Saturday, February 04, 2006

GPS & Photography

You probably already know about geotagging your photos and images and sites where you can upload your own pictures and associate them to a set of coordinates. You can also put them in GoogleEarth or Google Maps, Flickr and a bunch of other websites.

There are also products like RoboGeo and the free ITag which can also be used to convert .GPX formatted log files to Google Earth .KML and GPSPhotoLinker that let you edit an EXIF format image (if your camera generates one) to add coordinates to it. For camera phones GEOsnapper can be used with some Motorola phone models. But what I was looking for was a camera that would let me do that. Either with a embedded-GPS or one that could be attached to it. And there are a few out there, but it just isn't that affordable right now.

[Update: I'm extending the coverage on GeoTagging in a more recent post and results.]

Ricoh has a Japanese model called Caplio Pro G3 that you can use with a CF-card based GPS receiver. [Update:Feb 28, 06, Ricoh announced a partnership with GlobalSat to distribute its camera with the CF-based BC-377 GPS Receiver and provide its resellers list]. GeoSpatial Experts sells the camera by itself or bundled with accessories and their own geotag software, GPS Photo Link. You can try the product 10 times, either the standard or its Ricoh edition.

[Update: April 3rd, 06 - Version 4.0 of GPS Photo Link now includes support for .GPX file format and exporting function to Google Earth]

A more recent model also from Ricoh, the RDC-i700 also accepts CF cards with GPS receivers.

Nikon produces some high-end models like the D2X and D2H that can be connected (through the MC-35 cable) to a GPS receiver. This adapter will let you use a RS-232C serial cable to connect the GPS receiver to the camera.

[Update: Nikon announced a new model D2Xs which includes the same GPS support from its previous model but an updated version of its Image Authentication software with ways for you to handle GPS data for your pictures. Check also the review at]

Larry has a site with directions on how to build your own cable to connect a Garmin receiver to a Nikon (the previous models D1X, D1H) with related information also found at Moos Peterson's website.

Here is a blog reporting the experiences about connecting a Magellan SportTrak GPS to a Nikon D200. Kodak DCS Pro line that includes digital cameras like the DCS 14n and SLR's supports use of GPS receivers as described in this page. Lupine Logic sells a PDA solution.

[Update Apr 4th, 06: Another site providing instructions and utilities about connecting a Nikon to a Garmin receiver and building maps with Google Local.]

If you can get something from Japan that will work here, try the Casio QV4000GX. You can plug a GPS receiver right into it too and get the EXIF output with the photo location coordinates.

Check this article by Ruth Happel at Microsoft's website for a good report on her personal experience with Garmin receivers and a Nikon. It obviously goes over Virtual Earth and websites like SmugSmug and Microsoft's World-Wide Media eXchange.

[Update Mar 30th, 06: Navman equipped its car navigation models with high-res cameras, according to PC Magazine it should be available in early May]

Continuos Computing brought up the need for a GPS Camera Phone a while ago.

Check also this (Mac-oriented) website for a good tutorial and resources for GeoTagging. Here is another interesting approach to it. And IrfanView is a neat freeware tool that shows EXIF and IPTC tags.

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