Finding Photos by Location

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Today’s Question: I’ve been geotagging my shots for three years, and now I need to find one photo among scores of folders in my Lightroom catalog. I know exactly the intersection at which I shot this photo. Is there a quick way to locate all pictures within a block or two of that point?

Tim’s Quick Answer: You can locate photos based on location very easily in the Map module within Lightroom. For example, you could browse the “All Photographs” collection, and then navigate to the applicable location on the map in the Map module to locate the specific photo you’re looking for.

More Detail: When you want to find photos based on their map location, the first step is to make sure you are browsing the group of photos that includes the photo you’re looking for. For example, if you knew which folder the image was located in, you could navigate to that folder. If you’re not sure where the photo is located, simply choose the “All Photographs” collection in the Catalog section at the top of the left panel in the Library module.

Next, switch to the Map module and navigate to the position on the map where the photo you’re looking for was captured. Note that you can use the Search field at the top of the toolbar above the map to help you more quickly navigate to a particular location on the map.

You can then zoom in to the specific area on the map where the photo was captured. The pushpins on the map will indicate the number of photos in each location, and you can click a pushpin to view the photos in that location. You can also choose the “Visible On Map” option on the toolbar above the map so the Filmstrip will only show thumbnails for photos that have location information for the current map area.

Once you’ve found the photo you’re looking for, you can right-click on the image on the Filmstrip and choose “Go to Folder in Library” to navigate to the folder that contains the image you were looking for. You could then turn off (or change) the filter settings as needed to help you locate other photos captured at around the same time.