I'm not sure I understand exactly what this unit does. Does it add GPS
coordinates to the EXIF headers of photos on the camera, or does it
download them to its own memory and add the data there? Either way,
when does it do this - immediately after each photo is taken, or later
on when you connect the unit?
I'm not sure I'd be very comfortable with something trying to modify
photos in the camera's own memory, in case it corrupted them. I guess
you'd also want to check that your camera will allow it to do that -
some cameras only allow downloading and deleting, not uploading or
modifying, but I guess there are less and less of these with each
If it has to read the entire file from the camera, modify it and put it
back, that could take a considerable amount of time. Maybe only a few
seconds but perhaps enough to disturb rapid shooting.
If the file modification happens later on, and this applies to the
software Paul described too, how does it know which coordinates from the
track to apply to each photo? I assume it must look at the time stamps
on the photos, but that would be dependent on both time clocks being
synchronised. These will inevitably be at least a little different, and
quite commonly an hour different because of Daylight Savings. This
might mean a small position error or a very large one depending on how
fast you're moving.
Regarding Paul's problems getting GPS tracks to work with Google Maps,
etc, there is an excellent free program called GPSBabel
(http://www.gpsbabel.org) which can convert between a large number of
GPS track file formats, including filtering, etc.
People should also be aware that any data stored in the EXIF headers of
photos is easily lost. It's not as true as it once was, but many
editing programs simply discard this data when you save an edited file.
So if the position is valuable to you, it's well worth having a
secondary method of getting it back, e.g. writing photo numbers and
possibly coordinates in your notes. I suppose you could photograph your
GPS screen occasionally too.
wrote on Sunday, 2 March 2008 1:42 AM:
> Hi Jill,
> I must admit that I don't know anything about the device that
> you have identified, but I do have considerable experience
> with similar devices and handheld GPS units.
> There is a Sony unit that I have used and also another one
> (whose name escapes me). Both in the same sort of price range
> - around $150 Australian. The Sony unit certainly did the
> job, it tracked my position from moment it was turned on
> until I stopped it or the battery ran out or the internal
> memory ran out. I could then plug it in to the USB of a PC
> and save a GPS track. I could also use some provided software
> to synchronise the location information in photos that I had
> taken with the GPS track in the device. I couldn't get it to
> work with Google Earth or Google Maps.
> The most significant problems I found with the Sony unit were:
> * Short battery life - only a few hours - not long enough for
> a long day's birding or a pelagic, for instance.
> * Small amount of internal memory - once again, not enough
> for a long day's birding.
> * Couldn't get it to work with Google anything.
> Because of these issues, I tried a different tack and bought
> a Garmin 60CS handheld GPS unit. This unit has a display for
> a map and has the ability to record tracks. It is much larger
> and heavier than the units designed to fit in a pocket like
> the Sony one I mentioned, and the one you have highlighted.
> Battery life is easily 2-3 days. There's also sufficient
> internal storage for 4-5 days of continuous tracking too. To
> tell the truth, I find that I would like to be able to track
> longer without having to download the data to a PC. A mate of
> mine bought the next model Garmin from mine - the 60CSX which
> has the ability to accept an SD memory card up to 2Gb and can
> store both maps and tracks on it. That's probably enough
> memory to record a GPS track continuously for about a
> century! Some other downsides with the handheld GPS are that
> maps from Garmin are expensive (although there are some good
> public domain maps like Shonkymaps available for nothing).
> Also you need Garmin software (that must be purchased) to
> communicate with the device for saving maps and for
> downloading tracks from device to the PC. In addition, you
> need to purchase some third-party software to synchronise GPS
> tracks with the location information in your photographs
> (this is called "geostamping"). On the plus side, the GPS
> tracks are perfectly compatible with Google Earth and Google Maps.
> If you don't want to buy a handheld GPS at least check how
> long the battery lasts in the unit before it needs recharging
> - and can you carry a spare battery and replace it in the
> field. Also check how long the internal memory will last
> doing continuous tracking - is it possible to supplement the
> memory? Finally, does it come with all required software to
> download tracks and geostamp your pictures?
> All the best,
> Paul Dodd
> Docklands, Melbourne
> -----Original Message-----
> On Behalf Of Jill Dening
> Sent: Saturday, 1 March 2008 12:21 PM
> To: birding-aus
> Cc: Dorothy Pashniak
> Subject: [Birding-Aus] GPS PICTURE TRACKER PHOTOFINDER
> Hi Everyone,
> I wonder if any subscribers have experience of the picture tracker
> photofinder at the following website. I am a bit interested
> in it, but
> perhaps others have a better option. I like the way this item allows
> bypass of a computer for date and location stamping. Bypass
> would be an
> advantage when travelling. I take a lot of shorebird habitat
> pics, and
> the locator ability would be a distinct advantage. Any
> feedback would be
> appreciated from someone who knows how the little beast performs.
> From the website:
> -Designed for Google Earth & Google Maps
> -Compatible with digital cameras for major brands and all major card
> formats on the market.
> -Built-in LCD screen provides instant feedback on the status GPS Data
> synchronization without PC
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