“The beauty of technology is in its evolution,” Said Suffin Gruit, an IT consultant, as he began his explanation of Geotagging.
To a majority of his audience, this was the first time they were hearing the terms and they were not quite sure what it was all about. I too had heard about it albeit only superficially.
He went ahead to introduce geotagging, its definition, and how it works. In this article, we are going to explain what this revolutionary technology is and explore how it works.
What Is Geotagging?
Geotagging is the process by which you append geographic coordinates to different media based on the location of a mobile device. The geotags can then be applied to media such as videos, photos, text messages, websites, and even QR codes. The tags could also include other contextual information and time stamps.
It may sound complex at first. Consider what happens when you take a photo and enable your Global Positioning System (GPS). The system stores the physical location where you took the photo geotagging is the process of assigning geographical coordinates to photos.
How Does Geotagging Work?
We have already alluded to how this system works in the definition. Getting deeper into the technical details, however, there are several ways to tag digital photos. It is important to point out early enough that the method used can affect the accuracy of the location according to Wikipedia.
- Automatic Geotagging Via Dedicated GPS
If your camera has a built-in or dedicated GPS unit, locations are automatically added immediately after you dial the capture button. In this case, the camera simply “reads” the current location info from the GPS. This is the most accurate and easiest way to geotag photos.
- Manual Geotagging
The second method is where you can capture time and location information with a GPS “logger” or handheld GPS. Later, you can sync with the photos using the date/stamp in the image’s EXIF (Exchangeable image file format) or XMC (Extensible Metadata Platform) tags as a cross-reference.
This method can be a little difficult especially if you lack the necessary skills. You can run into an additional problem if the clocks on the camera and the GPS aren’t in sync. The simplest solution is to sync the two clocks.
- Use Of Geotagging Software
The third method is to make use of geotagging software to add location information to photos manually. While this process may be straightforward, it is time-consuming and prone to errors especially when entering the coordinates.
- Use Of Third Party Software
The last method is the use of third-party software such as Google Picasa. You can use it to geotag your photos by dragging and dropping the image onto an online map. You follow this by adding map coordinates to the photo.
It offers a straightforward way to add location tags but errors are prone secondary to incorrect map placement.
What’s The Difference between Geotagging and Georeferencing?
Georeferencing is a term many people use interchangeably with geotagging. So, I sought to get the difference, if it exists, from the consultant.
He said there is a marked difference between the two and it is wrong to use the terms interchangeably. Geotagging means a ground-based photo with a set of coordinates associated with it.
Georeferencing, on the other hand, takes an aerial photograph and then assigns a set of coordinates to each pixel. In other words, georeferencing overlays the whole image in the real world.
It is a process of geometric orthorectification to correct any image distortions. The result is an orthophoto whose scale is uniform.
Geotagging and SEO
In SEO, geotagging means placing the name of your target location in your keywords. It is as simple as that but the results are incredible if done accurately and with the latest google algorithms.
You can place the geotag anywhere you wish provided it fits the context of your keyword. The tag can be a specific town, city, country, or any other location.
A good example of a non-geotagged keyword would be something like a gaming mouse. A geotagged keyword would be something like Gaming Mouse Singapore.
Geotagging plays a vital role in local SEO. When a user from anywhere in the globe does a search on Google, the search engine analytics will try to filter data as much as it possibly can. The aim is to provide the user with the best search results. Among the most important factors here is location.
Since Google does not have access to the location of the device used to search at all times, the location provided plays a critical role. Users, on the other hand, tend to include the exact location of their liking when they search. So geotags are vital to the performance of any website.
Now you know. If you own a website and you want it to rank higher on the famous SERPs then you have no option but to optimize it by geotagging. We have introduced what it means and how it works. You can get more information through further research or consultation with geotags experts.