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Post details Post   (Expand pics)
csd
2010-03-21 21:15:54
"The GiSTEQ PhotoTrackr." from csd Expand pics
The GiSTEQ PhotoTrackr. (Expand pics)
Geotagging for fun and profit
If you've ever found yourself going back through old photos asking "where the devil did I take that picture??", then help is possible. As well as image data, many of you will be aware that JPEG files also contain an EXIF section for storing what's known as metadata. Typically this has been used to record information like the date and time the picture was taken, the focal length & exposure settings, and the make and model of the camera. Someone then came up with the bright idea of using it to store the geographic co-ordinates the camera was at when the photo was taken, and so geotagging was born.
The problem is that most cameras don't have a built-in GPS, and while some software does let you click on a map and assign a location, that's no good if you've forgotten where the shot was taken in the first place! Into this void steps a host of GPS logging dongles, such as the GiSTEQ PhotoTrackr I got for Christmas. The idea is you turn on this little device (just a bit bigger than a USB memory stick), throw it into your rucksack, and head off to the hills snapping as you go. Once you make sure your camera's date and time are set properly, you can use the supplied software to geotag your photos as you import them. It works on the basis of the USB dongle knowing where you were at any given time, and since the date and time the photo was taken will be included in the JPEG file created by your camera, the software can then work out your exact location and write this information into the EXIF info in your JPEG.
Photo album software such as Picasa (Mac and PC) and iPhoto (on the Mac) can then draw maps of where you've taken your photos. The GiSTEQ software also lets you generate custom web pages (using Google's maps), so you can show off the results of your hikes. It all seems to work quite well, though you do have to go through a bit of extra effort to geotag the photos on import using the supplied software. More info at http://www.gisteq.com/PhotoTrackr/PhotoTrackrDPL900.php
Who knows, maybe one day Simon could include geotag support in MountainViews!
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