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Friday, August 1, 2008

Where In The World?

Geotagging puts a new spin on how to track photos

This Article Features Photo Zoom

geotagging - virtual earth geotagging
Tools like Google Earth and Microsoft Virtual Earth take a geotagged photo and input latitude and longitude coordinates to show a 3-D representation.

Microsoft Expression Media 2 users can geotag photos using a Microsoft Virtual Earth feature that lets you plot locations on a world map. If the photo doesn’t have GPS information, you can add it by dragging the image to the map. The software positions a pushpin icon at the Virtual Map location corresponding to the latitude and longitude coordinates of the GPS data.

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Magellan Triton 2000
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Lowrance iFINDER Expedition C
GPS Units
Not all GPS units can work as logging devices, and for geotagging, this is an essential component of getting the exact coordinates. You must be able to log your travels as well as have the ability to download location information to a computer. Consider portability so that the unit isn’t difficult to carry in the field, as well as GPS devices specifically designed for geotagging.
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Garmin eTrex Vista HCx

Handheld units are popular among outdoor photographers because of their size and ruggedness, as well as their dual ability to keep you from getting lost and to track your location. Magellan GPS units contain track logs, and the Triton series units are handy because the durable and waterproof devices feature color screens and preloaded maps.

Garmin also produces handheld GPS devices with track logs that trace your exact location by the second. The Garmin eTrex series has a track log of 10,000 points that you can use to identify an image’s coordinates, plus software that allows you to upload your journeys.

As geotagging becomes more popular among photographers, some companies have developed GPS devices that simply log information instead of providing navigation. GiSTEQ has a logger called the PhotoTrackr, which is a small unit that synchronizes with your camera’s exact time and uses software to write GPS information into the image’s metadata.

Sony has a similar device; the GPS-CS1 calculates and records position data, but it uploads to PCs only. The JOBO photoGPS is a geotagging device that’s powered through a hot-shoe, providing latitude and longitude coordinates, with software that writes information into the metadata. The device fits nicely on D-SLRs and powers off your camera.


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