Lightroom Map Module Tutorial
With Lightroom 4, Adobe finally decided to add a Lightroom Map Module to its mix of tools. Being able to organize my travel photos on a map has been something I loved doing in Aperture. Lightroom fans can also join in on the fun. In this tutorial I’m going to give you an introduction into the Lightroom Map Module. Click on Map in the Lightroom Module menu and we’ll get started.
Adding Photos in the Lightroom Map Module
First thing we need to do is find a location for our images. I have several photos that I took while in Colorado that I want to add to my map. I could just start zooming in and scrolling my Lightroom Map to find my location. However, there’s a faster way. Just type the location into the search field and press the Enter key.
As you can see in the image below, Lightroom is showing El Paso, Colorado for my location. That’s not what I wanted. However, pay attention to the yellow marker on the map. That is actually in the right spot. In fact, it’s pretty much dead on. If you want to drive up Pikes Peak mountain, that’s exactly where you’re going to start. The problem is that while Pikes Peak is a famous landmark in Colorado, it’s not a town. However, it is located in El Paso county. For the most part, you won’t run into situations like this when searching for locations but I thought this location would make a good example. Now if you come across something like this, you know to take a closer look at your map.
If you don’t like working with this type of map, you can change the style at any time. Look beneath the bottom left corner of the map. You’re going to see the option to change the Map Style. Click on it and several options will pop up for you to choose from. Pick whichever one you find the easiest to navigate.
Adding images to the map is pretty basic. All you have to do is click on the thumbnail of the image and drag it up on the map. Drop it anywhere. You can move the marker at any time. Just click and drag it around the map until you find a spot to drop it.
You can also add multiple images to the Lightroom Map at the same time. You use the exact same method. Select the thumbnails for all the images you want to add by either Command Clicking (Control Clicking on Windows) or by clicking on the first image, holding down the Shift key, and clicking the last image. This will select all of the image in between. Now just drag and drop them on the map.
Look at the image below to see what happens when we add a group of images. The marker now has a 2 on it. This is because I just dropped 2 images on the map at once. If you click on the marker you will see a little pop up that displays a photo and some basic information. Notice it also says 2 of 2. That means I’m looking at the 2nd image in the set. I can then click on the little arrows on the sides of the image to cycle forwards and backwards through the set.
Moving Images in the Lightroom Map Module
What if you want to move one of the images to another location on the Lightroom Map? To do this, simply cycle to the image using the forward and back arrows. When you find the image you want to move, click on it and drag it to it’s new location. Once you do this, the image will no longer be a part of that group. This means I can no longer cycle through those 2 images. I would need to click on one marker to view that image and then click on the other to see what image was shot in that location. If you’re not concerned with knowing “exactly” where an image was shot, then grouping all your images from a general area might be more productive for you. It’s all a matter of personal taste.
Let’s say instead of pulling an image out of a group, I want to add more images to it. Just grab the thumbnails, drag them up to the map and drop them right on the marker.
As you can see below, I now have 3 images in my group. Being able to simply drag and drop images on the map and it’s markers really makes the Lightroom Map Module easy to work with.
You already know how to move images around on the Lightroom map but now let’s try moving a marker that represents a group of images. Guess what .. nothing happens. You cannot simply drag a group of images around the map. I have no idea what Adobe was thinking when they did this .. but they did. Being able to drag a group of images in Aperture 3 is so much quicker.
So, if you want to move a group of images like in the example below, here’s what you do. First, click on the marker to make sure it’s yellow. Now, right click on the location you want it moved to. Click on the pop up that reads “Add GPS Coordinates to Selected Photos”.
Now the group of images have been moved to their new location in the Lightroom Map.
Showing Images in the Lightroom Map Module
From the Metadata panel in the Lightroom Library Module, you can go directly to a photos location in the Lightroom Map Module by clicking on the little arrow next to the GPS coordinates.
Another way you can do this is to click on the little map icon in the bottom right corner of your image thumbnails. It looks more like a little speech bubble to me. I guess it’s suppose to be like a road sign. Anyway, just click it and the Lightroom Map Module will open to the location of the image on the map.
That’s it for this introduction to the Lightroom Map Module. There’s a lot more cool stuff you can do in there that I didn’t add in this tutorial. The best way to learn is to just dive right in. So, go have fun placing your travels on the map and if you have a tip you’d like to share just add it to the comments, at the bottom of this page. Interested in learning more, check out these Lightroom Tutorials. I hope you all enjoyed this article on the Lightroom Map Module.