Sony has today announced a very interesting little device for recording the position where photographs are taken. The GPS-CS1 is a small (9 cm / 3.5 in) cylindrical device which you simply attach to a backback or belt loop and carry with you while you shoot, it records your GPS location and this information can later be synchronized with your digital images to provide a map of where your photos were taken. We assume it does this using date and time information stored in the image header (which obviously requires your camera's clock to be synchronized). Interestingly the mapping solution is an online website with maps provided by Google Maps (it appears that the synchronization software will write the GPS location into JPEG EXIF headers).

Click here for an example of the online mapping web site

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Press Release:

ORGANIZE PHOTOS BY ‘WHERE’ NOT ’WHEN’ WITH GLOBAL POSITIOING SYSTEM FOR SONY DIGITAL CAMERAS

Sony GPS-CS1

SAN DIEGO, Aug. 1, 2006 – Sony Electronics today announced a GPS device that puts your pictures on the map. 

Using time and location recordings from Sony’s GPS-CS1 GPS device and the time stamp from a Sony digital still camera or camcorder, photo buffs can plot their digital images to a map and pinpoint exactly where they’ve been.

The 12-channel GPS unit is 3-½ inches long, weighs two ounces, and is sold with a carabineer to easily attach to a backpack or a belt loop.

“Whether you’re traveling to the Seven Wonders of the World, or just wondering where to buy your next house, our new GPS device can track your journey,” said David Johns, product manager for digital camera accessories at Sony Electronics. “Adding a geographic context to your digital images helps organize and make use of your photos in entirely new ways.”

To arrange your pictures geographically, import the logged data from the GPS device, using the supplied USB cable, and then download the digital images to a computer. The supplied GPS Image Tracker software synchronizes the images on your digital camera with the latitude, longitude and time readings from the GPS-CS1 device.

Once synchronized, your photos can become virtual push pins on an online map by activating the Picture Motion Browser software bundled with the latest Sony cameras and camcorders released after July. You can easily add new photos and coordinates to the mapping web site, courtesy of Google Maps, and showcase years of globe-trotting.

The GPS-CS1 GPS device will be available next month for about $150 at sonystyle.com, at Sony Style® retail stores (www.sonystyle.com/retail), and at authorized dealers nationwide.

Sony GPS-CS1 specifications

GPS device type 12 channel
Object image JPEG file (EXIF 2.1 or later)
Power • One AA battery (Alkaline or NiMH)
• Recording time around 10 hours (Alkaline) or 14 hours (NiMH)
Communication USB 2.0 Full-speed (same speed as USB 1.1)
Dimensions 36 x 87 x 36 mm (1.4 x 3.4 x 1.4 in)
Weight (no battery) 55 g (1.9 oz)
Software • GPS Image Tracker (Windows only)
• Super Mapple Digital Ver.7 for Sony (Windows only)