After geocoding a few of my photographs, I looked for an Adobe® Lightroom® plugin that would produce a geocoded Web gallery. No joy. So I decided to do some research and embarked on a mission to create a LR plugin that met my specifications. I wanted an HTML gallery with no Flash. Having used JAlbum to produce HTML photo galleries in the past, and having tried the available LR HTML gallery plugins including the default LR HTML gallery, LRG One PayPal, TTG Highslide Gallery, and TTG HTML Gallery, I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted:
- EXIF display
- Drop-down menus
PayPal shopping cart “enabled”
- Simple, clean appearance
- Small unobtrusive icons
- No Flash
And I really liked the work of Matthew Campagna, author of the website The Turning Gate, who has produced many of the available Lightroom Web Gallery plugins. From his work, I added to my specification list:
- TTG AutoIndex support
- Image map navigation
Before going any further, I’d like to acknowledge Matt’s generous support in helping me understand the structure and details of a Lightroom plugin. While the Adobe SDK was instructive, nothing beats being able to dissect actual code to see how things work. Matt’s TTG Highslide Gallery is exactly as he’s described it, “completely awesome”.
My Smoky Mountains – Fall 2009 gallery is almost entirely geocoded, was produced using Lightroom, and demonstrates the Geocoded HTML Gallery. Click on the “globe link” icon of an image (only geocoded images have the globe link icon) to open a Google Maps page showing the shooting location:
The plugin also produces (as an option) a drop-down panel showing EXIF shooting data. Click on the camera icon to open or close a drop-down panel showing the EXIF data:
The GPS coordinates (if the image is geocoded) appear in the panel as a link to the Google Maps page showing the shooting location:
Google Maps shows the location with a large green arrow centered on the map:
In Part 2 I’ll describe what’s under the hood, i.e., how the plugin code grabs the GPS coordinates from EXIF and generates the Google Maps link. In addition, I’ll discuss some of the other options, including drop-down menus. Stay tuned.
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