Geotagging pictures for places?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by naiveandproud, Feb 17, 2010.

  1. naiveandproud macrumors newbie

    Feb 17, 2010
    Hello all! Newbie here - and proud of it. :D

    Quick help question to ask:
    I'm going to be leaving in a month and a half on a 7 month long job that will take me all around Europe. I'm looking for the best way to geotag my pictures to load into Aperture's new Places feature? Now, I'm not a professional photographer by any means. I have a Canon PowerShot SD780 IS.

    Now I know there's the eye-fi SD card or some other options that are like portable GPS time-log trackers and things like that. I'm hesitant to go with the eye-fi because i'll be in some pretty remote places of europe - very far from any wifi signal - and i'm not sure how accurate it will be.

    thoughts? suggestions? should i just do it all by hand after the fact?

    let me know.

  2. Designer Dale macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

    Mar 25, 2009
    Folding space
    This is something I need to come up with and I'm only going into Idaho and Montana. One of the easiest ways to track your photos is with one of the tracking devices you will find at the links below. You snap it to your bag and squeeze a button every time you take a picture. When you get back you load it into your computer along with your photos and the GPS coordinates are tagged to the photos. I must be honest and say that I have no idea how this happens. Sounds like magic to me.

    I have also heard of taking snaps with a GPS enabled camera phone. You need to enter the data manually, but you have a visual record of where the shot was. I don't need to the inch locations, but I feel like an idiot coming out of the mountains with great photos of Mt. Whatever. I need to get organized.

  3. steve-p macrumors 68000


    Oct 14, 2008
    Newbury, UK
    I'm using the GisTEQ PhotoTrackr Lite DPL700. It works very well. You can turn it on at the start of the day and turn if off again at night - it only records positions when it detects movement. You can configure the time or distance between points recorded so that you don't fill the memory (although I used it for a four week trip travelling in India and it didn't fill up with the default settings). It uses a single regular AA battery which lasts a few days, and you can easily find one of those anywhere in the world - no need to worry about recharging anything. It's small enough that you can just clip it somewhere and forget about it. I clip mine to my camera bag.

    The Windows software is not great, but the Mac software isn't too bad. In principle, what you do is synchronise your camera time with the GPS time before you leave. On your return, you plug the tracker in via USB and download the track logs. Then point the software at some photos, and it matches them up with the position you were at based on the time the picture was taken. If you happened to be between points, it guesses quite successfully. It automatically updates the pictures with the location - job done.

    I haven't experimented too much with it yet but Aperture 3 can supposedly do this part for you (maybe iPhoto as well). You still have to use GisTEQ's software to import the track logs and export them as a GPX file though. Also I haven't worked out if it can actually update photos automatically, or just show you the tracks on the map and let you work it out for yourself. However, Places works great if you have already done the tagging with the GisTEQ software, so it doesn't matter much either way.
  4. apple-ette macrumors member

    Jul 29, 2009
    I use a Merax PhotoFinder - it is a re-branded GiSTEQ PhotoTrackr CD111.

    • It is easy to use (just turn it on before taking photos, and then I leave it in my pocket, then turn it off when I'm done),
    • it finds satellites quickly,
    • it has a re-chargeable battery (they say it will run for 32 hours between charges) .

    • One has to use their proprietary software to get the track logs. (I use GiSTEQ's PhotoTrackr Mac software (Merax doesn't have their own software for Mac) to get the track logs only, not to geotag the photos.)
  5. davegregory macrumors regular

    Jul 7, 2009
    Burlington, Ontario
    If you use an iPhone, you can use Houdahgeo to sync your photos from your camera to your iPhone GPS data, you just snap a picture with your iPhone whenever you're someplace you're going to take photos and make sure your camera's date and time are in sync with the phone's.

    If you already own a handheld GPS unit, like a garmin or something you can also use your waypoints and map data from that in Houdahgeo.

    The PhotoTrackr Mini is also a good solution as mention previouly.

    I've also heard good things about the ATP PhotoFinder Pro. It's about $120 where the PhotoTrackr Mini is $69...

    Just some thoughts.
  6. spice weasel macrumors 65816

    Jul 25, 2003
    I use an iPhone app called Trails, which does the geologging, and then HoudahGeo for syncing the gpx file with the timestamps from my photos. It works really well for me.

    The upside is that it's a relatively cheap solution if you already own an iPhone. Trails costs $3.99 I think. HoudahGeo is more expensive, but if you are considering buying Aperture 3 then you don't need it, since Aperture will now accept gpx files. The downside to this method is that it drains your iPhone battery pretty quickly. To extend batter life, I only turn on Trails when I'm actually taking photos. It takes a bit longer this way because I have to wait for it to get a gps lock each and every time, but it's not that big of a deal.

    The other thing you can do is take a photo with your iPhone anytime you are taking photos with your main camera, and then use Aperture 3 to get the gps data from your iPhone pics.

    If you don't have an iPhone already, then obviously go with a gps unit or a geologger.
  7. Galarina macrumors member


    Jun 27, 2009
    My GeoLogTag iPhone app combines the functionality of a GPS data logger and the functionality of a geotagging app like HoudahGeo.
    It's an all-in-one geotagging solution for Mac users.
  8. naiveandproud thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 17, 2010
    and what if i don't have an iPhone....? :eek:
    are these solutions in the $100 range worth it? Or should i just manually label each location? I feel like if I'm going to pay for a high-tech 3rd-party device solution, then I want the labels to be precise (not what I've found with remote areas using eye-fi). If I'm not going to get accurate results, I might as well just do it manually. I can remember the picture was taken in a general area of Rome, for example. I want a geo-tagging solution to help me with "You were at this exact ruins location when you took that picture".

    Does that make sense?

    And yeah... i don't have an iPhone.. So i know my solution options just got a whole lot more expensive.. ha. :(
  9. Designer Dale macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

    Mar 25, 2009
    Folding space
    Absolutely. If you know where you are, just use a note pad and record the location and range of shot numbers off the back of your camera. I tend to go where I don't know where I am...:D

  10. steve-p macrumors 68000


    Oct 14, 2008
    Newbury, UK
    Even if you did own an iPhone I would still recommend you look at the small portable loggers personally as they are designed with one job in mind and they do it well ;) But you don't own one, so that's easy. Yes they are worth it IMHO. You get an exact location for every picture without having to think about it at the time, so you can just concentrate on taking photos.
  11. gloubibou macrumors member

    Jun 5, 2005
    Tooting my own horn:

    A good track logger may be had for $92.

    HoudahGeo will cost you $30.

    This buys you a complete solution for automatic geocoding. HoudahGeo not only writes EXIF/XMP tags. It also uploads to Flickr and locr. And allows for viewing your photos in Google Earth.

    If you are on a budget, you may skip on the track logger and use HoudahGeo to geocode using a map or by pointing out locations in Google Earth.

    If you have an iPhone, you could give a try for track logging. You could also use HoudahGeo's new "geocode from reference photos" feature. Just take one reference photo using iPhone 3G at each location where you stop to take pictures.

    Pierre Bernard
    Houdah Software s.à r.l.

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