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Geotagging definition


Geotagging (© BillionPhotos.com / Fotolia.com)

Geotagging (© BillionPhotos.com / Fotolia.com)

Geotagging is a term that is used to describe tagging a geographical location. In other words, the information from a specific geographical location is input into various media outlets in the form of metadata. Geotagging is commonly used with photographs and status updates on social media. In this article, we’ll explain more about geotagging, including the purpose and where it is commonly used, as well as the advantages and disadvantages.

As the name suggests, geotagging refers to the process of inputting the information of a geographical location in the form of metadata. This information is applied to multiple types of media, such as photos, websites, videos and RSS feeds. This information often contains coordinates of longitude and latitude, but altitude, bearing and the name of the location can also be included.

With the increased use of smartphones and social media, geotagging is becoming increasingly common. For example, people can add a geotag to a status update on Facebook, or a tweet on Twitter. Webmasters can also add geotags to the RSS feed of websites.

The Purpose of Geotagging

Geotagging is a way for people to highlight information about their location. For example, someone might include a geotag when they are posting a status update on Facebook to let other people know where they are, or a photographer can add a tag to a picture to indicate the location where it was taken.

Geotagging can help people find a various types of specific information that is related to a location. For instance, it can allow people to locate pictures that were taken within the vicinity of a certain location by simply inputting coordinates of longitude and latitude into a search engine that enables geotagging. It can also be used to locate websites, news and other information that is related to a specific location.

Geotagging and Social Media

Geotagging is a very common practice on social media sites, such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Adding a geotag to posts allows users to share where they are with anyone who follows them. For instance, someone who is visiting an attraction, you could geotag the location to a status update on Facebook to let your followers know where you are located so they can visit the spot themselves (or avoid it, if your experience is a bad one.) Or, if you are sharing pictures while you are on a vacation, you could tag the location of the hotel you are staying at or other places of interest that you are visiting to give people a better sense of what you are experiencing.

Social Media Networks that Support Geotagging

Geotagging is supported by most of the major social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. These sites have features that are built directly into them, which makes the process of adding a geotag quite simple.

  • On Facebook. Adding a geotag on Facebook simply involves clicking on the icon that says “check in” or “add location” whenever you post a status update or a picture. You can either choose a suggested location, or you can input a specific one. The location will be added to your post.
  • On Twitter. Twitter also offers an icon that allows you to add a geotag. When you write a tweet, click on the icon, find the location you would like to add and it will appear with your tweet.
  • On Instagram. On Instagram, you can use the caption tab to add a geotag. When you add a location, it will be saved with your post.

The Advantages of Geotagging

Geotagging offers specific benefits for both individuals and businesses. Some of these benefits include:

  • Adds more context to social media. For example, when individuals or businesses add a geotag, their followers can get a better sense of where someone is located and what they are doing, which brings the social media experience to life.
  • Creates brand awareness. When a business uses a geotag, they can create better brand awareness, as their followers can develop a better sense of where the business is located, which can help to draw customers in and increase success.
  • Learn important information. Marketers and businesses can collect data about specific locations, which can help them gain a better understanding about the type of audience a specific location attracts, what the audience enjoys doing and so forth. This information can be used to improve marketing efforts.
  • Builds a connection. Geotagging helps users feel more connected with each other. For example, people who have visited the same location can share their experiences, which creates more of a connection and encourages more sharing.

The Disadvantages of Geotagging

There are also some disadvantages associated with geotagging that many people may not be comfortable with. These disadvantages include:

  • Lets locations be known. While letting others know your location can be a good thing, it can also be a very bad thing. For example, if you are constantly providing information about your location, they can easily find out where you are, which could become problematic, as people could follow you around.
  • Invasion of privacy. Geotagging can also lead to an invasion of privacy. For example, people can find out locations where you like to frequent, which can pose issues. For example, a stalker could visit a location you frequent.

The Bottom Line

Geotagging can be highly beneficial, but it is important to remember that it should be done wisely in order to avoid potential problems.


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