Geo-tagging is the process of adding geographic information about digital content, within “metadata” tags - including latitude and longitude coordinates, place names and/or other positional data.

Once geo-tagged, media such as photos, images, videos, websites, blog posts or RSS feeds can be easily displayed on an online map or cross-referenced with other information about that area or location. This not only helps people to find images and information based on a location but it can also be used to create location-based news and media feeds by combining an application like Google Maps with geo-tagged blogs, news articles or photos available online.

Photographic images are one of the oldest types of media to use geo-tagging. Certain formats (e.g. JPEG) allow for geographic information (such as the exact location of where the photo was taken) to be embedded within the image and then read by picture viewers. There are two ways to geo-tag a medium such as a digital photograph: First, by looking at a map and working out exactly where the medium is located and then entering that information manually to the image. The second option is to use a satellite-based navigation system (i.e., a Global Positioning System or GPS) to log the location of the photograph and then adding that information either automatically or manually to it. More and more digital cameras and mobile devices such as phones come equipped with a GPS to record these data automatically; alternatively, the location data from an independent GPS can be added later by software.


Using GIS to conduct a community needs assessment

Map of the Los Angeles area with educational attainment data overlaid using colours to distinguish areas with differing performance

An example of using GIS to conduct a community needs assessment. (Created with: Source: Tarek Azzam. Figure 1.6


Nations, D. (n.d.)What is Geotagging? Geotagging Explained, Retrieved from

Rowse D, (n.d.) How to GeoTag Images. Photography Tips and Tutorials, Digital Photography School, Melbourne. Retrieved from

'Geo-tagging' is referenced in: