Sharing Your Photos: Removing Location Data in Lightroom

March 14, 2017

Sharing Your Photos: Removing Location Data in Lightroom

We all enjoy sharing our images online. And we do it a lot! I've read that there are approximately 300 million photos uploaded every day just to Facebook. That's sharing!

But it's important to keep in mind that, given today's geotagging technology, when you post a photo online, chances are good that you are sharing more than just that image. You may also be sharing your location information.

We looked about Lightroom's Map module a couple of posts back. And in that post, we talked about how most camera phones as well as many compact cameras and DSLRs record GPS data along with image data when you snap a photo. That's a feature that a lot of people like because it help them remember where images were taken.

But unless you remove that data before you post your photo online, that location information will be available to anyone who views it.

In an earlier post, we looked at removing location data from iPhone and iPad photos. You can also remove location data from the photos in your Lightroom library. You can do this as you export them so that the location is gone before you post them online.

There are two ways to do this. You can either remove the data each time you export images or you can set Lightroom up to remove the data automatically for specified locations.

Let's look at each method separately.

Removing Location Data on Export in Lightroom

To remove location information as you export:

Select the Images

Select the images that you want to select. This is usually easiest from the Grid view.

  • To select a single image, click on it.
  • To select all of your images, use Cmd + A on a Mac, Ctrl + A on a PC
  • To select a contiguous range of images ( a set of , click on the first and then shift-click on the last. This will select the first and last and all in-between
  • To select multiple discontiguous images (not next to each other), hold down the CMD on a Mac, the CTRL key on a PC and click on the images that you want to select.
  • To deselect images, Cmd/Ctrl+D

And Export

To export the images, click on File>Export from the top menu bar.

Sharing your photos Removing location data in Lightroom

The Export dialog box will open.

Sharing your photos Removing location data in Lightroom

Edit the fields to as you like.

Scroll down to the Metadata section. Check the box next to Remove Location Information.

Sharing your photos Removing location data in Lightroom

Then click on Export. Your photos will be exported without embedded GPS data.

Private Locations

Instead of removing location data each time you export, you can tell Lightroom to do it for you by setting up specific locations and marking them as private. The GPS data will automatically be removed from any photo taken in these private locations when the image is exported.

To do this:

Open the Map Module

With the images selected, open the Map module. You can do this by either:

  • Clicking on the small arrow next to the GPS coordinates in the image Metadata Panel of the Library Module;
  • Or you can click on Map win the Module Picker at the top right of the workspace.
Sharing your photos Removing location data in Lightroom

The Map Module will open, showing the area that your selected images were taken.

Sharing your photos Removing location data in Lightroom

To navigate around the map:

  • Use the + and - keys to zoom in and out.
  • To zoom to a specific area on the map, hold down the Option key (Alt key on Windows) and then click and drag a box over the area you want to zoom into.

You can also change the map view by clicking on Map Style at the bottom of the interface.

Sharing your photos Removing location data in Lightroom

Note that the Map module uses Google Maps, so you have to be connected to the internet to use it.

Create a New Location and Mark it Private

Create a new location from the area that your selected images were taken, click on the + sign next to Saved Locations.

Sharing your photos Removing location data in Lightroom

The New Location dialog box will open, asking you for a name.

Sharing your photos Removing location data in Lightroom

Call the new Location whatever you like. Move the radius slider so that the circle that appears on the map encompasses the appropriate area.

Sharing your photos Removing location data in Lightroom

Then, most importantly, check the box next to Private. This tells Lightroom to keep the location information in any image taken in this area private by removing it. So anytime you export an image that includes location data in this area, the GPS information will be removed automatically.

When you check the Private box, you'll notice that the circle surrounding the location changes color to black.

Sharing your photos Removing location data in Lightroom

Once you've done that, click Create. You'll see your new location represented as a circle on the map.

Sharing your photos Removing location data in Lightroom

You can edit the position and shape of the circle:

  • You can resize the circle by clicking and dragging the pin on its edge to make it bigger or smaller.
  • You can reposition the circle by also click and drag the pin at the center of the circle. Hint: If there's an image marker at the center, hover your mouse around in the area until the pin appears.
Sharing your photos Removing location data in Lightroom

And you can change the Location options by either right-clicking on the circle's center pin or right clicking on the Location name under My Locations.

Sharing your photos Removing location data in Lightroom

Repeat!

You can set up as many private locations as you like. So you can have ones for your home, your office, your child's school, homes of family and friends, etc. That way, anytime you share private photos online, you can be sure that your location data has been removed.

For Further Reading…

Lightroom Map Module

Mastering Lightroom: How to Geotag Photographs in Lightroom 4




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