Like many of you, I take most of my day-to-day pictures on my mobile phone. It’s convenient and the camera isn’t half bad. But by default, the camera includes the location where the picture was taken. In fact, it’s not only your mobile phone that is adding your location to your images. Many newer point-and-shoot cameras also come GPS-enabled, too.
You can see if your image files contain location information inside of Lightroom by selecting an image in the Library module and checking the Metadata tab. If your camera is attaching your location to each image, you’ll see some coordinates in the GPS field.
You can turn off the location information at the source on the phone, but sometimes it’s cool to retain the location information so that you can see where you’ve been. Here’s my iPhone library as viewed in the Map module in Lightroom.
Having the location embedded in your images once they leave Lightroom, though, is another story. Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, and many other common places where people host their images can read and sometimes expose that location information to the public. Listen, I love you guys, but I’m perfectly happy not having you show up on my doorstep! All kidding aside, in a world where privacy and security are at a premium, sometimes its simply prudent to be cautious and control what information you expose about yourself on the internet.
Fortunately, Lightroom makes it easy to remove the location information from your images when you send them outside of Lightroom using either the Export or Publish Manager.
When you are exporting or publishing images, there is an option under the Metadata section that reads “Remove Location Info”. This option will only be enabled if you have either All Metadata or All Except Camera & Camera Raw Info selected.
By checking that option, Lightroom will remove the GPS location information from your images. Here is the exported version of the same image shown above after I brought it back in to Lightroom, now without any data in the GPS field.
The option to remove the location information can be saved to your presets, as well, so you can have the piece of mind by removing your location any time you use your export or publish presets.
Remember, once something makes it out in the wild, it’s hard to get back, so it pays to know what you’re putting out there and make the choice for yourself about how much or little information you want to be available.