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Author Topic: GPS Geotagging  (Read 4546 times)
trentf
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« on: January 17, 2011, 10:51:43 AM »
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I know this has been cover many times.  But I was curious if there is anything new to add.  I need to tag for a job I am getting ready to do.  I will be shooting with EOS 1D mark 3 and 1Ds mark 3.  I looked at the Jobo and there are appears to be a lot of mixed reviews...  any input or experiences with any system would be greatly appreciated...thanks in advance.
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feppe
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« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2011, 11:40:22 AM »
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Here's my ugly hack while waiting for GPS to be integrated to serious cameras. Would also be interested in easier solutions! Main benefit: nothing to buy as long as you have an Android phone (similar approach probably works with iPhones with GPS).

  • Geotagging software on my Android phone called Geotagger to mark each rough location I shoot at
  • export list of geotags in a file to phone's SD card
  • import file to PC
  • import photos to PC
  • tag RAWs with software called Geotag

Another option is to tag photos manually using Google Earth and a gazillion of geotagging software.
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2011, 02:15:45 PM »
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Hi,

I'm using small GPS tracker, Wintec G-Rays 2+. It can sample millions of trackpoints. After an excursion I merge the information from the GPS using Lightroom with Jeffrey Friedl's GPS-plugin:

http://regex.info/blog/lightroom-goodies/gps

In my case I use MyTracks ( http://www.mytracks4mac.com/myTracks/Start.html ) to convert the coordinates to a Garmin compatible "GPX" file and import that into Lightroom. Lightroom uses the time stamps to merge GPS logger data into EXIF-information. Works well enough, at least for me, but I'm sort of computer type of guy.

Best regards
Erik


I know this has been cover many times.  But I was curious if there is anything new to add.  I need to tag for a job I am getting ready to do.  I will be shooting with EOS 1D mark 3 and 1Ds mark 3.  I looked at the Jobo and there are appears to be a lot of mixed reviews...  any input or experiences with any system would be greatly appreciated...thanks in advance.
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nemophoto
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« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2011, 01:58:23 PM »
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I have the JOBO GPS. (Also the Sony.) Not the greatest. I've used it largely while location scouting for shoots, attached to my G10. (Never used it on my 1D3 or 1Ds3.) I also broke it because it kept falling off the hotshoe of my G10. That's probably the weakest link - that there's no locking mechanism on the GPS to keep it from bumping/falling off. Like Fippe, I've started experimenting with the GPS in my iPhone and an app called Geotag Photos Pro. It does an "ok" job. But nothing will really replace geotagging built in. In all, proceed with caution if you go with JOBO. Use gaffers tape.

Nemo
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fike
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« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2011, 02:40:21 PM »
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Any GPS that can output a GPX tracklog will work.  That basically means any GPS that can connect to a computer with a USB cable and be mounted as external storage will work. 

I use a Garmin Etrex Vista HCX.  I like this device because it works under heavy tree cover.  As a matter of fact, it worked one whole day in a bag on the floor of the back seat of my car.  Two AA batteries last for more than 12 hours.  I turn it on in the morning and off when I get home. 

When I download pictures, I use downloader pro to append the geotag coordinates to the photo files.  The photos are tagged by associating the timestamp of the photo with the timestamp in the tracklog from the GPS.  This means that you need to have the time on the camera and the GPS synchronized.  If they are out of synch, most tagging software programs allow you to set an offset to account for different timestamps.  I verify this by photographing my GPS info screen (one that contains the time and coordinates).

One nice feature of downloader pro is that it also provides you with an HTML file that shows day's your track overlayed on google maps.  Very nice. 

MotionX GPS on the iPhone will output GPX files for geotagging.  (There are several good smartphone GPSs).  One  problem with using your phone is that you can't easily use it for a phone and a GPS at the same time.  Perhaps the bigger issue is that if you track points at a small interval, like every 30 seconds, you wear down the batteries of your phone.  My iPhone can barely go 5 hours on constant GPS duty.

There is another program that I have had fun with. It is called Robo Geo.  It helped me make the photo tracks shown here: http://www.trailpixie.net/map-trks/EagleRidgeHike/map.htm

I have noticed one nuisance with geotagging and a RAW workflow.  Using ACR with CS4 or CS5, I have been unable to get geotagged JPGs out of the RAW file.  It seems that Adobe CSx strips out the geotagging, even when you tell it to include all metadata.  This happens with both save as jpg, save a copy, and save for web.  The data is there in the XMP sidecar file, but it just doesn't make it through to the jpg.  When I shoot JPG and tag it with downloader pro, it the metadata properly included, so I don't know what is up. 

A Final note for anyone trying to debug their geotagging workflow: The EXIF standard calls for geotag coordinates to be of the format degrees, minutes.decimal, so it looks like this:
     Latitude: 39,3.52809
     Longitude: -79,22.25157
Almost every other current mapping system (google maps and google earth, in particular) uses notation that is degrees.decimal degrees and looks like this:
     Latitude: 39.0332,
     Longitude: -79.3846
This makes a visual sanity check of your geotags kind of difficult.  The coordinates in your GPX tracklog file will be in decimal format while your EXIF tags will be in degrees, minutes, decimal format.  You could easily verify your tags by plugging them into google maps, but it also only accepts decimal notation. 
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Fike, Trailpixie, or Marc Shaffer
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Gary Brown
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« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2011, 03:20:27 PM »
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Almost every other current mapping system (google maps and google earth, in particular) uses notation that is degrees.decimal degrees

FWIW, Google Maps will take degrees and decimal minutes. For example, it buys both:

393.52809'N 7922.25157'W

and

39.0588015 N 79.3708595 W

in the search box. I don't think I've seen a complete list of syntaxes it accepts, though.
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fike
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« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2011, 03:30:07 PM »
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FWIW, Google Maps will take degrees and decimal minutes. For example, it buys both:

393.52809'N 7922.25157'W

and

39.0588015 N 79.3708595 W

in the search box. I don't think I've seen a complete list of syntaxes it accepts, though.

I must have remembered that wrong, but let me extend my statement...the google API doesn't take the first notation.  When you are editing your tracklogs in HTML files for publishing to google maps, you need decimal notation. 
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Fike, Trailpixie, or Marc Shaffer
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AFairley
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« Reply #7 on: January 21, 2011, 04:38:25 PM »
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I use a Garmin Etrex Vista HCX. 

I second this recommendation.  My experiments with trying to use the iPhonefor GPS logging was that it sucked down the battery really fast, so I stuck with the Garmin.  I get accurate tracks even in downtown L.A. despite the tall(ish) buildings all around.
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trentf
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« Reply #8 on: January 21, 2011, 05:11:40 PM »
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Thanks guys...  I heard the JOBO had a few problems.  I just really want simple.  I read all the posts.  Is the Garmin Etrex Vista HCX pretty simple?  I am not a techie person at all.  I need it to work on a Mac. 
Silly question,  but do you hit a button that grabs your location,  and then do you have to remember which shot goes with that location.  Again please excuse my ignorance.  I am just really confuse.

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fike
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« Reply #9 on: January 21, 2011, 06:49:47 PM »
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If you get the right tools, it isn't too hard to use.  For the GPS, you generally just need to turn it on and check the time on the gps and the camera.  If the two match, everything should work okay.  You do not need to manually tag each location.  The GPS will automatically log its location every 30 seconds or so.  When the geotagging software goes to associate a photo with a location, it looks at the time stamp on the image and finds the closest time stamp in the GPX file that is produced by the GPS. 

If you really don't care to use this for anything but geotagging, the Garmin Vista HCX is probably a bit overkill.  Look for the cheapest hiking GPS with a USB output. The Garmin's have good sensitive receivers and good battery life, so I recommend them.

You shouldn't have any trouble using it with a Mac.
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Fike, Trailpixie, or Marc Shaffer
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AFairley
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« Reply #10 on: January 21, 2011, 06:58:12 PM »
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Thanks guys...  I heard the JOBO had a few problems.  I just really want simple.  I read all the posts.  Is the Garmin Etrex Vista HCX pretty simple?  I am not a techie person at all.  I need it to work on a Mac. 
Silly question,  but do you hit a button that grabs your location,  and then do you have to remember which shot goes with that location.  Again please excuse my ignorance.  I am just really confuse.

With the Garmin, you set it up in the menu to record tracks, and set the time interval you want it to record a location.  Having done that, it just records automatically when you turn the device on.  You then connect the Garmin to the computer with a USB cable and import the tracks into the geotaggins software you use.  Some geotagging software will not import directly from the Garmin, in that case you have to use the Garmin free software do download the track and save it to the computer as a gpx file which you then open in the geotagging program.  Once you are in the geotagging software, the geotagging software will match up the timestamps of the trackpoints with the timestamps of the camera images, so the matchup is done automatically.  Most programs will let you set a fudge factor (for instance, I set the Garmin to record a track point every couple of minutes (if I'm walking), and tell Geotagger to match the trackpoint to any image within 90 seconds or so of it).  It's actually pretty straightforward once you get it set up.

I really would like someone to write a Geotagging script for Bridge so I could dispense with the separate geotagging program and incorporate it into my image management workflow in Bridge.  But that's a different topic...
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trentf
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« Reply #11 on: January 21, 2011, 08:42:11 PM »
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thanks for info guys..  I think I am starting to get it.  One more question if you dont mind.  If the open the image ACR it will be tagged with in coordinates?  Where would I locate them?  Is there a book on this out there?  If not someone should do an book.
Thanks again.
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #12 on: January 22, 2011, 06:49:09 AM »
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Hi,

I don't know, I use Ligthroom with Jeffrey Friendl's plugin. Many GPS-loggers come with a program that can tag images but I don't know how that works.

Best regards
Erik

thanks for info guys..  I think I am starting to get it.  One more question if you dont mind.  If the open the image ACR it will be tagged with in coordinates?  Where would I locate them?  Is there a book on this out there?  If not someone should do an book.
Thanks again.
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KevinA
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« Reply #13 on: January 27, 2011, 02:40:55 AM »
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A garmin and Apple Aperture, job done.

Kevin
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Robert Hart
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« Reply #14 on: January 30, 2011, 02:20:35 AM »
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Support for Canon Digital SLRs is coming soon.  Add yourself to notification list and you will be notified with launch updates.

http://eu.blueslr.com

Gr
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Piboy
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« Reply #15 on: February 04, 2011, 03:12:28 PM »
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Use GPS4cam iphone app and then import into exif data with their companion desktop app.
Sam
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Sam W.
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« Reply #16 on: February 11, 2011, 11:33:58 PM »
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I use a combination of GPS loggers.

Around civilisation I use the GeoLogTag app on my iPhone to record trails. It does chew battery a bit, and it does make the phone a bit sluggish compared to having the logging turned off, but it's really convenient to just always have the data being saved by a device that's always with me.

I have a tiny Qstarz logger which I use on trips. I've configured this to have over a week's worth of space, but it does need specific software (BT747 works fine) to download the data via USB and convert to GPX format. It uses Nokia BL-5C/6C batteries, and I have several and an external charger so I can cycle a new battery into it each day to make sure there are no gaps in the data.

But my primary device is still my Garmin eTrex Legend HCx (which is the same as the Vista HCx except without a magnetic compass or barometric altimeter). As has been mentioned, it gets great battery life (and uses AAs like my flashes/etc), it's waterproof, it has a screen for navigation, and in fact I've loaded up lots of maps on the internal microSD card. Topo maps of my home continent, a worldwide basemap, and additional maps of regions such as Antarctica.

With the Garmin, you set it up in the menu to record tracks, and set the time interval you want it to record a location.  Having done that, it just records automatically when you turn the device on.  You then connect the Garmin to the computer with a USB cable and import the tracks into the geotaggins software you use.  Some geotagging software will not import directly from the Garmin, in that case you have to use the Garmin free software do download the track and save it to the computer as a gpx file which you then open in the geotagging program.
Actually, it's even easier than that! No Garmin-specific software is required.
If you're using one of the HCx units and you've installed a microSD card, head into Main Menu -> Tracks -> Setup -> Data Card Setup where you can tell the GPS to record GPX files directly onto the card.
I've set mine to have the normal internal tracklog wrapping when full (so it forgets old data) but this is just used for drawing breadcrumb trails on the screen. The GPX files just keep getting created (one per day, with names such as 20110212.gpx) until the card fills. I have a 1 GB card in mine, with about 300 MB taken up with the map data. There's enough room there for months of trail data.

To get this data off the device doesn't need any special software either. Go to Main Menu -> Setup -> Interface where you can select USB Mass Storage, at which point the GPS becomes a USB flash drive: it gets mounted on your PC/Mac and you just copy/move the GPX files to somewhere else. Power-cycle the GPS and it goes back to normal.


If you're not using a device with a microSD card then yes you need special software to extract the internal tracklog data and save GPX files. I used to do this with my older Garmins, but you are limited by the number of log points supported in the device's internal memory. Prior to getting the Legend HCx I was using a plain Legend (the blue one) which usually had enough storage for a whole day (depending on the day's movements though).


Quote
Once you are in the geotagging software, the geotagging software will match up the timestamps of the trackpoints with the timestamps of the camera images, so the matchup is done automatically.  Most programs will let you set a fudge factor (for instance, I set the Garmin to record a track point every couple of minutes (if I'm walking), and tell Geotagger to match the trackpoint to any image within 90 seconds or so of it).  It's actually pretty straightforward once you get it set up.
Actually the biggest issue may be how to organise your collections of GPX files. I have mine split by device, then in a date-tree of folders.

Quote
I really would like someone to write a Geotagging script for Bridge so I could dispense with the separate geotagging program and incorporate it into my image management workflow in Bridge.  But that's a different topic...
I use Jeffrey Friedl's Lightroom plug-in. It allows me to attach location data to images independently from importing them. Often I'll import photos during the day, but only get around to using the appropriate GPX files later.

For instance, on ship operations such as in Antarctica I have the Qstarz fixed on the ship where it can see satellites, giving me a backup trail of where the ship went. When on-deck, on-shore, or in boats my eTrex is recording trails (it doesn't work inside the ship's steel body). So later in Lightroom I'll select a chunk of photos, and repeatedly run the Geocoding plug-in across them. First each appropriate day's GPX file from the eTrex, then the appropriate file from the Qstarz to fill in the gaps when I was inside. If I forgot to take the eTrex with me, to have fresh batteries in it, etc, at least the photos will get the location of the nearby ship as a guide.
As you can imagine, having a decent filing/naming system for the GPX files makes this process easier.

I do need to be careful about things such as leaving a camera on a tripod with an intervalometer and walking away somewhere else with the logger in my pocket, so I find the interactive process of the Lightroom plug-in to work well (e.g. using the metadata filter for "GPS Shadow" status to see which images don't yet have locations).
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RFPhotography
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« Reply #17 on: February 12, 2011, 07:47:15 AM »
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I wrote an article on my blog about my process about a year ago.  It's similar to what others have noted here.  I use my Blackberry with a tracking app then embed the information using GPicSync. 

Definitely going to look at Friedl's plugin though because I'd be interested in doing the work all in one place rather than two.

I used to use my Garmin eTrex Vista HCx but stopped when I found the Crackberry app.
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Paul Sumi
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« Reply #18 on: February 13, 2011, 06:30:36 PM »
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You then connect the Garmin to the computer with a USB cable and import the tracks into the geotagging software you use.

I'm just getting started using a hand held GPS for field use (in my case, for hiking and outdoor photography).  Garmin's Basecamp software (a free download), lets you geotag pictures for the GPS units it supports.  Select a track on your Garmin GPS, point at a folder of pictures and Basecamp does the rest.

http://www.garmin.com/garmin/cms/us/onthetrail/basecamp

Paul
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