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Reverse Geotagging on Instagram – Tag Anyplace from Anywhere

September 3, 2013

Oh. My God.

The issue of geotagging on Instagram has plagued my life since Columbus set sail for America. I’ve been working on a solution to this problem for months, and Google was no help…

I am an avid user of Instagram (MaskerPhoto), and, frequently, when I upload images to my Instagram account I like to simultaneously add them to my Instagram Photo Map.

The problem I’m describing exists when there is a difference in the geography between where the image was captured, and where the image is being uploaded. For example: I often – almost always – capture images on my iPhone or DSLR at a location with the intent of editing and sharing them on Instagram at a later date and time. However, when you get to the last page on Instagram (Scale & Crop > Edit > Share…), right before you click the green ‘share’ button in the top right corner, you have an opportunity to enter a caption, add people, Add to Photo Map, Name This Location, and select various social media platforms to share to.

The ominous ‘Add to Photo Map’ is what this post is about. Suppose you’re in Washington D.C., snapping photos with your DSLR of The White House. You get home – wherever that may be – process the images, put them on your phone, and prepare them for sharing on Instagram. On that last Instagram page – the ‘Share’ page – you choose ‘Add to Photo Map’, then try to search for ‘The White House’… what happens? Nothing. Instagram can’t locate it. ‘The White House’ isn’t a ‘nearby location’. So, what’s the solution? Trick Instagram into thinking that you’re near The White House by reverse engineering the geotag metadata.

How to use the Pixelgarde App

1. In the App store, search and download an app called ‘Pixelgarde‘. At the time of this article, it’s free.

Pixelgarde Reverse Geotagging App

2. Open Pixelgarde and select an image from your camera roll, then, select the pencil in the bottom left corner.

Pixelgarde Reverse Geotagging App

3. Choose ‘Change Geotags’ from the list of options that generates.

Photo Aug 31, 10 56 45 PM

4. Now, the trickiest step:

On the ‘Change Location’ map, toggle between ‘Map’, ‘Satellite’, and ‘Hybrid’; enter an address – or city – then click ‘Done’. For some locations that you enter, the red pin will relocate without any problem. Other times (and more often than not, unfortunately), the app will return an ‘Error: Received invalid response.’ If this happens, click ‘OK’ then ‘Cancel’ to cancel out your address/city search. Instead, zoom in or out on the map and drag the red pin with your finger, zooming as needed relocate it. Be careful not to simultaneously drag the map while you do this. It’s easier to relocate the map first, then move the red pin.

Photo Aug 31, 10 57 25 PM

5. Choose ‘Done’, then ‘Done’ again. Now, your image should appear with a small, colorful ‘X’ in the top right. Next, choose the ‘Share’ button on bottom right of the app.

Photo Aug 31, 10 58 34 PM

6. Choose ‘Save a Copy’ > ‘Done’

Photo Aug 31, 10 59 23 PM

7. Select a sharing size (I choose ‘Original’), then ‘Post’.

Photo Aug 31, 10 59 29 PM

8. Now check your camera roll. The most recent picture should have been the image you were just working on. If you followed the steps correctly, the geolocation has been changed. Send it to Instagram, choose ‘Add to Photo Map’, and enjoy the magic.

I hope this has been helpful! Let me know how it works out for you, or if you find any faster, better apps for reverse geotagging images. Much love!

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