Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Geotagging on the Go

I must admit I still like geotagging with picasa and google earth, it is probably now a  very clunky and old fashioned way to do it. Perhaps its the nostalgia of revisiting places I’ve already been! Anyway a new smartphone, a HTC wildfire, which is a special model for telstra and most importantly available for purchase (reasonably priced) without a contract (prepaid) meant I was now carrying a GPS everywhere I go at less than the cost of an average GPS unit.

imageSo I figured it was time to try out some of the applications that automatically geotag your photos from a GPS wayfile. All roads quickly lead to Geotag Photos, who offer a number of programs and apps, including on-line, desktops apps (for Windows,Apple Mac and Unix) and smartphone apps (for Iphone & Android). They even have Lite (Free) versions which have reduced features on the phone apps. Specifically the Autolog Feature which will automatically log your position at regular intervals. The essence of the application is a merging of a wayfile (that traces your movements) and matches your photos by time and updates the location in your photo’s EXIF metadata..Sounds a bit complex but there are just 4 simple steps

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Synchronize the time and date on your camera & phone Start recoding location on phone* and taking photos with your camera Upload your trip** (the .gpx wayfile) Geotag all the photos later with the desktop application and your wayfile and photo directory

* I’m using the Lite version so I have to manually record the way points, by pressing the green map pin on the phone at the places I photograph.

** How you upload the file will depend on how you connect your phone to the computer. I found it was easiest to connect the android phone as if it was a USB drive and just copy the file into my photo directory on the PC.

All nice and easy so much so I’m giving the Lite version a really good try out, but already I’m thinking the pro version is a real photographer’s “must have”" tool for geotagging.

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