Reverse Geocoding (place name lookup)

This feature is still being developed and details of how it works can (and will) change!

Reverse geocoding is the process of finding a place name from a given latitude and longitude.Once you have generated latitude and longitude information for an image, you can right click on the image and use the Location names menu to tell Geotag to search for location names for one or more images.

Geotag does this by sending a request to geonames.org, a web site that offers lookups as a free service. Many thanks to the good people at geonames.org.

By default Geotag asks only for the nearest place name geonames knows, but you can use the Settings dialog to customize this. By specifying a "search radius" (in kilometers or miles depending on your settings) Geotag will request location names within this radius. By specifying the "Number of results" you can limit how many location names are retrieved within the search radius. You can then select one of the location names retrieved by right clicking on the image and selecting Location names->Select. If geonames.org knows more than one name for the same location, Geotag will display all known names in a sub-menu for you to choose from.

Another way of getting location names is finding the names of Wikipedia articles that have been tagged with coordinates close to the image coordinates. This can help if the image location is a point of interest (with Wikipedia article) far away from the next populated place. Also in populated, touristy places you might find that the subject of your image has a Wikipedia entry with coordinates (works great in London). Luckily geonames.org offers such a service. Unfortunately it only supplies the title of the Wikipedia article, but not (yet - I'm told) the country, city or region. That's why, when you select a Wikipedia location name, the region and country are left unchanged. Wikipedia location names are easily recognizable by the little 'W' icon next to the name.

If you select a new place name for an image, Geotag does the following:

If anyone has a better suggestion for handling this, please let me know. It's not perfect, but I think it's a reasonable solution. You can always manually edit Geotag's suggestions.

A third way of giving your picture a location, region and country name is to click on the corresponding field in the images table and enter the names manually. Not very high-tech, but it works.