Extract GPS coord from Google Maps to geotag photos

This is a quick tip related to something that I just tried today and that worked.

My camera SONY DSC-HX100V has GPS capability built-in but it won't work everywhere and it needs some time to acquire the satellite signal. This way if you just want to take a quick snap you may end with photos that don’t have GPS location in their Exif metadata. GPS is a recent capability when we talk about cameras.

SONY DSC-HX100V camera with built-in GPSFigure 1 - SONY DSC-HX100V camera with built-in GPS

Taking that into consideration, let’s say you have some photos in iPhoto (Mac OS) or whatever program you use to manage your photos. I mention iPhoto here since it’s the app I use. Those photos don't have a location set due to no GPS signal available where the photos were taken. So how can one add that missing GPS location info/data on those photos? By the way, this process is called geotagging.

This is what I’ve tried and what worked perfectly in my case:

1 - Open Google Maps and find the place/point where you’ve taken the photos.

2 - Right click that place/point you want in the map and select Center Map here.

3 - Click the Link button. Black mouse pointer is over it in the screenshot bellow.

Google Maps link popup box with URL that contains GPS coordinatesFigure 2 - Google Maps link popup box with URL that contains GPS coordinates

A popup box will open. Copy the text/URL and paste it in your preferred text editor app. The link will look something like this:


Pay attention to the highlighted part that correspond to the longitude and latitude data.

4 - Select the photos you want in iPhoto to apply Location information and press command+I to access the Assign a Place box. Copy the highlighted text above and paste it in the box. Press the enter key to finish the task.

Adding GPS coordinates to iPhoto Assign a Place boxFigure 3 - Adding GPS coordinates to iPhoto Assign a Place box

This procedure works great when you just want to add GPS coordinates in your photos no matter if your camera has a built-in GPS or not since any photo can be geotagged nowadays.

Hope it helps!

You can check my photos in this slideshow: