Sunday, 6 June 2010

GPS tracker - first try

I went out with the family yesterday to Kielder Water, so thought I'd try out this GPS logger that I mentioned in my last post. The results are here:

A few tweaks required, but overall very impressed! Geo tagging photos worked well, and seems to accurately place them on the map. I had the log rate set to 15 seconds. This is probably good for walking or cycling, but in a car or on a motor bike, it's not quick enough ( at 60mph, saving your position every 15s means you cover a quarter of a mile in between - not good enough). I did notice that you can set dual rates so for example, every 15s when your speed is below say 30mph, and every second when it's above that.

Warning: Geek Alert:
Another shortcoming is that the software supplied will only geo tag jpeg photos. As I shoot in RAW format on my Sony A200, this is a slight issue. Yesterday, I set the camera to shoot RAW and jpeg, so tagged the jpeg versions. Actually this is not a bad option, that I think I'll use more - it means you have a viewable version of the photo immediately without having to post-process them. However I'd really like the original RAWs to be tagged too. A bit of research, and I found you can do this, using the @trip software to export the track as a GPX file, and then a piece of free software called GeoSetter, which can tag most photo formats (including many RAW formats). Job done!

I think this will be a really good way of tracking my trip, and keeping track of the photos that I take, so a good investment I think!

Thursday, 3 June 2010

A new toy

Anyone who knows me will tell you that I like my gadgets. And yesterday, I added a new one to my collection! This new toy is an i-gotU GPS tracker. This clever little device saves your location (latitude, longitude and altitude) every so often (say, every 15 seconds), so that a track of your travels is built up.

That's clever enough, but the really clever bit is in the software - so when you're back from your trip, you down load the track to your PC, and the software allows you to publish it in the form of a travel blog using Google maps - can you see where I'm going with this? You'll certainly be able to see where I've been!

Even more clever still, is this: You can use the software to automatically geo-tag photographs you took whilst on the trip (that is add location info into the photo's meta-data), and add them to the map in the right locations!!! This all sounds incredibly cool to someone as geeky as me, who happens to be going on a long trip. If it works as well as promised it'll be ideal for helping to keep a record of the Trip for posterity, and let family and friends know where he is whilst he's away.

I haven't had a chance to try it out yet, but will over the weekend, and I'll report back here!