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The technie stuff

Posted by Tim Haden on Nov 12, 2007 9:44:00 AM

OK so it's been a while since I posted but that's becasue I have been playing with the technology...

 

The Sony GPS-CS1KA records GPS data every 15s. It's not connected to the camera but the two need to travel together so that when you have finished shooting you can pair the location data from the GPS device with the photos you took; the supplied Sony software for doing this is called "GPS Image Tracker". Oh and if you left the GPS device at home then went off taking pictures it would look like you had taken all the photographs from your house so don't forget it when you leave :). The GPS data and images are paired based on time. So if you took a picture at 11:05am the Sony GPS Image Tracker software would match it with the GPS data recorded at 11:05am. Once the two pieces of data have been matched together the location information is embedded within the image file and saved. Now that the information is in the file it can be used by websites like google maps to show where the image was captured.

 

The Sony GPS unit only comes with Windows software for pairing the GPS data and photos. I have a Mac and prefer it to a PC so needed to find software tools/ websites out there that enable me to pair the pictures and GPS data on my Mac hardware. I trawled the web with the objective of finding other image pairing software for Mac and found lots of good stuff out there for doing it!

 

Background:

I am using a:

- Black Intel Macbook with 2GB memory running OS X v10.4.10.

- Sony GPS CS1KA this generates a GPS data file every time it is switched on recording it's location every 15s in NMEA format

 

The best piece of software I found was called GPSPhotoLinker and it can be downloaded from here:

http://oregonstate.edu/~earlyj/gpsphotolinker/

There is a user tutorial with the free download which is useful and the pairing process allows you to see the location on google maps before you commit the changes to the image file.

This is what it looks like in action:

!http://lh3.google.com/trisonygps/RziPrjwoiZI/AAAAAAAABk4/Qx1pYbbWoDE/s400/tech1.jpg!

This is a screen shot of the browser window that pops up. !http://lh4.google.com/trisonygps/RziUlzwoiaI/AAAAAAAABlA/lXFd8hOLMoQ/s288/googlemap.jpg!

 

GPSPhotoLinker only reads in GPX gps data files though and the Sony GPS device captures data in NMEA format. That's easy to overcome though as you can easily convert your files on this website:

http://www.gpsvisualizer.com/convert

choose the file or paste the contents into the window and change the output format to: GPX

 

What is also great about this piece of software is the fact that it creates weighted average locations. Why do you need this I hear you ask? Well with the GPS unit only records data every 15s so it's only going to be accurate if you stand in the same place for 15s taking your photograph which isn't always the case. Clicking the "view on map" button then pops up a browser window for you to verify the location information before you save it.

 

The next thing you will probably want to do is then load your images with their embedded GPS data into iPhoto and this is where things can go a bit screwy as iPhoto rounds the GPS co-ordinates incorrectly so the location is off. You can read more about that and getting GPS data in iPhoto here. So at least for the moment, until this gets fixed or someone shows me another solution I am holding off on loading my GPS images to iPhoto.

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Tim Haden

Tim Haden

Member since: Oct 1, 2007

Sony asked me to become a brand ambassador for their new camera GPS system. So here you can and see what I've seen and where I've seen it. Things to look out for in the coming months: - New York - London - Skiing and loads more...

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