Things aren't always what they appear to be. So it’s best not to take them for granted.  What could be more well-known than the Statue of Liberty?  Well, let’s see…

Choose which of the following ladies loves cheesecake and shops at B&H Photo. In other words, which of the following statues of Liberty is the “true” one, located in New York?

Replicas Statue of Liberty by age fotostock photographers

Answer: None of them.

These replicas are located in: Georgia, Tokyo, Paris, Chicago and Las Vegas.  If confusion can occur with a famous face like Lady Liberty, imagine how easily it can occur with less known places and things!

A complete image description, including location information, is absolutely essential for images of geography, nature, botany, zoology, research, industry, medicine, science, world locations or travel, etc. Even images of street scenes, common people, street furniture or equipment and so on, will often benefit of some information about where they have been taken. See more in our complete keywording guide.

You may think this kind of information is not relevant for images which don’t fall in the World Locations topic, but keep in mind that many potential clients will need to know this information. If your image doesn’t have it, they will probably buy another image that does have the information. If you’re lucky, they will take the time to ask us for the information, and we’ll ask you, and by the time the client gets your answer, if you’re really lucky, they’ll still want to buy the image.  To put it simply: Specific location information = a more complete caption/image description = better chance of sale!

There's another reason that accurate location information is important.  Imagine that a happy-go-lucky British photographer on a whirlwind tour of Spain makes a mistake and captions an image "Plaza de Sol in Madrid" when it really is "Plaza del Rey in Barcelona."  Later, an ad agency in Chicago licenses and uses the image for an printed travel piece on Barcelona.  When a savvy customer complains, the ad agency is not happy.  And "not happy" in the U.S. might mean "going to court."  If there is litigation, the buck will stop with the source of the inaccurate information, the photographer.  Caption errors can produce unhappy clients or worse, lawsuits, so it´s very important to maintain accurate and complete caption information.  Here´s how...

7 Ways to keep track of detailed location information:

  1. For $200 or less (depending on your camera type), invest in a photo gps unit that will allow you to “geotag” your photos.

  2. When out shooting, carry a small notebook and jot down notes about the places being photographed.

  3. Take a photo of any informative signs or maps to document the information.

  4. Try to carry a detailed map of cities/areas where you are shooting so that you can trace your route, and know the streets/neighbourhoods/etc where you shot each image.

  5. Use Google-earth for the same, to pinpoint addresses or road and building names.

  6. Search Wikipedia for additional information on places and buildings. Do not copy and paste entire entries! Choose only important, concise details.

  7. If you have photographed a place, caption your images as soon as possible, while your memory is still fresh.

What’s your secret?  If you have a tip for how to keep track of location info, we´d love to hear it.   

Actions: E-mail | Comments (5) |


September 22. 2010 11:55
I use a GPS data logger which is always on when I have my camera with me.  The logged data is downloaded and convert to GPX format.  I use a program called Geosetter (found at  which takes the GPS data and coordinates it with the file directory of Canon Raw files.  The program then coordinates the GPS data with location data extracted from Google Maps.  This data is then embedded in the RAW files as latitude and Longitude information and populates the appropriate Country, State, City and Location IPTC fields.

When the images are then processed in Photoshop, this data is carried over in to the same fields in TIFF/JPG formats.

It is important to note that this process should be carried out with the RAW files first, as then the data migrates to any worked files from the point on.

September 22. 2010 12:12
Thanks for the information, quite useful since from what I understand, Canon users are using non-Canon equipment in order to geotag their images.

Germany Rainer Hoffmann
September 24. 2010 16:16
Some cameras have a small microphone and let you let you add some spoken information to the picture while you are still on location. Very handy.

Greetings from Germany


Czech Republic pogo
October 11. 2010 10:36
I  have caughtexpensive RM images  from Prague where it was evident tht the photog was jsut incredibly lazy  as Prague is one of the ebst covered cities on the internet and really no excuse for not checking  identification of location. A quick  checkk would immediately show that the Old Town Hall is not  or Old Town Square is not  Wencesklas Square.  Just drop in the  name, "Old town hall"  to google images and  the verification will come up.

but this is tru of many things and a good way to hunt for things unidentified because sometimes you can find  a lead for the thing you're hunting for, even if you  stick in "red and black rhino beetle"  you'll get a verification that  such a thing does not exist.

But you might come up with the image that looks suspiciously like what you need to identify and therefore have a lead to explore.

The other possibility is  to send low-res to somebody you know who knows the area for verification  or  a specialist of the topic.

October 11. 2010 11:35
Hi "Pogo"
Yes, it´s true that there´s no good excuse for poor descriptions of well-known/documented places like Prague. Thanks for your suggestions too. Anna

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