One of the new features to appear in Lightroom 4 is the addition of the Map module. The Map module allows you to see on a Google map where your pictures where taken if your camera has built in GPS. If your camera does not have built in GPS you can place your photos on the map manually or import a track log from a GPS device and match them up to selected photos in your catalog. The map data and screen images come from Google so you will need to be connected to the Internet in order to see the map.
To see if your photos contain GPS information click on an image and check the Location set in the Metadata panel while in the Library module. The GPS field will have coordinates if they are tagged with GPS information. If it does have GPS information just click on the arrow to the right of the coordinates and Lightroom will switch to the Map module and show you the location on the map. If your photos are not tagged with GPS information you can select a folder or group of photos in the Library module then switch to the Map module to manually add them to the map. (Command-Option-3 on a Mac, Control-Alt-3 on a PC)
Navigating the Map module can take a bit of getting used to. Fortunately there are a few ways to do this. At the bottom there is a zoom slider, you can also double click on the map to zoom in, or hold the Option/Alt key and drag over an area on the map to zoom in. You can also use your plus (+) and minus (-) keys to zoom in and out on the map as well. If you're looking for a particular place you can use the Search field at the top and enter a name or exact address, which works very well since its powered by Google Maps.
In the Map module you can view in Satellite, Road Map, Hybrid, Terrain, or with the Road Map in Light or Dark mode. Once you find your spot on the map and you want to map your photos, simply select one or more photos in the Filmstrip and drag it to the map. Its that easy. Once you have mapped the photos Lightroom will automatically add the GPS data to the metadata field of the photos. To adjust the location just select the photos and drag them to a new location. To remove them from the map, just select the pin on the map containing the photos and hit the delete key.
A real handy feature is the Location Filter at the top of the map. You can filter photos by Tagged and Untagged which is great while you're adding them to the map. You can also show any pictures from an area of the map you are viewing by selecting Visible on Map in the Location Filter at the top of the screen. If you wan to see everything on the map you've ever taken in your catalog, select All Photographs just above the filmstrip (see graphic above). You can also save a location in the Saved Locations panel to the left and make a quick trip to a location on the map.
Another cool way to add the GPS data to your photos is by importing a tracklog in to Lightroom from your GPS device or with an app on your smartphone. I used Geotag Photos Pro on my phone to create a log and went out to take some pictures downtown. Be sure to sync the clock on your camera and the device so the data is correct. After I came back to my studio, I uploaded my photos to Lightroom and then uploaded the tracklog. Select the photos you want to match to the tracklog and select Auto Tag Photos. Lightroom then tags your photos with the appropriate spots on your GPS tracklog based on the time each photo was taken. Its really easy.
The Map module may not be a real important feature for some in Lightroom but it does add another way to filter your photos with location metadata which can be real helpful in some situations. Especially when you combine it with filtering by Star and Color labels. With just a few clicks, I can see my best photos I've taken in Mexico by combining the Map Location Filter with the Star ratings filter. Now that's using the power of metadata.