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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

gps
GiSTEQ PhotoTrackr
where in the world

Microsoft Expression Media 2
gps

Sony GPS-CS1
An interesting solution is the ATP Photo Finder, which works like a GPS logger, but sidesteps having to use a computer. You can insert your SD or Memory Stick card into the Photo Finder, which instantly geotags the photos. When you upload your images from the memory card, the GPS information is already stored in the EXIF data.

We’ve heard informally from several camera manufacturers that GPS functionality may be integrated into future camera models, making geotagging an automatic process in digital photography. That technology is still a ways off, however.

There are software programs that allow you to geotag images without GPS information, making it more like looking at a map and pinpointing your exact location from memory, which is less effective. With programs like Google Earth and Microsoft Virtual Earth, you can look at a 3-D representation of where you took an image and find its exact location, adding a new dimension to the memory of photos. You also can share your geotagged images with friends and family by uploading them to websites like Flickr, Picasa and SmugMug, all of which have geotagging functionality.

A Selection Of GPS Units
The Garmin eTrex Vista HCx is a handheld GPS unit capable of handling the elements and guiding you through unknown terrain. It logs your travels for easily geotagging images. The unit is waterproof and features a 256-color screen that’s easy to read, a barometric altimeter that tracks changes in pressure and a microSD card slot. You can plug in optional preloaded microSD cards with MapSource data. It runs on two AA batteries and weighs 5.5 ounces. Estimated Street Price: $250.

The GiSTEQ PhotoTrackr is a pocket-sized GPS logging device that geotags photos by syncing with the camera’s clock and using software to track location information. The unit features integration with Flickr, Google Maps, SmugMug and software capable of writing GPS data into the metadata. The PhotoTrackr is powered by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery and weighs 2.4 ounces. Estimated Street Price: $100.

Lowrance’s iFINDER Expedition C features a unique Scout Mode that lets you mark area perimeters and find borders on the color unit. There’s a built-in electronic compass, barometric altimeter with weather predictions and microphone for recording notes to waypoints. An SD/MMC card slot lets you upload new maps and data. The unit is weatherproof with a watertight seal, weighs 8.6 ounces and runs on two AA batteries. Estimated Street Price: $275.

The Magellan Triton 2000 offers an all-in-one solution for outdoor photographers who need navigation, plus a few other helpful functions. Features include touch-screen navigation, a 2-megapixel camera, voice recorder, LED flashlight and SD memory card slot for integrating maps and other data. The unit has an electronic compass and built-in barometer to help you judge weather changes. It runs on two AA batteries and weighs 8 ounces. Estimated Street Price: $450.

The Sony GPS-CS1 is specifically designed to geotag images. It works with all digital cameras, regardless of manufacturer, calculating and recording the time, date and location of your photos when the camera’s clock is synced. The device uses a function called TRACE, which shows your travel route along with picture locations. The Picture Motion Browser software geotags photos. It runs on two AAs and weighs 2 ounces. Estimated Street Price: $125.

Resources
ATP Electronics
(408) 732-5000
www.atpinc.com
Flickr
www.flickr.com
Garmin
(800) 800-1020
www.garmin.com
GiSTEQ
(714) 255-9287
www.gisteq.com
Google Earth
earth.google.com
JOBO AG
(734) 453-0300
www.jobo.com
Lowrance
(800) 324-1356
www.lowrance.com
Magellan
(800) 707-9971
www.magellangps.com
Microsoft Expression Media
www.microsoft.com/expression

Microsoft Virtual Earth
www.microsoft.com/virtualearth
Picasa
picasa.google.com
SmugMug
www.smugmug.com
Sony
(877) 865-SONY
www.sonystyle.com

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