Recommended Geotrackers?

Started Apr 26, 2010 | Discussions thread
Photog23 Senior Member • Posts: 1,105
Re: Recommended Geotrackers?

Do you already have a portable GPS of some kind, especially one that has reasonable battery life? If so, find out if it stores track logs in GPX format or in a format that GPSBabel can convert to GPX.

Relatively recent model Garmins store their track logs in native GPX. Some of the other GPS' may or may not store them that way.

(BTW, no affil with Garmin, I just favor it, because it's just the only company that I know of whose GPS' store their tracklogs into native GPX. Oh, in addition, because of the popularity of Garmin GPS, the internet is full of free software for them. For instance, I have NWTrails, a free set of maps of hiking trails in the Pacific Northwest and Canada...anyway).

When I want to geotag files, I make sure my Garmin 265WT and the camera have a relatively similar date/time, and then I turn on my Garmin and put it in my pocket or back pack. When I get home from wherever I'm shooting, I simply connect my Garmin to my computer and download the track log (GPX file) to my computer. Of course, I use my Compact Flash card reader to load the pictures into the directory with the GPX file. I use (free) GPicSync to sync the pics by date/time based on GPX and pics. The only tricky thing about GPicSync is make sure your UTC setting in the program correctly accommodates the time, since GPX's store times as Greenwich Mean Time and your camera ordinarily doesn't. But it's easy to this since GPicSync has a setting for this in its dialog box. Right now, my adjusted time is UTC "-7". I'm on the West Coast.

Also, if you have a wrist-watch training GPS that stores track logs (like a Garmin Forerunner) you can do this same thing I've described above.

My GPS only stores one track log at a time, which is fine if you have a computer available every night to download it to. I know of several other GPS models on the market that are intended for hiking and have built-in software that facilitates stopping one track log and starting a new one. Of course, you can do this with my GPS by renaming GPX's directly on the GPS, but you have to hook the device up to a computer to do so.

I guess I'm too practical to spend $80-90 on a little box that does nothing but store a track log and geotag files, when I can spend a bit more and get a full-featured GPS. I'm considering getting a different GPS. If I do, the two I'm looking at are a Nuvi 500, which is considered a hybrid hiking/auto GPS and comes with Topo maps; and a Dakota 10, which is a hiking GPS. Both store multiple routes and track logs and have much longer batter life than my 265WT. Both are sold at my favorite GPS store, But right now, I like the large screen of my current GPS because it makes my trail maps more readable.

Hope this helped.

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