I thought it would be fun to have a US Map View of my travels. Here's a small sampling of photos I've taken over the past few months, covering mostly NYC, Sonoma County, Seattle and the Tahoe/Truckee area. It's fun to put them together like this to see the map view.
Believe it or not, I've been taking way more photos with the ambassador equipment than I ever have before. At least my hard disk hasn't filled up yet, but I have about 8Gig of photos and videos now! The challenge of that of course is in organizing and documenting the experience. I've been alternating back and forth between Sony Picture Motion Browser and Picasa. Both have their strong points. I need to learn the products better to know if the weak points are in the products, or with my understanding of how to use the products. I haven't encountered any major issues with either - but there are still many features I have yet to attempt with both. So far, I prefer Picasa for ease of sorting, organizing and basic cleanup like cropping, but Picture Motion Browser for ease of interfacing to cameras and working with video clips. I purchased another 2G duo so now I can easily flip back and forth between the w80 and the network sharing video camera. I really enjoy the w80 over my old Cybershot. It's much more compact, more features and higher res. The video camera is good for what it's intended purpose is (low end video clips), but the form factor and buttons don't make it very easy to turn on and off. So I give it good marks for technology, but poor marks for human factors.
I found some hidden photos yesterday. I accidentally left my duo card in my laptop when using the w80. I noticed because I quickly ran out of space for photos. I grabbed the duo and continued. Later when transferring the pictures I noticed I was missing some. I couldn't find them through any means from my laptop. Then I took the duo card out of the camera and lo and behold, now I could view and transfer the photos. It appears that the internal memory is only visible to the computer if there' s no duo card. At least not, that I could figure out.
I've been in several different locations the past couple of months where I've been using the CS1KA with great success. In addition to tagging the photos, I also found an entry on one of my fellow ambassador blogs on how to convert the GPS log to other formats. I've been able to translate my CS1KA log to Google Earth where I can see my point by point trail - not just at the locations where photos were taken. Very slick!
Expect more photos and details on the experience soon.
I took the company shuttle from Tribeca (NYC) out to Warren, NJ recently. I snapped a few shots out the window along the way, as well as on the campus when I arrived. The GPS unit worked quite well, especially compared with trying to use it in NYC. I didn't adjust any of the lat/long data and all the coordinates look pretty accurate.
It was nice to see the fall color. It was a very late season - trees are usually almost bare in mid-November when these where taken.
We were having a group lunch that day to celebrate the 1 year launch anniversay of a big project. Little did we know that the Indian restaurant we went to was actaully catering a free company party for Diwali that day.
The Diwali celebration was in the parking garage so lightly wasn't very good. I took a couple of sample photos to compare the ISO feature of the W80 vs. using a flash.
I tried to add a comment to an old blog entry, but the "comments" option is missing. It's on every other blog entry except for that one - NYC is not GPS friendly . Odd. Anyhow, instead of adding a comment, I updated the entry. Check it out. I discovered some interesting things about 9/11 as I was figuring out captions.
I arrived back home in NYC today after over a week on the road visiting Santa Rosa, CA and Seattle, WA. I should have a few photo blog updates soon. Just need some time to get unpacked and process the images onto my computer.
Sigh - it's looking more and more like it's going to be tough to use the gps unit in NYC. In the past week I've been to many different areas around Manhattan and the only two places I've been able to get a "lock" were in Central Park and the Southern-facing window of my apartment on the 22nd floor.
Today I walked from 70th down to 46th and back along Amsterdam (10th Ave). I didn't get a single gps lock anywhere along the route. That's a North-South street, too. Not sure it's going to get any easier to have a view of the Southern sky in NYC.
To be fair, I also have trouble with my TomTom gps mapping on my treo when in NYC. The tall buildings just block too much signal. I was hoping to fair better with the new Sony unit, but it's doing about the same. I'm curious to know the specs but haven't had a chance to look them up yet (i.e. SiRF star III).
It would be a nice-to-have feature in the Sony software to just map the route that's been collected in the gps unit. The only way to know what coordinates are stored is to apply the route to photos which doesn't necessarily cover every point on the route. I have a Garmin Edge 305 for cycling. Granted it's for a very different purpose, but it's really nice to be able to connect the Edge to Google Earth and download the gps route directly to a map. I'd really like to see a map of my route, with photos scattered along the route. Of course, I'm still learning the product and I could have missed this feature. But I suspect Sony will be adding more bells and whistles as the product matures with newer versions.
In addition to the photos, check out this link for 9/11 stories on my local firehouse NY's Bravest. They lost 12 of 13 brave men that day. I just learned that there was a book called "Firehouse" written about their story. A few other books as well it appears - It's amazing what this search turned up.
I finally got to give the GPS and camera a test drive on Sunday. Although I had trouble getting a gps lock near my apartment by all the tall buildings, I was able to get a fix at a few locations in Central Park. I really like the "burst" mode on the W-80. It's great for action shots when you don't have time to frame each shot.
This is a sequence about 350 yards from the end of the NYC Marathon. The men's winner, Martin Lel, is flying by. A few of the photos literally look like he's flying - both feet are off the ground. These were all taken in a single pan with burst mode.
I took quite a few other random pictures, and this map view shows how the GPS software creates the map for you. Each push-pin represents a photo. Clicking on any push pin or thumbnail brings up that photo. You can nudge the pins if they aren't in exactly the right location.
It was like Christmas come early! The box arrived and so many fun things inside. I took the first few photos with my old Sony DSC P9. I was later able to apply gps coordinates to the photos with the CS1KA software, even though I hadn't even taken the gps unit out of the packaging at that time.
As promised by Sony, my gear arrived yesterday. In addition to the GPS-CS1KA there was also a still camera and a video camera to use with it (and a few other assorted items). The still camera is a Cyber-shot W80 and the video camera is a Network Sharing NSC-GC1. I should be posting some intial feedback and photos soon!
I received email acceptance to the sony ambassador program this week. In order to complete the deal, I need to send back a signed acceptance form and create a blog on active.com. Now that I've done that, I'm back to waiting. No mention of when I'll receive the gear, but I hope it's soon. I can't way to play around with it.