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GeoTagger Adds Positioning Info to Snapshots

CmdrTaco posted more than 8 years ago | from the do-you-see-what-i-see dept.

119

Richard Jelbert writes "Check out this hardware device to geo-tag your photos to help share / manage your photos using Google maps. The Jelbert GeoTagger device records the latitude and longitude and compass direction of every photo you take. It connects to the camera flash shoe and stores the geo metadata on an SD memory card. Geotagging is becomeing more and more popular with sites like Flickr supporting geotagging via Google Earth interface. Hardware geotagers save you the effort of geo-tagging the images manually after taking the shot. The Sony geotagger is a great step forward but the Jelbert GeoTagger also records direction data."

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Practical uses? (0)

Bob Gelumph (715872) | more than 8 years ago | (#16186211)

What I would like to know is how the masses of content that will inevitably be shared will be managed? If there is no kind of moderation or categorisation system, then popular/populated places will be flooded with millions of boring, uninsightful images.
This is assuming that geotagging is used for more than just organising one's happy snaps.

Re:Practical uses? (4, Interesting)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 8 years ago | (#16186365)

Is this really that useful for the public in general, or is this more of a tool for the authorities to use to better locate and document crime scenes, if the picture was taken at one?

I just heard the other day about some kind of 'mark' that digital cameras put on all images, that notate what type camera you have...and some of the programs put registration information on the images (name, etc).

I'm not sure I want all that meta data on pictures I take...just a simple picture thank you.

(I forgot the name of that tag..starts with an "E" I think.

Re:Practical uses? (2, Informative)

emag (4640) | more than 8 years ago | (#16186507)

You mean "EXIF"? And yes, EXIF really is pretty damn useful for anyone who wants to actually know what type of comera setup was used, exposure info, focal length, whether a flash fired, etc...

Re:Practical uses? (2, Informative)

BandwidthHog (257320) | more than 8 years ago | (#16186527)

I just heard the other day about some kind of 'mark' that digital cameras put on all images, that notate what type camera you have...and some of the programs put registration information on the images (name, etc).

I forgot the name of that tag..starts with an "E" I think.

EXIF

I'm not sure I want all that meta data on pictures I take...just a simple picture thank you.

Most of the information is both innocuous and helpful (at least to other photographers). You can disable things like camera serial number and all that. But keep in mind that it is possible to prove that two pictures came from the same camera by analyzing the sensor noise, so if even one picture ever taken with your camera is positively correlated with your real identity, any entity sufficiently motivated could tie any other picture to that camera, assuming it hasn’t been altered too badly by resampling, multiple (overly aggressive) JPEG compressions, and other transformations significant enough to destroy those noise patterns.

Re:Practical uses? (2, Interesting)

nairnr (314138) | more than 8 years ago | (#16186531)

Pratical Uses? I can think of quite a few. When I go on vacation, I find the meta data from digital very useful. Most cameras will put EXIF [digicamhelp.com] data in the image recording such things as the specific camera you shoot with, your exposure time, aperature, what mode you shot with... You can use it to adjust how you take your shots if you shot with different settings.
As far as geotagging, it gives you the flexibility to organize your photos by location, and add in that info to your photo. I went on a month long trip and can't remember where every shot I took was. This would have been an excellent way of keeping track without requiring me to take additional notes to correlate back to my photos.

Re:Practical uses? (1)

Billosaur (927319) | more than 8 years ago | (#16186705)

Is this really that useful for the public in general...?

Of course -- wives can find out where their cheating husbands are taking the naughty pictures they find on their home computer, anyone can determine where the picture someone posted on an on-line dating service was taken (she says she's in Pocatello, ID, but all her pictures are from Bozeman, MT!), etc. A multitude of uses in the home!

Re:Practical uses? (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 8 years ago | (#16186727)

So just strip it off. It's in plain text, the format is well documented, you can even get a ready made python module for reading it. Not to mention lots and lots of software both free and otherwise for editing and deleting EXIF tags.

Re:Practical uses? (2, Informative)

Skyshadow (508) | more than 8 years ago | (#16186759)

I just heard the other day about some kind of 'mark' that digital cameras put on all images, that notate what type camera you have...and some of the programs put registration information on the images (name, etc).

You're thinking of Exif data [wikipedia.org] . It contains information regarding a specific image: the camera model, the date and time of the photo and all sorts of potentially useful photographic details -- the ISO, aperture used, shutter speed, focal length, etc.

This can be extremely useful stuff if you're a semi-serious photographer. Whenever I run across a photo that I like, that produces a neat visual effect or was taken under circumstances I generally have problems with, I can look at the EXIF data and see how it was done. This also works in reverse -- when I fuck up and take a slew of bad photos, I can look at the EXIF data and work out what I did wrong so I (hopefully) don't make the same mistake again.

I'm not sure why you wouldn't want this sort of metadata saved in your pictures; even if it's not useful to you, it may be useful to other people who look at your pictures. It's not as if it's reporting your full legal name and social security number or anything.

That aside, I can think of a few applications where having GPS data automagically stored could be useful:

Reshoots -- I have a few "landscape"-style photos that would be great images if I could only go back and fix something about how I shot them, but I don't know specifically where I was when I took them.
Copycatting -- Same as above, but with someone else's shots. Retaking photos from other people that you enjoy is an excellent way to learn about how to look at a situation and frame a shot. For example, people have spent a lot of time and effort to figure out where and when Ansel Adams took some of his more famous pics.
Memory Aid -- A dozen years from now when you look at your photos, are you going to remember specifically where you were during that Scotland vacation? Extra info -- location data included -- can help you out there.
Official uses -- Obviously helpful to efforts like forensic investigations, large-scale insurance adjusting (especially after something like Katrina) and etc.

Obviously, none of this is "mission critical" stuff, but like EXIF data it's nice to have and is another tool you can use to make yourself a better photographer.

Re:Practical uses? (1)

dargaud (518470) | more than 8 years ago | (#16187653)

I'm not sure why you wouldn't want this sort of metadata saved in your pictures
Well, I'm wondering about that right now. I sell images online [gdargaud.net] and I'm in the process of editing two new CD compilations. The difference with before is that I now use digital which records the instant the image was taken. I'm not absolutely sure I want people to know exactly where I was every day of my life (or every day I use a camera). It's one thing to have your images made public, another one to have your whereabouts made public, although I can't really pinpoint a negative example.

Re:Practical uses? (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 8 years ago | (#16189171)

"It's not as if it's reporting your full legal name and social security number or anything."

Well, I dunno if that is exactly true. I'd heard of the EXIF tag (thanks for reminding me of what it was), and on this post this person went in to examine the contents...and whatever application they were using...was adding full name and other info they'd used to register the photo application they were using.

This is what caught my attention. Kind of like how MS imbeds information into word .doc files...I was amazed when I ran some old documents through strings..and saw all the metadata it was keeping. It had email history of where the doc was sent..etc. Stuff that does not belong on a document.

My fear is what all can be stored in the image metadata...before I wanted to go posting anything like that in public, I'd sure want to check and 'clean' it a bit if necessary.

I do check word docs before they go out....and now that I know about EXIF, I'll check that too.

I wonder if the Feds have any 'watermarks' in these cameras yet...similar to how color laser printers have markings the Feds insisted on, to aid in tracking counterfeiting?

[steps off soapbox, and re-adjusts tin foil hat]

Re:Practical uses? (2, Interesting)

ejp1082 (934575) | more than 8 years ago | (#16190755)

Well said.

The other major purpose of this is for historical benefit. Imagine, for example, that we had Geotagging+Timestamping on all the photos taken in the last 30 years, and they were shared on something like Flickr. You could focus on a particular place and build a timeline of photos to see how it changes over the years. Given the ubiquity of camera phones, digital cameras, etc, we could have a complete photo-historical record of, well, almost everything.

Personally, I've gone through all my "good" photos recently (over 500 of em) and geotagged them by hand with Picasa and Google Earth (and now I'm in the middle of the laborious task of replacing them all on Flickr) for no other reason than I think it's neat - I like being able to display them out on a map to show people. I think it's a much more interesting way of visualizing them than the standard coffee table photo album.

That and I can't tell you how many times I've gone through my Grandparent's photo albums and the conversation went something like this:

"Wow, when was this taken?"
"Don't remember exactly. Sometime in the 60's."
"Where was this?"
"Arizona, I think. Or maybe it was when we went to California."
"Who is this?"
"Don't remember. Frank? Is that Frank? I think it's Frank."

So yeah, I think metadata is a good thing.

Re:Practical uses? (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 8 years ago | (#16186775)

Is this really that useful for the public in general, or is this more of a tool for the authorities to use to better locate and document crime scenes, if the picture was taken at one?


Don't know about everyone else, but it would be a godsend for some architects. Many progressive architecture and/or exterior design firms are taking photos of an existing site and superimposing a 3D modelled rendering of the finished building or renovations over the site. In order for the modeller and/or renderer to get the photo match down (positioning, shadows, etc.), you need to specify stuff like time of day the photo was taking, geographic coordinates, measurements, camera angle, etc. The more information the camera can store automatically in EXIF tags, the less information the modelling person has to enter by hand. If the information is in some sort of standard format, the modeller may even be able to load the data automatically from the EXIF tags, saving tons of effort getting the photo to match.

Is there an 'azimuth' field? (1)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 8 years ago | (#16187173)

Yeah (as other people have pointed out) the 3D modeling applications of this are pretty big.

My question is, does the EXIF specification have a place for an "azimuth" variable? I know it has Lat/Lon and time, but azimuth is really the key if you want to be able to reconstruct a model of a place. You need to at least know where the camera was and where it was pointing. Granted, most GPS units won't give you this information (a few that have magnetic compasses might) but it would be good to at least have the place in the format for it to go later.

Re:Is there an 'azimuth' field? (1)

jacksonj04 (800021) | more than 8 years ago | (#16187283)

Apparently so, along with elevation information.

Re:Is there an 'azimuth' field? (1)

camt (162536) | more than 8 years ago | (#16187835)

Oh this stuff is so cool! Add "zenith" to the mix you described, and EXIF could very well provide all the information necessary to recreate that any given photograph exactly, albeit at a different point in time.

Do any GPS units record zenith as well as azimuth, or do need to rig up some sort of sextant on the head of my tripod and log that information manually?

Re:Practical uses? (1)

hador_nyc (903322) | more than 8 years ago | (#16186831)

Is this really that useful for the public in general, or is this more of a tool for the authorities to use to better locate and document crime scenes, if the picture was taken at one? I just heard the other day about some kind of 'mark' that digital cameras put on all images, that notate what type camera you have...and some of the programs put registration information on the images (name, etc). I'm not sure I want all that meta data on pictures I take...just a simple picture thank you. (I forgot the name of that tag..starts with an "E" I think.
I think that the uses for this, like so many other similiar things, are limited for the average Joe. /.ers don't qualify as us geeks like are toys, but I can hear in the back my mind the voices of my non-geek friends going so what. I think professional photographers would love this, insurance adjusters, hikers, boy/girl scouts, and people like that would too. It's probably more of a niche market kind of thing, but I think it will sell beyond the Orwellian type users.

Re:Practical uses? (1)

bennomatic (691188) | more than 8 years ago | (#16187149)

I had an idea for something that used a similar technology. You'd have to log not only location and compass orientation, but also altitude and angle of elevation, along with zoom, exposure and other standard camera information.

With all that information in hand, it would be possible to collect, say, thousands of photographs from different sources and stitch together a 3-d Google Earth-esque 3d map of the world from human perspective.

With error correcting techniques, you could eliminate the problems of people, cars, etc. in a shot, and it could even be integrated into satellite-based systems like Google Earth.

Every day, thousands of tourists are taking pictures from all different angles of the Statue of Liberty, and other places in New York. Imagine if, instead of using polygon-based approximations, you could have a photorealistic 3-d rendering of the SoL to include in your artwork, video game or other visual media.

Google is aleady doing something like this by sending laser trucks around to major cities, but if you put this sort of porcessing power into all the cameras in the world, then (a) you don't need laser-toting trucks, and (b) you can get the data from all sorts of locations where such a truck could never go.

Re:Practical uses? (1)

aplusjimages (939458) | more than 8 years ago | (#16187109)

It be true. When you upload your photos to Flickr it will display all that info for you and your friends. I don't care if people know what type of camera I have and what exposure settings I use.

Perfect for the dumb tourist (1)

The-Bobmeister (969131) | more than 8 years ago | (#16188403)

I was thinking of something similar to this a couple of years ago. In addition to a GPS device inside the camera, imagine a database of historical landmarks, and accompanying background information. If your GPS coordinates fall inside pre-defined zones surrounding a landmark, and you are facing the landmark (according to the compass direction), then your camera could tell you what you were looking at. Another press of a button could bring up a few screens of facts and historical data about that particular location, and even suggest points of interest located nearby. Digital camera screens are large enough now to display several lines of legible text. If you were so inclined, you could appear to be an incredibly knowledgeable tour guide to your friends or spouse, as long as they didn't actually see the back of your camera... --- Bob

Re:Practical uses? (1)

MonkeyOfRage (779297) | more than 8 years ago | (#16188741)

It might be useful For stock photography galleries and the like. And news bureaus. At least one [zombietime.com] of the recent Reuters "fauxtography" scandal photos wasn't taken where it was claimed to have been.

Re:Practical uses? (1)

nizo (81281) | more than 8 years ago | (#16186645)

A few possible uses:
-> You can now have software track the route you took while on vacation as you snapped pictures
-> If you find a camera, you can now track the route the previous owner took before losing their new camera, and know exactly where their house is with the nifty bigscreen tv (in the background of a shot taken at home for example)
-> If you find a corpse next to the road with one of these cameras, you can tell if they were standing in the road taking pictures when they got hit or if the car had to swerve off the road to hit them

Re:Practical uses? (1)

An Onerous Coward (222037) | more than 8 years ago | (#16187055)

-> If you find a corpse next to the road with one of these cameras, you can tell if they were standing in the road taking pictures when they got hit or if the car had to swerve off the road to hit them
GPS doesn't have nearly the resolution that would be required for that. Plus, if the shot was taken at 3:15:30, and the time of death was 3:15:45, you don't know where the photographer moved in those fifteen seconds. More likely, though, you'll have a time of death of 'a little after 3PM' or 'between two and four o'clock'.

Re:Practical uses? (1)

skids (119237) | more than 8 years ago | (#16187579)


A little more practical and mundane than that: think traffic accidents, speeding tickets.

Here is an easy one. (1)

Jerk City Troll (661616) | more than 8 years ago | (#16186809)

Maybe you want to sort photographs based on where you took them.

“Give me all the pictures I took at Yosemite National Park.”

Nah, too much of a stretch.

Re:Here is an easy one. (1)

Bob Gelumph (715872) | more than 8 years ago | (#16187077)

OK, then search for Yosemite National park.
It's not going to help much unless the latitude/longitude and direction can be converted into "Yosemite National Park"

Although, maybe they do implement that functionality with a call to IsYosemite(). I'm not too hopeful.

My point is that while raw geographical data is nice, it doesn't provide any meaning about where you are in a context. Even if it knew that you were in Yosemite National Park, would it know that you were actually taking a picture of two ants fighting over a bread crumb a few metres over from your picnic rug where you just finished doing your wife?
No.
It knows nothing.
So back to my original point of the data being useless without some kind of categorisation and moderation system.
What would be practical and useful is to have a device, whether an addon or the actual camera that records an audio tag and optionally converts it into text. Then, as you take a photo, you can give it a semantic context.

There is no challege here. (1)

Jerk City Troll (661616) | more than 8 years ago | (#16187345)

Okay, so we use our vast and ubiquitous sources of geographic data [google.com] to look up interesting data about those coordinates and then cache that. It would not be difficult to figure out that our point [google.com] falls within a particular green blob in California. With virtually no effort than to actually put the pieces together, we could eliminate a big chunk of the work required to properly annotate pictures. It would almost be trivial to take these coordinates, along with the camera orientation, and determine all the interesting features. I would be able to not only find pictures in the park, but also whether or not the camera was pointed at El Capitan or Bridal Vale. Simply given a vector (the view point), the coordinates of known landmarks, and the width and height of the view field, this can all be easily computed. Suddenly we have a lot more useful and more importantly structured metadata to work with that is even future proof. It is easily improved as what we know about the scene increases. The geographic data provides us with a reference point for the context. Following that, I do not understand your remaining points.

Re:There is no challege here. (1)

gpsguy2 (967292) | more than 8 years ago | (#16191835)

Totally, visual explanations please. Map, search based on tags or position, check what's the place like.

Re:Here is an easy one. (1)

Hijacked Public (999535) | more than 8 years ago | (#16188225)

There are a lot of cameras that offer voice and text tagging for images. My P&S Fuji S5200 does voice.

What we (as in professional photographers) really need is a way to categorize images without having to do anything. I would love to take a picture of a duck eating a cracker and, a year later, ask my PC for pictures of ducks eating crackers and have it returned. Without having to explicitly record any metadata about ducks or crackers to attach to the file.

Obviously this is a stretch for current AI, but not impossible.

Re:Here is an easy one. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16193257)

I'd like to see a duck try to eat MY CRACKA ASS!

Re:Practical uses? (1)

technopinion (469686) | more than 8 years ago | (#16187599)

One of the most obvious uses is in making travel photography easier. There are specific travel blog sites like TripDiary [tripdiary.com] that let you set up a travel journal and specify the geographic locations at which your entries occur. A GPS device would make that easier, as the data can then be extracted from the photos. When you're showing off your travels to family/friends, showing them where you were on a map (especially with satellite footage) is pretty cool.

Vertical Integration! (1)

djuuss (854954) | more than 8 years ago | (#16186223)

Should work inversely too, so that when i check out my street on google earth it shows pictures of my neighbours sunbathing.

cmdrtaco is very fat and he smells (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16186227)

ALLAH AKBAR

Slashvert (3, Insightful)

HugePedlar (900427) | more than 8 years ago | (#16186243)

Christ, could the summary sound any more like a PR press release?

Re:Slashvert (1)

winnabago (949419) | more than 8 years ago | (#16186471)

Yes, it does sound like a press release, and it completely ignores the first red flag that occurred to me - privacy. Flickr already makes it easy to check out what kind of camera one uses, unless one turns such functionality off at some point in the process. An on-by-default hardware geotagger has the potential to give one's location away without the user's knowledge. Makes you think twice about taking pictures near the White House, or near a museum, or in an airport, plane, subway, bus, busy location. Hell, every picture taken has a potential risk with this tech attached.

The upside, though - easier to catch clumsy phonies like Adnan Hajj [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Slashvert (1)

10sball (80009) | more than 8 years ago | (#16186793)

Its all about defaults and disclosure, not about hardware itself

Flickr for one, already has separate privacy controls for who can see your geo info.., just like it has for who can comment, note or tag photos. So even if if I post a public photo and geotag it for the location of my house I can easily keep that info private if i choose to.

So the mechanics are there, and I quickly found them, but I don't recall what the default settings are to know how valid the issue of unknowingly posting geo data is.

Re:Slashvert (1)

winnabago (949419) | more than 8 years ago | (#16187355)

Its all about defaults and disclosure, not about hardware itself
My point was that geotagging in flickr is an intentional process, whereas this new product apparently will tag ALL of your images if you're not careful. You very well know that so-and-so image was tagged if you click it yourself on a map. Flickr's tool is a far cry from looking online someday and seeing that someone made a mash-up of your photostream of each and every time you hit the shutter in a day. Imagine you were a nature photographer who didn't want to divulge the best places to shoot. What if you could extract coordinates out of myspace pages? It would be a disaster. It's a quick step to get useful (and potentially damaging) aggregate information out of many images online.

Education of the feature could prevent much of this, but even the best of us slip up occasionally.

Re:Slashvert (1)

Paradise Pete (33184) | more than 8 years ago | (#16186973)

easier to catch clumsy phonies like Adnan Hajj.

I just don't understand what he was thinking. That's the kind of result you'd get the first time you ever tried to use the clone tool. And then you'd think "Well that sure looks like crap."

Re:Slashvert (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16186813)

ive not checked, but i guess it is of the copy & paste variety...

Re:Slashvert (1)

vain gloria (831093) | more than 8 years ago | (#16187073)

Christ, could the summary sound any more like a PR press release?
A little. You know, if the submitter could spell "becomeing" correctly.

Re:Slashvert (1)

Fluoxetine Freak (943931) | more than 8 years ago | (#16192463)

That's because it is a press release!

Have a look under the contacts section of the site linked to in the story and you'll see the author's name.

All that's missing (2, Insightful)

SeXy_Red (550409) | more than 8 years ago | (#16186281)

is the angle with the horizontal. With all this information it should be relatively easy to build a 2D/3D map from the pictures you collect.

yaw, pitch, roll - exif (1)

said_captain_said_wo (889009) | more than 8 years ago | (#16186497)

Camera location (GPS) and orientation (yaw, pitch, and roll) would give you a unique position.

Re:All that's missing (1)

frakir (760204) | more than 8 years ago | (#16186565)

Actually you need more to build a reliable 3D map:
-horizontal angle mentioned by you
-altitude
-zoom

5 numbers at a minimum: latitude, longitude, vertical and horizontal angles and altitude.

Re:All that's missing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16188019)

You might check out my tool "gipfel" (http://www.ecademix.com/JohannesHofmann#gipfel)
that computes these values from two known points on the image and the point of view.
Once you have oriented the image, you can project any GPS coordinate or GPS track on
the image.

Re:All that's missing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16187587)

For my recent Master's research, I used camera position information as the basis for creating 3D landscape modelling (with setting views independent of any direct camera data). I used a handheld GPS to record Lat/Long/Elevation (x,y,z), a compass for direction (yaw), a hand-made protractor with weighted arm to measure calibrated pitch of my tripod, and used the tripod's bubble level to assume the camera was level side-to-side (roll). All in all, there are 6 coordinates for accurate camera position (lat, long, elev, roll, pitch, yaw). Other camera specs such as focal length also need to be considered for 3D reconstruction. As it turns out, I'm also currently trying to create (photogrametry) a 3D model from Windows Local Live aerial photos, and its not working because I don't know enough info about the camera used.

This sort of product will be insanely useful as the technology develops. This particular implementation is severely too bulky for real-world use, but I won't fault it on that since its really the first attempt at this growing technology. One application I had thought of was a "mountain identification" service, where you use location info like is provided here to "search" for the names of features seen in the photo.

Re:All that's missing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16187745)

If you are interested in my research, its online (pdf) here: http://www.3dnworld.com/research.php/ [3dnworld.com] (I'm the one at the top). It deals more with photorealism using current technology, but there is some discussion of camera location stuff.

Multiple alternatives (4, Informative)

Lord Satri (609291) | more than 8 years ago | (#16186283)

There are *many* alternatives. Read those stories:
Flickr Adds Geotagging [slashgeo.org]
Geotagged Photo Browsing Tools for Google Earth [slashgeo.org]
Picasa Photos in Google Earth [slashgeo.org]
and the most important one:
Info on Geocoding Photos [slashgeo.org] which links (in 'related links') to numerous other sources of info.

Today, you can tag photos using Picasa and Google Earth, Yahoo! and Flickr, or other alternatives such as GPS hardware [slashgeo.org] to geotag your photos directly.

Re:Multiple alternatives (1)

stunt_penguin (906223) | more than 8 years ago | (#16187557)

Superb post man......... I just discovered Picasa's new features today when I downloaded the update- the tagging feature using Google Earth is brilliant - it feels a little fiddly at first, but after a few minutes I had tagged hundreds of my shots (only another 19,000 to go, then.... no, seriously, I need some kind of batch function)

Anyway, I havent probed all of the possibilities yet, but I'm sure there's a service where you can upload your JPEGs to a site which will automatically place them on a google maps map etc. It's also a big boon in that it tags your local, original file with the geolocation so that any exports or backups you make will have that information on them.

Anyway, good post :D

There is a fatal flaw with the product. (4, Funny)

Stavr0 (35032) | more than 8 years ago | (#16186333)

It's a SONY.

There is a fatal flaw in your post. (1)

ichigo 2.0 (900288) | more than 8 years ago | (#16187053)

The summary clearly states that it's not a SONY.

Re:There is a fatal flaw in your post. (1)

Stavr0 (35032) | more than 8 years ago | (#16187207)

The summary clearly states that it's not a SONY.

O RLY? [sonystyle.com]

Re:There is a fatal flaw in your post. (1)

Stavr0 (35032) | more than 8 years ago | (#16187275)

No not RLY. Must've taken the wrong turn on the Internet Tubes today.

Re:There is a fatal flaw in your post. (1)

ichigo 2.0 (900288) | more than 8 years ago | (#16190081)

I have the same problem, my internets often get delivered to the wrong address. One time my neighbour told me that he got penis-enlargement pills in his internets, I was too embarrased to tell him I had ordered them. :/

GoogleEarth? (1)

BandwidthHog (257320) | more than 8 years ago | (#16186397)

Doubtful, what with Flickr being owned by Yahoo and all.

Re:GoogleEarth? (1)

10sball (80009) | more than 8 years ago | (#16186857)

yeah, that line in the story read funny to me too. the built in tools for setting geo coords in flickr are indeed yahoo maps, as are the tools to view pphotos

however, if you don't like yahoo maps there are 3rd party tools already out there (like http://loc.alize.us/ [alize.us] ) that allows for geotagging via gmaps and/or google earth + flickr API

Open Source Alterative (3, Informative)

Glacial Wanderer (962045) | more than 8 years ago | (#16186419)

I wrote a command line application for windows that reads track information off of Garmin and Megellan GPSs (or it can read .gpx files) and then uses that information to update the exif information in the image files based on timestamp information. I'm using it with flickr and it works great. You do need to allow flickr to use exif data here: www.flickr.com/account/geo/exif. Since it updates exif information in jpg files it should work with any photo sharing tools.

This was meant to be a free simple application that you can just run on all your photos and I think it is just that. No bells, no whistles. It just gets exif data added to all the photos you just took in a quick easy manor.

You can download GeoPhoto Batcher with source code from: http://moesphoto.glacialwanderer.com/ [glacialwanderer.com]

GPS track to tags (1)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 8 years ago | (#16187103)

Now that is one slick idea.

How does it deal with photos that are taken at a time between GPS waypoints? I assume that the 'track files' produced by the GPS are a series of fixed positions and timestamps; e.g. x1,y1,z1,t1;x2,y2,z2,t2, where delta-t varies depending on the resolution you have the GPS recording at. What happens if you take a photo at t1.5? Does it pick the nearest timestamp, or does it interpolate a vector between the two points and estimate one's position at the time? Seems like it could be significant which method is used, because of gaps in the track that might occur during loss of signal, etc.

Anyway, very cool. I'd also point out (just to everyone else) that based on the readme on the download page, it's licensed under the GPL. Maybe some enterprising person will make a version for systems other than Linux? I could see something like that being a slick feature in an iPhoto-like management app.

Re:GPS track to tags (1)

Glacial Wanderer (962045) | more than 8 years ago | (#16189003)

Your assumption on how track files works is correct. This app linearly interpolates between the two nearest points (or if it is outside an end point then it just picks the nearest point). One of the command line arguments is the number of seconds you want to allow interpolation between. This prevents the problem of taking pictures on three days, but only taking a gps out the first and last days. You probability don't want to assume all your picture on the middle day were somewhere in the middle. Instead I just don't update the exif information on the middle day. However you could just set the max interpolation time to a very high value if you do want to that middle day photos updated. This was written for windows, but it should be easy for someone to port to Linux if they want.

Don't need extra equipment (5, Informative)

Forthan Red (820542) | more than 8 years ago | (#16186429)

If you already own a GPS, there are several software-only solutions to perform the same function. Just sync your camera's clock to the GPS clock, and turn on the GPS tracking function. The software will link up locations by matching the photo's time-stamp with the tracklog time-stamp.

Re:Don't need extra equipment (1)

garcia (6573) | more than 8 years ago | (#16186537)

Thank you! I was wondering how I could do it w/o a bunch of extra shit that I'm not using already. The only question I have is how accurate the camera's clock has to be (being that the GPS is constantly updated and the camera isn't).

Are there any specific pieces of software that will take the GPS' tracklog GPX and sync it with the EXIF data or is it more a manual thing?

Re:Don't need extra equipment (1)

garcia (6573) | more than 8 years ago | (#16186599)

The only reason I ask is that I see plenty of ways to manually look at the tracklog and get the coords, but I don't want to do anything manually and was hoping that there was some software to do it for you. Perhaps some shell scripts or something else, maybe even for Gallery1?

Re:Don't need extra equipment (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16186771)

There is software, even freeware if you aren't allergic to Microsoft: WWMX Location Stamper [wwmx.org] by MS Research. The camera clock doesn't need to be particularly accurate, unless you move fast while taking pictures. A simple trick is to always start your photo sessions by taking a picture of your GPS unit displaying the current time. Then you can compare the camera time (from the EXIF data) and the GPS time (in the picture) and calculate the offset of the camera clock, which you can then enter into the location stamper tool. The rest is automatic. It even shows your photo locations on a map right away.

Re:Don't need extra equipment (1)

gpsguy2 (967292) | more than 8 years ago | (#16187857)

There is also a pretty minimalist app for Windows called Grazer (http://www.grazer.de) that will load a .gpx file and match the existing photos in a directory. Don't forget to sync the GPS time with your camera clock.

http://jeepx.blogspot.com/2006/09/geotagging-with- magellan-explorist.html [blogspot.com]

Re:Don't need extra equipment (1)

nazanne (926750) | more than 8 years ago | (#16187071)

I use the great, and free OS X app GPS Photo Linker to automatically link my GPS track to my photos' EXIF data. http://oregonstate.edu/~earlyj/gpsphotolinker/ [oregonstate.edu]

Re:Don't need extra equipment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16186851)

It depends how accurate you want the meta data to be. The software only solutions need to use interpolation to estimate the location and the direction information is taken as the direction of the track which is not always the case when you are taking photos on a trip.

So for most people the software solutions are fine but if you need accuracy and direction then this would do it.

Re:Don't need extra equipment (1)

ChrisMDP (24123) | more than 8 years ago | (#16191125)

Yeah, but this does compass direction too... not sure the GPS can do compass direction to any degree of accuracy without movement.

Oh, honestly (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 8 years ago | (#16186463)

Until my digital camera automatically tags all photos with the information then uploads them wirelessly and automatically up to my flickr or other site, then logs the photos into google earth or whatever. I can't be arsed. Really all this is completely automatable so why would I bother?

 

Free GeoTagger SW and Sony Does it Too (4, Informative)

i4u (234028) | more than 8 years ago | (#16186567)

Grazer is now free The tool synchronizes GPS location information in GPX format and matches the timestamp of the location information with the timestamp on the EXIF header of your photos.
http://www.i4u.com/article6502.html [i4u.com]

Sony has released a GPS Geotagger gadget: Using time and location recordings from Sony's GPS-CS1 GPS device and the time stamp from a Sony digital still camera or camcorder, you can plot your digital images to a map and pinpoint exactly where you've been.
http://www.i4u.com/article6207.html [i4u.com]

GPS and photos taken inside + RoboGEO required (2, Informative)

Lord Satri (609291) | more than 8 years ago | (#16186615)

Of course GPS does not work inside buildings. The website says other hardware used 'bad' ways to retrieve inside-building location information, but they give no clue on how they do it themselves! How can I judge if their system is better?!

Additionnaly, most of the work is done by RoboGeo [slashgeo.org] , which must be purchased seperately.

Re:GPS and photos taken inside + RoboGEO required (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 8 years ago | (#16186685)

No, most of the work is done by the GPS, which you must purchase separately. Then the software, which you must also purchase separately. This device, which costs 150 pounds, doesn't do anything but ask the GPS for the location when you press the shutter button.

Re:GPS and photos taken inside + RoboGEO required (1)

fithmo (854772) | more than 8 years ago | (#16187215)

The website says other hardware used 'bad' ways to retrieve inside-building location information, but they give no clue on how they do it themselves!

There is another alternative [wikipedia.org] to RoboGeo that can be used to retrieve longitudinal data reliably inside buildings... assuming there's some windows... and a clear sky.

Re:GPS and photos taken inside + RoboGEO required (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16191629)

Assisted GPS can work down to about -160 dBm. So it depends upon the building.

There are already digital cameras on the market that include such assisted GPS and tag the photos with this information. OK really they are cell phones - e.g. the Vodafone 904SH from Sharp Corporation. It should become pretty common for camera/cellphones very soon.

Also if digital cameras add bluetooth, then they should be able to sync to various GPS devices pretty easily.

co34 (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16186707)

Inconvenient without a flash shoe (2, Insightful)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 8 years ago | (#16186811)

Um, most handheld digital cameras dont have a flash shoe, so this is sort of irrelevant.

Re:Inconvenient without a flash shoe (2, Informative)

Aczlan (636310) | more than 8 years ago | (#16187029)

not to be rude or anything but most CONSUMER grade digital cameras dont have a hotshoe however many high end/professional ones do (search eBay for "professional digital camera")

here are some examples:
a Canon one [ebay.com]
or
a Nikon one [ebay.com]

Re:Inconvenient without a flash shoe (1)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 8 years ago | (#16193605)

Which is why I said "most". If you do the math, there's more $150 cameras out there in the hands of the great unwashed, than there are pro cameras.

Convenient with a film slr ! (1)

Anne Honime (828246) | more than 8 years ago | (#16187045)

The pro side is the device retains compatibility with classic film slrs ; the con side, it's way too big for my OM1 ! Couldn't have they put just the GPS receiver part on the hot shoe, and use whatever link (be it bluetooth or even a wire) to hold the recorder in a pocket ? As it is, I don't see how you can snap a pic without a tripod. The weight would necessarily tilt and shake the body.

Re:Inconvenient without a flash shoe (2, Insightful)

karrde (853) | more than 8 years ago | (#16187719)

Most people willing to put out the $600 investment this requires likely have a camera worth more than that. And those cameras have a flash shoe.

Privacy? WHere has it gone? (1)

SuperStretch (1005515) | more than 8 years ago | (#16186909)

Yet another way for people to voluntarily give up any sort of privacy they had left

Re:Privacy? WHere has it gone? (1)

curlynoodle (1004465) | more than 8 years ago | (#16187247)

It is a person's choice to:
1) Use such a device
2) Share the resulting data with others

Only you can protect your privacy. Don't blame the technology.

Re:Privacy? WHere has it gone? (1)

SuperStretch (1005515) | more than 8 years ago | (#16187649)

idk... the technology is great, don't get me wrong, but people are idiots and entities such as the government take advantage of that.

Other alternatives (1)

cuenca (868137) | more than 8 years ago | (#16187089)

There is some software out there to coordinate GPS devices and a digical camera. See <shameless plug>this post for some alternatives [panoramio.com] </shameless plug>.

Richard Akerman also has an excellent summary on the currently available software/hardware to geotag photos [chebucto.ns.ca] .

where does the flash go? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16187095)

this *may* be the sort of thing that appeals to pros. who own cameras without built in flashes...

also, if you think im pulling that thing out of a camera bag every time, attaching it, taking the shot, detaching it, youve got another thing coming.

so the choice is between a 55g sony device that you have to push the button basically any time you move a reasonable distance, or a giant lump that is automatic and give you direction information and limits your ability to use a flash.

for me its a no brainer.

clunky, but the hot shoe idea is a great hack (1)

Finin (97295) | more than 8 years ago | (#16187201)

Using the hot shoe is a great hack. The device looks kind of clunky and the need to take action to integrate the geo-tagging data with the photos is a pain, but more and better will follow, right?

Re:clunky, but the hot shoe idea is a great hack (1)

Scooter (8281) | more than 8 years ago | (#16187463)

It's not a bad solution, and the clunkiness is not their fault - it's the fault of digital camara producers: I guess the digital cameras coming to us from "traditional" camera manufacturers have some sort of excuse for not thinking too radically about the "device" side of things (it's wearing thin though), but what is Sony's excuse, or any of the other consumer electronics companies now making cameras? Why don't digital cameras all talk bluetooth? Why can't high end cameras talk to bluetooth GPS devices? For that matter - why can so few of them do anything at all with bluetooth - even remote shutter release would be good. My Fuji 9500 uses a £2.50 *cable* as a remote shutter release - how last century is that? :/ Why can't I use my phone/PDA etc? WiFi and a built in web interface would be nice too.

Maybe much of this stuff is seen as trivial and not that important to professionals (although I bet GPS tagging would be) but as a buyer of various devices, it seems to me that cameras lag behind in terms of the level of connevtivity I now expect out of a chunk of electronics. Maybe I should wait for the first mobile phone with a standard lens mount and full size CCD :P

Re:clunky, but the hot shoe idea is a great hack (1)

Hijacked Public (999535) | more than 8 years ago | (#16188079)

They do indeed lag, but not just on the device side. Digital 35mm format cameras have only recently offered full frame sensors, which is kind of nice to have for the purposes of actually taking photos. They still lag behind their film counterparts in terms of speed and metering and AF and various other areas. Professional photographers are a cantankerous group. You actually see less in the way of new features on pro level cameras, the high level consumer stuff is usually the first to debut them.

OK, here's your first task: (1)

mangu (126918) | more than 8 years ago | (#16187327)

Get a photograph GeoTagged at ll=61.26426,-149.851316. You are not allowed to wear any uniform while doing it.

I Call Shenanigans (1)

DJ Wipeout (139210) | more than 8 years ago | (#16187537)

This "product" is completely bogus.


From the article:
"The Jelbert GeoTagger has a mount for the Garmin Gecko 301 GPS receiver which must be fitted in order to operate (purchased separately)."

This thing costs 149 british pounds, and ALL IT IS is a serial port connected to a processor that translates NMEA sentences to location and directional information, connected to an SD slot. You have to buy a GPS unit for it to work!


Hey, at least for 150USD sony throws in the GPS!

You'd be better off rolling your own with this [sparkfun.com] for a heckuva lot cheaper, and it comes with the GPS too! But you lose directional information. boohoo! :P

For the lazy though, the sony unit still wins.

Re:I Call Shenanigans (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16189487)

Technology is the application of knowledge and a product is the application of technology. My point is that for normal people start to geo-tag, it's important to make the product as easy to use as possible hiding as much of the technology as possible. All GPS receivers (except the SONY) are designed for out door activities and not photography. Hence their lack of camera friendly features. Even the various interchange standards are still out-door GPS centric...

Until the camera manufacturers build in GPS and a compass into their cameras then there will be a need to 3rd part solutions.

GeoTagger is designed to allow high accuracy (with direction), high volume geo-tagging whilst being easy to use.

New revisions of the firmware will include further photographic oriented features to help non technical photographers create the best quality meta-data for their images.

Richard
 

Re:I Call Shenanigans (1)

DJ Wipeout (139210) | more than 8 years ago | (#16190275)

Dude, bundle the GPS with the unit. It's that simple. The article is very misleading. The photo shows the GPS unit attached to the product, yet you have to scroll down midway through the article to find out "oh, it doesn't come with that." It just seems like you said "Oh, I want to make this product that will allow you to do this great stuff with geotagging" and then completely halfassed it after 75% of the way through development. Determining the direction and stuff is great and a neat feature, which I applaud you for. But not providing a complete solution out of the box just leaves a bad taste in my mouth, especially at the price you're quoting.

Re:I Call Shenanigans (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16191551)

Point taken. Including the Garmin and the software would take a lot of hassle out of the purchase.

Richard

Photo Gallery with maps (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16187659)

If you have photos with GPS coordinates (e.g. in the EXIF data), you can use Gallery + its map module to easily generate a photo album with maps.
An example: http://gallery.ibao.net/ [ibao.net] (click on the map on the left)

References:
http://gallery.menalto.com/ [menalto.com]
http://codex.gallery2.org/index.php/Gallery2:Modul es:Map [gallery2.org]
http://codex.gallery2.org/index.php/Gallery2:Modul es:Map:UserGuide [gallery2.org]

Have ya'll consider the price? (1)

Arwing (951573) | more than 8 years ago | (#16187757)

That thing is gonna cost you nearly $300 US a pop AND you have to purchase a software to use it. Way too much for your everyday user (hiker/boy scouts) IMHO, I can see a nitch market but somehow I don't see this product to take off anytime soon. However, I do like the concept or marking the photographs with geographical locations but unless they start to have built-in GPS system inside the everyday point-and-click cameras, I don't see it becoming very popular.

In other news today, new camera given to Bin Laden (1)

FerretFrottage (714136) | more than 8 years ago | (#16187947)

Known for his love of nature, particularly of the mountains and caves and all the beauty therein, O B Laden was given 3 new cameras to test: NikOnTarget, Olymwillnotmiss, and the much anticipated Canon Fodder.

Excellent! Wish comes true (1)

mattr (78516) | more than 8 years ago | (#16188133)

Wow this is great. By coincidence I typed a memo into my mobile phone, a napkin-back spec for a device that has what this one does, and a week later it appears all finished on slashfot! Well, they are perhaps missing one component but I am not going to post it here. I think I'm going to try it again.

Friends don't let friends buy Sony (1)

viking2000 (954894) | more than 8 years ago | (#16188373)

Friends don't let friends buy Sony. They probably embed the geodata in the image pixels so they can always find you.

Ricoh cameras (1)

mobby_6kl (668092) | more than 8 years ago | (#16188377)

There are already a few Ricoh cameras which can connect to a GPS device (bluetooth or serial, I assume) so this is a pretty stupid way to get GPS info on photos. I can't find the official product page, but here's a random link: Caplio 500SE B/W [letsgodigital.org] . I don't have one so I don't really know how exactly they work, but I'd guess better than this hack.

Missing Azimuth (1)

Chasqui (601659) | more than 8 years ago | (#16189661)

This is close - it captures location, time, and direction. Now all it needs is angle (azimuth). From the product description: "...tilting can stop the GPS receiver and compas from working properly..." Ok, fix this glitch and add azimuth info. Next, make it small enough to fit into a point-and-shoot. To all those privacy freaks - just don't record the information about the shot. You can also eliminate any EXIF data on your pics if you want. As for me - I find it extremely useful to know where I took a shot and when. Taking site photos of projects would be so much easier if I could just say "this is the x block of such and such, looking north at the property" without haveing to take written notes after I take each shot. Ok, so my example does not include azimuth information. Just like I have a need for time, location and direction, I am sure someone has a need for azimuth information.

What isn't told in the article... (1)

gwhenning (693443) | more than 8 years ago | (#16193441)

is that Sony's rootkit will prevent your camera from taking photos where those famous Ansel Adams pictures were taken in order to avoid copyright infringement and that the battery may catch on fire if you try to disconnect the device from your camera while "on location."
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