I like to include location data in my photos, but none of my cameras have GPS built-in. Since I shoot in a lot of the same locations (home, the park, my parent’s house), I was hoping I could create a metadata preset in Aperture which would include this location info to streamline the process of adding the location.

Unfortunately, I don’t see anything obvious in the metadata preset management interface. Presets I’ve created from photos with location information don’t have anything which looks like a location, and Google has turned up nothing on the subject.

Is such a thing possible? It would be a huge time-saver.

Edited to add: I’m shooting RAW, and importing to Aperture, so using external tools wouldn’t help. I do use Trails when I walk around to shoot, but want to speed up my workflow for frequently-used locations.

The best answer so far seems to be Shizam’s, so I’m accepting it, though it’s not quite what I want. I suspect that I have to write some AppleScript (yuck) to do what I want, even though the facilities for managing location via AS seem very weak.

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    Somebody really needs to do something about that product name (with armed backup, if necessary) -- the question title had me imagining a sort of GPS-controlled aperture-priority setup, and baffled as to who might find that sort of thing useful.
    – user2719
    Feb 21, 2011 at 4:43

3 Answers 3


They cleverly hid this functionality, to do what you want:

  1. Select Metadata menu -> Manage My Places
  2. Add your new 'My Place'
  3. Select the photos you want to geotag
  4. Select Metadata menu -> Assign location
  5. Pick from your remembered locations or use a new one

Voila, and in the future you can just use steps 3-5 to assign that location to any further photos.

  • This is what I've been doing, and it's still quite slow and frustrating. Both places and faces are nearly unusably slow, even on powerful hardware. I'd much prefer to assign via a preset and avoid the slower places UI.
    – ieure
    Feb 20, 2011 at 21:48
  • @ieure: You do not need to use the places UI. You can be in the "browser" mode (thumbnail view); select a bunch of photos; click "Metadata / Assign Location...", select the pre-defined location from the list, click "Assign". It is very quick, especially if you assign a keyboard shortcut to this function. (You don't need to wait while it is loading and updating the map display in the dialog box, just select the location from the list.) Feb 21, 2011 at 13:42
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    @ieure: Regarding "unusably slow, even on powerful hardware": How much RAM do you have? A fast CPU does not help much; you really need a lot of memory. 2 GB of RAM is far too little. 8 GB of RAM seems to make it usable. Feb 21, 2011 at 13:44
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    @ieure: If you really want to avoid the "places" function, yet another option is to use the lift & stamp tools. You can select a picture that is already correctly tagged, lift metadata (uncheck everything except the GPS coordinates), and then stamp metadata. Feb 21, 2011 at 13:45
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    @Jukka, I have 8gb of RAM in a quad-core 2.8ghz iMac. I don’t have much problems with the import/adjust/export workflow, but Faces and Places consistently beachball for extended periods of time.
    – ieure
    Feb 21, 2011 at 20:28

Depending on how you shoot (RAW vs JPEG) one of the best options is to carry a GPS tagger around while clicking photos, and simply tag all your photos pre-post processing.

However, I shoot RAW, and I have yet to come across a decent solution for RAW photos (which doesn't require an extra post processing step using software - the link I provided is for a device which doesn't require any software - it works directly on your memory cards).

The other thing I do is tag my photos post-post processing using something like Picasa which makes it very fast and easy to do so.

  • This is exactly what I do if I'm walking around and shooting, and it works great for that. But what I really want is to assign a specific place to is have a handful of presets I can quickly assign, which would cover a large percentage of my shooting.
    – ieure
    Feb 20, 2011 at 21:51
  • Then I suggest the Picasa way - this is what I do in Picasa - I select all the pics I want to geotag and then simply geotag them all in one go. Haven't found a better way yet.
    – Vaibhav
    Feb 21, 2011 at 6:54

I have also been doing the same, which is taking a long time to add places to all my old photos. I have been looking for some way to make a custom button/applescript so I can quickly assign my most used places but cannot find one so for any new ones I take I try to make sure that I log my location.

Since my phone is with me all the time I use an app called Trails, which can log a trip and then I can email the track to myself and import that into aperture. I then just select the photos and drop them onto said path and all the places are marked by matching the times up (make sure the time on your camera is correct).

Here is a guide for the auto assigning of places to a trail

  • I use the same application, but as I mentioned in other comments, I really want to quickly assign fixed places.
    – ieure
    Feb 21, 2011 at 20:29

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