Landscape location survey (part 1)

Finding a location for a landscape shoot is very important. So you are going to a completely unfamiliar place, you have no idea what you are going to shoot there, and you have no idea what the weather is going to be like there. At least you need some basic information about the destination, like where the sunset is and what the scenery is like at the location. In this quick tutorial, I will give you some tips on how to find a location.

Search for view locations on Google Maps

In the bottom right corner of the browser, there is a small arrow that shows the Explore tab from the bottom. Hover your mouse over these pictures and a line will point to the exact location where that picture was taken. But it is not always accurate, which is why I use different services to make sure I rule out possible mistakes.

500 pixels

I just search for a location and see what comes up. If we’re lucky, the location is included in the image’s details, like this. In its little map window, we can zoom in and out to define exactly where we are, although not every user shares location information. Still, it’s very useful!

landscape location survey part 1 1Map in the Details tab

They don’t mention this, but at the URL below you can access a 500px map website where you can browse imagery by location.

Clicking on a thumbnail will reveal more data, and clicking again will take you to the picture’s subpage to gather more information.

landscape location survey part 1 2Browse images on a map

Google Earth

With this service, you can basically fly over any spot on Earth and explore it in 3D. I use it a lot because it makes it easier to explore a specific area.

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landscape location survey part 1 3Google Earth

Solar Computing

If you have collected all the information about an area, you may want to check the direction of the sun at the end. On you can predict the following times: dawn, sunrise, sunset, dusk. You can set a specific location and date to check where the sun rises and sets.

landscape location survey part 1 4Suncalc.nethjkl

Part 2 will continue! If you have any additions or questions about the above tools, please leave a comment!

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