I am not sure to what extent less specific places "solves" the problem, which seems to be the radius that a pin receives when placed on the map for the first time. It seems to be a value determined by Google, is not displayed in the teeny-weeny Assign a Place... dialog, and cannot be modified until it has or has not overlapped other custom places. So, while the probability of overlap might be somewhat reduced by less specific places, the inconvenience it causes is increased. I have noticed that Google defines a region named "Aletschgletscher" or "Jungfrau Aletsch" (working from memory here), which has a rather large radius due to the very irregular shape of the glacier, and that pins defined for towns in the Obergoms region, e.g., Blitzingen, Niederwald, Oberwald, Ulrichen, etc., often assumed the very large radius of the Aletsch Glacier. Besides, I'm wondering why on earth I should have to modify my use of this feature to accommodate Apple's stupid implementation of it. Nobody in Apple should even consider making the argument that this is how it should work. The legions of problems it causes is well documented in these forums, although, as we all know, Apple "isn't monitoring" them and hence, presumably, is quite unaware of them. And iPhoto 09 implemented Places completely differently -- the interface didn't have the eye-candy and "just magical" appeal of the present one, but it didn't cause the problems we're experiencing with Places in iPhoto 11.
My "solution" to the pin radius problem is:
- Enter a character string in "Assign a Place..." and see what iPhoto suggests.
- If you are tempted to select a suggestion that is a custom place of yours, do so only if you don't intend to modify its location or name. Doing so will have the same effect as modifying it in Manage My Places!
- If you select a place suggested by Google, try to locate it sufficiently far away from other custom places (iPhoto no help here), and give it a name that you can easily recognize and distinguish from Google's suggestions in the future (cf. warning above).
- Go directly to Manage My Places, find the new place, judge which existing places it overlaps, and note them down somewhere for the next step. Then reduce its radius and adjust its location.
- Go into the Places view and select the new place. In all probability there will be photos at that place that don't belong there. Assign them to the correct place from the list you made in the step above.
- Weep and gnash teeth as necessary. Regularly chant: "On a Mac it just works!" Keep stiff upper lip and imagine how much clumsier this must be in Windows.
I feel your pain - trying to fix some of my places now that I have upgraded to iPhoto 11. My issues are in Australia. Pretty big place, but even though my pins look far enough apart it seems to lump anything in Cairns together. I think I'm going to also have to forget detailed places for now.
Still playing with it though - did finally get Sydney Opera House photos into a smart album even though I have other places in Sydney marked. So confusing - but not giving up.
Places does not work for me either. When I import new photos to a location I created, then move them slightly on the smaller map to manage their precise location - within the radius for a location I created - it changes my original location and the radius to a new one.
I am very upset with the Places feature in iPhoto - especially as a longtime mac user and a stock holder. Just downloaded Picasa.
Just coming back to this thread after a while away. My problem was slightly different from the Google issues with Places, I could handle that if I entered a new town as a new Place it would have a circle of a fixed ratio entered.
That sort of makes sense to me, the problem for me occurred when I went to Manage My Places and tried to physically manipulate the pin it had created, perhaps moving its location a but and primarily changing the default ratio. That last bit was screwed up, it would wildly expand and cover up a whole part of Europe for example thus rendering all the other entered locations null and void.
Over the months it has gotten better for me and the problem arose as a whole for me from upgrading to IP11 when I bought a new iMac. I used to have a MacBook and a big library which was referenced, trying to bring this over and keep it referenced was impossible so I had to bite the bullet and re-import pretty much every photo and bit of data to go with it to make it managed.
This was an absolute nightmare process as IP struggled terribly with the mix of both types of photo, it slowed down to less than a crawl and I got all manner of stupid behaviours from it. Now that I am through the process and all the referenced pic have been removed behaviour is more normal, although there are still a pile of things that just do not work like date searches.
If there is one thing I learnt is always make your library managed, it is a world of hurt otherwise although Apple do not indicate this to consumers at all.
I have experienced this (or a similar) problem twice today while attempting to geotag about 7000 travel photos! Here's what happened to me:
While in the "Manage my Places" dialog, randomly (I assume it's random... maybe I clicked in the wrong spot? Can't say for sure exactly what triggered it) the alphabetically-first place was selected and its radius increased to cover 90% of the United States. (This place was called "1115 N. 12th" and, being in Kansas, aided in its coverage of the entire US). When this happend, a little over 5000 of my photos were automatically assigned to that place. ARGH!!
At first I thought I'd lost all the work I'd put into geotagging my photos (over 30 hours this week!) so I was pretty sick, but I realized that all my custom places were still intact, which to be honest, is the real bulk of the work.
The first thing I did was create a Smart Album selecting all the photos whose Place was == "1115 N. 12th" and then duplicate that into a regular album. Then I unset all the photos' Place value by selecting them all and clicking the X in the Assign Place HUD. Now I had 5000+ photos which moments earlier had been nicely geotagged but were now completely unlocated.
Next I selected all of those files and ran Photos -> Rescan for location, which at least relocated all the photos whose EXIF had locations set (basically all the photos taken with my iPhone). This brought the total of unlocated photos down to around 3800.
Then I worked through those 3800 a bit at a time, selecting a range of photos and then using the Assign a Place HUD to type the first few characters of a custom place and assigning them. This took about 90 minutes, but I had all of them correctly geotagged and was happy.
Until it just happened again, a few minutes ago. Now I know a decent way to get them fixed, but I'm incredibly nervous about this happening again someday and reduplicating all this work yet again.
This sounds to me like a freak bug... there's no reason for a Place's radius to just spontaneously erupt to cover a quarter of the planet, so I'm hoping to bring a bit of awareness to its existence in hopes that it might be fixed someday.
Looks like this bug (or combination of bugs) has been happening for over a year with no warning or acknowlegment from Apple. Franky, this is messed up, Apple!
The perfect storm of bugs is...
- A pin with a large radius overwrites the location of any smaller radius pins that it contains. Shrinking the radius removes any location data from the pins that were previously within its radius. ***?!
- Sometimes resizing the radius of a pin will arbitratily and inexpicably result in the radius of that pin (or another randomly selected pin) expanding to massive proportions. ***?
- (Arguably not a bug, but a severe UI issue.) When a Google location is selected from the list of locations in the Places lookup, there is no indication of the radius. A user could select a location from the list and wipe out location data for every photo within the unknown radius - and never have any idea what just happened.
- Time Machine has been "down-featured" so that it will not restore individual photos or events - only the entire library.
I just had the Erupting Place Radius bug - enveloping and overwriting the places of 20,000 of my photos. Luckily I noticed the wierdness fairly quickly (just luck) and was able to restore the entire iPhoto library from backup. Most people won't notice until they've added more photos and they have no option but to re-locate every photo again manually.
Using iPhoto Places is not only useless, but actually shamefully wasteful until Apple fixes things. It's like having spreadsheet software that suddenly overwrites an entire column of numbers, with no way of knowing. And Apple says nothing? I feel bad for all the people who have no idea that they're effing up their place data until it's too late.
This bug happend to me as well, both places and time machine not being able to just restore a subsection of the data...
And on top of that, the Disk with the library is full enough that I cannot simply restore an entire copy of the library from time machine, I have to move a copy of the library off to an external disk, then try to restore from backup.
I think it is fair to say that this is a real showstopper bug that Apple needs to address. Simple fixes would be to limit the size of places to 4 miles (or whatever) or ask the user before more than 100 (or whatever) places are touched...
And this old chestnut is back.
I have been on IP11 since January of last year and have had to waste literally hundreds of hours just trying to get anything like a competent, functional package as IP9 was for me. It's been an absolute disaster of corruptions, thumbnail issues, Places problems, edits not saving, certain functionality just not even working....and although my library is quite big, the whole performance of iPhoto has been absolutely turgid despite my high spec iMac.
So I created a new library a couple of weeks ago as my old one gradually became less and less manageable. I Used IP Library Manager to copy across all the events, it did this fine but it struggles with places and a lot of them, while still there, were mixed up with each other.
Going through them this morning tidying them up and bingo, an Indonesian place, a locked up machine, a spinning beach ball and the end result is the radius has expended to cover the entire world, wiping out my hundreds of others Place pins.
iPhoto 11 is an absolute disastrous piece of software. It is quite the worst piece of junk I have had the misfortune to ever work with. Hundreds of hours of repeated work and it never gets close to being useful for me.