a copy with the geotag automatically added and then I sent that photo back to my laptop and bam! Its Geotaged! What I really need is some stand alone software to Geotag since my DSLR has no means of Geotag being a bit older.
The first time I tried it it didn’t work, but the second time I turned off my location settings before using the location thing in Instagram and it showed me all the locations around where the original picture was taken two years ago in Myanmar. It works perfectly and I’m very very happy! Thank you so much <3
This is a big problem as I see it. There is a new app in development called GreatView designed to solve this precise problem. It can be used to map & share the exact location & orientation that photos were taken either with camera phone or digital camera too.
Awesome post. Works like a charm. Thank you.
Geotagging is crucial, and i’ve been looking for a way to tag a location for a long time, so thanks a lot! That’s exactly the way i was promoting my instagram: adding lots of people, but i mainly made it on geolocation basis. Some say that 50 % is back, but i’m affraid it’s not realistic, i heard about from 10 to 30 % depending on what actions you undertake: like, comment, or both. But it works anyways=) What always bothered me
is that you can’t find the ones who didn’t follow you back, so you must check everyone. But i’m glad to share a link to a new service allowing to unfollow up to 5000 at once – https://fast-unfollow.com. It also offers 1000 free unsubscriptions once you have registered, so you can try it out easily. Thank me later=)
This is great, thanks for sharing these Instagram tips
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS! It works!!
this article has gave me more input on how instagram maps work. i wanted to know if u rename the location for ur post after uve left the actual location, photo maps on instagram will show ur nearby or current location based on ur phone gps settings right? If thats true, then my spouse has been to few places, mostly housing area, that he’s never mentioned to me at being or visiting at all, because apparently hes always at work.. i wanted to find out more information about geotags before i jump to any conclusions.. im logical enought to discuss about it and talk it out but i wanted to at least have more knowledge on insta geotags first to figure out whether the person might be lying to me or its all just in my head.
it used to be worked but as long as I updated it, instead of save with metadate appears just save !!!
Hmm, it’s nice tip, thanks. And what do you think about apps which find followers for you? I ask because my sister started using one called zen-promo (.com?) as I remember and as she says it’s pretty cool way because you don’t have to do anything. I think it’s useful but is it illegal? Thank you for answer