Recommended Geotrackers?

Started Apr 26, 2010 | Discussions
Photog23
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Re: There is no value for geotagging
In reply to pete zeugma, May 4, 2010

And I might add, you obviously have some doubt about your photo taking abilities if you believe that the only criteria for taking as good a photo as you did, is to show up at the spot where you took the picture and snap the shot.

pete zeugma wrote:

I dont see the point.. I've always noted where I've shot a photo, and I keep that information to myself. Its all part of the planning. Why would I want to let people know where I've shot photos.. so they can then go and pinch my locations!

Geotagging has to be the most anally retentive thing next to writing down the numbers of trains and planes!

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salciu
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Re: Link is dead
In reply to wolfpuppies3, May 5, 2010

wolfpuppies3 wrote:

is this it? Qstarz BT-Q1000X Bluetooth GPS

I use this one and can definitely recommend it!

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pete zeugma
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Re: There is no value for geotagging
In reply to Photog23, May 5, 2010

Maybe your photos aren't valuable enough that you think in 50 years when you're dead that maybe someone (who might not have your notes) would like to know where the photos were taken? However mine are.

maybe I dont want my notes to be made public; and the value of the photos I have taken are in their uniqueness and mystery surrounding the location.

In addition, when you geotag, you can create a map for yourself with the photos in place. Those of us who think visually find that quite important.

I create a map as I go along as it happens.. one of those old fashioned paper ones, which i also use to plan where to go look for places to photo in the first place.

And finally, you don't see the value of geotagging and that's fine. However, it isn't fine to criticize others because they do. You have your technique and we have ours. And honestly, I think if you tried geotagging you'd see the value in it and drop your other way of doing it....

I've used it, and cant see the point of wasting yet more time infront of a PC

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pete zeugma
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Re: There is no value for geotagging
In reply to Photog23, May 5, 2010

Photog23 wrote:

And I might add, you obviously have some doubt about your photo taking abilities if you believe that the only criteria for taking as good a photo as you did, is to show up at the spot where you took the picture and snap the shot.

And how would you infer that? I plan quite maticuliously for trips I make. Lay of the land, lighting directions at sunrise/set. If you have it on a map, why do you need to do anything else to record location?

However having said that, some of the really great photos are pure flukes and can be never planned for. But again, I see no need to have a geotagged location for it. Unless you are someone who bumbles along lost all the time.

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sunhorse
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Re: There is no value for geotagging
In reply to pete zeugma, May 5, 2010

pete zeugma wrote:

I dont see the point.. I've always noted where I've shot a photo, and I keep that information to myself. Its all part of the planning. Why would I want to let people know where I've shot photos.. so they can then go and pinch my locations!

Geotagging is not necessarily for everyone. You may, for example, shoot only a few photos in relatively few locations, and in that case, there would not be a clear need for geotagging. But is it so hard to imagine other people may work differently from yourself, and may indeed have a requirement, or even simply enjoyment out of doing this? Also, not everyone would want to keep their shooting locations a closely guarded secret!

Geotagging has to be the most anally retentive thing next to writing down the numbers of trains and planes!

Now, here we not only see a failure of the imagination, but downright hostility towards other people who do things differently from you.

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craig mick
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Re: There is no value for geotagging
In reply to pete zeugma, May 7, 2010

Pete, I absolutely agree with you about the A.R. thing! But maybe it's just us ranting? Why in the world do you need to know exact lat. and long. about where a pic was taken? If you can't remember it wasn't a very memorable trip! Just more gizmos to screw with when you could be shooting! IMHO this runs concurrent with current Facebook and Twitter craze. You could just buy a personal GPS tracker and your wife can follow your whoe trip and when you get home it would show your entire trip on your computer but of course they are probably already doing that!

Whatever happened to lighted dial princess phones? Now there was a good product! OK I'm rambling, sorry

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sunhorse
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Re: There is no value for geotagging
In reply to craig mick, May 7, 2010

craig mick wrote:

Pete, I absolutely agree with you about the A.R. thing! But maybe it's just us ranting? Why in the world do you need to know exact lat. and long. about where a pic was taken? If you can't remember it wasn't a very memorable trip! Just more gizmos to screw with when you could be shooting! IMHO this runs concurrent with current Facebook and Twitter craze. You could just buy a personal GPS tracker and your wife can follow your whoe trip and when you get home it would show your entire trip on your computer but of course they are probably already doing that!

Whatever happened to lighted dial princess phones? Now there was a good product! OK I'm rambling, sorry

However, don't forget that others' needs may not match your own. You may not travel to many locations in one day for example. So I would agree that you would not need to do geotagging.

And it is not only about lat/long. how about the specific place names? You know that software can correlate the lat/long with maps? (Hello Google Earth?). Well our needs differ, and nothing wrong with that. But for Pete to call other people anal retentive, is just plain immature.

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Ramesh

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CameraCarl
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Re: There is no value for geotagging - not.
In reply to sunhorse, May 7, 2010

I agree with the comment that each photographer has his/her own needs and need not ridicule another because those needs differ. I need geotagging. A prime example is when I do fall color photography in Michigan or Minnesota or even Colorado, I will drive over miles of forest service roads looking for images. When I find one I will photograph it and then move on. In a morning I may cover 50 miles of dirt roads with no significant markings and no landmarks other than more trees. There is no way I could remember precisely where I was when I took an image if I waited to get back to the hotel or back home. And when the color and aesthetics of trees dictates your images, no amount of pre-planning or map reading can tell you precisely where to go. So, for me, I need that location captured electronically and in the background so I don't have to worry about it, yet can go back five years later and still find where I was.

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Rambi Finland
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Re: Recommended Geotrackers?
In reply to cs629061-a, May 7, 2010

Low cost solution (no money needed because): I have a gps-sensor in my mobile phone.

I found a free gps-tagger software for my phone (I am using TTGPSLogger for my Nokia but there are free software for iPhone and for others also) which is able to write GeoSetter-compatible coordinate files. I let the phone record the coordintates with timestamps every 30 seconds. Then I connnect the phone to my laptop by bluetooth or USB-cable and drag and drop that file from phone to a PC-directory. GeoSetter is able to find that file automaticly and it writes the coordniates also to raw-files (NEF also - I have Nikon) after only one-two mouse clicks.

When I develop the raw files to jpgs the coordinates are still there and I can see my photos on map in GeoSetter but also in other software.

PS

I did not have to specify any time differences in GeoSetter: only one click to select that we have this 1-hour-day-light-saving in use. But it is important to have the clock of the camera in correct local time.

I don't have much experience how much faster the geo-tagger software ruins the battery of my phone but no problems so far.

Raimo

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photobyte
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Re: Recommended Geotrackers?
In reply to CameraCarl, May 7, 2010

I wrote an android application for my own use, if you have an android phone with built in GPS, you can download the free app from the android market, called "Route Recorder for Photographer". You need to run the PC program in a command window, some people are intimidated by that.

I used it in my travel to London/Paris/Netherland, worked out pretty good. I uploaded the geo tagged photos to flickr, I can look at a map to see where the pictures were taken. Flickr also look up the place name based on the geo information, so I actually know the name of the place from flickr (I had no idea that place is called "Trafalgar Square" when I took these pictures in London).

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daMatrix
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Re: Recommended Geotrackers?
In reply to Rambi Finland, May 8, 2010

I tried Garmin Etrex hcx and iPhone in my home town.

My findings;

The dedicated gps device is made to last long with a set of AA batteries, it is acqurate with walking, train and so on. Robust and weather resistant. Another plus is ability to drop a many pins on the map as you like. Downside is the maps that are a bit clunky (openstreetmap). I have not seen yet the gps with commercial maps. Weight.

The gsm thingy going gps was a bummer; sloppy upto 100 meters. At times extremely slow to show a map (no wap no map)

Difficult to drop more pins on google map. (you need an account and login to do so)

Delicate device probably not good to consult map in pouring rain. Battery suck, really fast.

Overal eventhough gsm phone offers better choice of quality maps I would never ever use the gps for real situations. A few hours is enough to drain the battery and that means no more geotracking, and no more phone.

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dalefinal
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Re: Jobo-photoGPS-Mac-Aperture 3.0
In reply to yowzer, May 8, 2010

Just some feedback...

I just purchased the latest version of Jobo - photoGPS. I shoot a Canon 5d mkII and Canon 1ds mkIII. On a iMac running OSX 10.6.3 and using Aperture 3.03 the Jobo works at geotagging (Jobo callls it "tag photos").

Aperture 3.03 has a new Metadata field - GPS. photoGPS embeds the GPS info into the RAW image file and when you import the file it is displayed.

The Jobo hardware quality is weak ... plastic with a sloppy hot shoe attachment.

Hopefully, Canon builds in GPS on future cameras.

Dale

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Rambi Finland
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Re: Recommended Geotrackers?
In reply to daMatrix, May 8, 2010

Findings using my mobile phone Nokia E75 with TTGPSLogger and GeoSetter (both free).

TTGPSLogger:
Accuracy is rather good: less than 10 sometimes 20 m.

GPS sensitiity of the sofware is much better (with the same hardware!) than Nokia Maps or other applications I have. Only reason has to be that the sotfware is good. I tested: it is even capable to see 4-7 satelites from my bathroom which is just in the middle of my house. With other applications I have to keep my mobile very close to a window if I want to get location inside.

The startup is very fast: 17-18 s after shutdown of phone, 5-6 s if the phone is ON. But and after starting I can forget it into my pocket (to a safe place against rain etc.) and take photos the whole day. You don't have to operate it after starting - only "stop" in the end of photo session. Like most gps-taggers it does not need any gsm, wap or any network data connections to work. Of course you can also hide the user interface and use your phone normally (phone calls, web browsing etc) - the geotagging goes on in the background.

TTGPSLogger software does not need a lot of power from the phone. Today I was using it for 5 hours and still the battery gauge of my phone showed full - I am sure it will last more than ten hours or whole day if my photo session is so long.

The only limitation is how many memory cards and batteries I have for my cameras. I have 2*16 GB (for raw) and only two batteries fro DSLR: the gps-tagger will run longer than my camera. And of course without additional work I can at the same time also geotag the photos (jpg) of my girl friend (or anybody walking with me) and photos which I might take with my point-and-shoot camera which I allways have with me with several memory cards.

GeoSetter: Of course there is no limitations how many pins the software puts on the map: a map pin for each taken photo automaticly for both of my cameras. It also shows the actual walking path between pins and rote before the frist pin and after the last photo till you press "stop".

Raimo

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CameraCarl
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AMOD
In reply to Rambi Finland, May 13, 2010

Thanks everyone for your input. I was at an Adobe Users Group meeting yesterday and a speaker had the perfect solution for my camera and Mac. It is an AMOD GPS Photo Tracker AGL3080. Unlike phone apps which run down the battery in 5-6 hours, it will work up to 20 hours on 3xAAA batteries. If you use it with Houdah Geo, you can integrate the geotagging anywhere in your workflow you want, and it works on a Mac.

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ChrisJSLH
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Re: Wintec
In reply to samWebster123, May 13, 2010

Your post led me to get a Wintec WBT-202 to replace my Qstarz Q1000P. The Qstarz worked fine but it didn't have sufficient logging capacity for me for a two week vacation.

The WBT-202 can log onto a micro-SD card (1GB supplied) so is potentially good for months even at 1HZ.

As with the Qstarz, I use it in conjunction with Jeffrey Friedl's Lightroom Geoencode plug-in. All very painless.

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sunhorse
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Re: AMOD
In reply to CameraCarl, May 13, 2010

CameraCarl wrote:

Thanks everyone for your input. I was at an Adobe Users Group meeting yesterday and a speaker had the perfect solution for my camera and Mac. It is an AMOD GPS Photo Tracker AGL3080. Unlike phone apps which run down the battery in 5-6 hours, it will work up to 20 hours on 3xAAA batteries. If you use it with Houdah Geo, you can integrate the geotagging anywhere in your workflow you want, and it works on a Mac.

Thanks for this. I will definitely look at AMOD. But, having looked at Hudah Geo, please take a look at PhotoLinker (Mac only). It is much better to work with. Intuitive UI (more Mac-like), shows your tracks on a map, and just more pleasant environment o work in. I found Houdah to be very lacking in comparison.

Take a look:
http://www.earlyinnovations.com/photolinker/

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Hawkman
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google phone + free geosetter software
In reply to CameraCarl, May 14, 2010

Or any phone that can record GPS tracks for that matter.

Sync your camera and phone clock, use google tracs to record a track, download it to your computer and use geosetter to resolve the track and image times to locations. It will load the GPS data to your jpg exif, or, if you shoot RAW, to your images sidecar (.xmp file), in bulk. It will also look up location information on the web and load that in as well if you desire.

Works like a charm. Geosetter also support RAW camera formats and google map so if you shoot RAW, you can get great image previews and nice maps.

http://www.geosetter.de/en

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CameraCarl
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Re: google phone + free geosetter software
In reply to Hawkman, May 14, 2010

A phone may indeed be an alternative to a dedicated GPS tracker but (1) most phone's batteries won't last for a 12+ hour shooting day and (2) I can buy a GPS logger for $65 with no monthly fees. I don't know of any phones with the capability for that price.

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Hawkman
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Re: google phone + free geosetter software
In reply to CameraCarl, May 15, 2010

Sure, but you don;t have to spend that $65 if you have a smart phone or want one. Everyone will have one sooner or later. if you already have one you have already saved $65!

I have no problem going the day 12 hours on batteries with GPS tracking. I can't imagine your shooting for 12+ hours typically anyhow.

You don't buy the phone just to use as a geotracker btw, you buy it as a smart phone with geotracking capabilities.

Gene

CameraCarl wrote:

A phone may indeed be an alternative to a dedicated GPS tracker but (1) most phone's batteries won't last for a 12+ hour shooting day and (2) I can buy a GPS logger for $65 with no monthly fees. I don't know of any phones with the capability for that price.

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dalefinal
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Re: Jobo-photoGPS-Mac-Aperture 3.0 - follow-up
In reply to dalefinal, May 28, 2010

Follow-up on Jobo-photoGPS...

I was very unhappy with using the JoboGPS receiver and the associated photoGPS software. After a trip to Portugal/Spain I had nothing but troubles getting consistent GPS locations and the GPS receiver was a pain to use.

After returning I saw a review by Scott Kelby regarding the JoboGPS system ... I agree thoroughly with his review: http://www.scottkelby.com/blog/2009/archives/4047

Try one of the other suggestions given in this thread.

Dale

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