Recommended Geotrackers?

Started Apr 26, 2010 | Discussions thread
Peter Rivard
Junior MemberPosts: 40
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Re: Recommended Geotrackers?
In reply to CameraCarl, May 2, 2010

CameraCarl wrote:

Do the Qstarz and Wintec record a data point every time you push the shutter button? Or do they simply track where you have been walking or driving? I'm looking for a logger that only registers where each image is taken so I can easily incorporate that location in my exif data. I'm also limited in that only one of my three cameras has WFT, so I would like something that will work with all three bodies.

From your question, it seems you don't quite see how geotagging works. Every unit logs a data point every second (or at whatever interval you choose) while it's activated. There's none that just logs one point when you press the button (it takes units 2-15 seconds to acquire and stabilize the signal, depending on the unit and conditions, so it wouldn't make sense to make a unit that did what you're asking).

Just make sure the camera clock is accurate, then after you upload the digital photos and the GPS data log to your computer, software automatically compares the time stamps on the photos and datapoints and adds the correct location data for each photo to its EXIF tag. It's not like you have to manually search through a long log to manually find the data point recorded at the same time as your camera--all you have to do is start up the geotag software and click on the "Start" button--it works perfectly and easily.

Because with these general purpose data loggers there's nothing to set up with your camera, you don't need any extra accessories, you don't need extra power to run those accessories, and you don't have the complications of setting up all the connections. And it'll work with any digital camera ever made. They're also all pretty small and rugged and most run all day on a single charge. As a bonus, if you get one that also has bluetooth, you can use it with software on your PDA, smartPhone, tablet, netbook, notebook, or whatever as a navigation aid too, if you like (though you don't have to have any of those with you when you're just using it for geotagging).

I'll add one model to the list. I use the RoyalTek RBT-2300. Besides the book specs, especially the 650,000 data point storage (about the best) and 23 hour battery life if you get the larger accessory battery, I find it gets the signal faster and holds it better in marginal conditions--and gives more accurate tracks, less likely to be fooled by signal bouncing from cliffs and buildings--than any other GPS unit I've tried (including other SiRF III, MTK and MTK2, and Nemeris-based units, and much, much, much better than GPS built into cell phones and iPhones--generally SiRF III units give more accuracy than the others, and the RoyalTek seems to among the best of the SiRF III units).

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