OT: Question re GPS and geotagging

Stan Halpin stan at stans-photography.info
Mon Oct 12 19:48:00 EDT 2009


18-24 months ago I started thinking about an planned trip to Costa  
Rica which would happen in June 2008. I thought it would be nice to be  
able to capture coordinates and roll them into the exif files so that  
I could look at an image in LR and see where it was shot. [This notion  
is based on my frustration in sorting through images I had taken in  
Northern Italy: now in which small fishing village was this harbor  
shot taken?]

After some search I found various geo-tagging software and some  
instruction on how to do all of this. I bought a small Garmin handheld  
on eBay and tried playing with that. And came to a grinding halt. The  
Garmin interface totally baffled me, I could find no way on my Mac or  
a borrowed PC to change the basemap, I found no resources for a base  
map of Costa Rica. I generated some log files but had no way to export  
them to my Mac. I sold the Garmin on eBay at a small loss, bought a  
notebook and pen. In a recent search I still found no Garmin source of  
more relevant basemaps, but if I bought a Garmin unit in Costa Rica,  
it would come with a CR basemap. So why can't I buy that map here and  
load it in? Do Magellan, TomTom or others do a better job on this sort  
of support?

In June 2010 I will go back  to Costa Rica. I still think it would be  
nice to be able to capture coordinates and roll them into the exif  
files so that I could look at an image in LR and see where it was  
shot. John W's post on the Jobo shoe-mounted logger has re-started my  
quest. I don't think the Jobo is necessarily the answer. My iPhone  
does a decent approximation of location in the U.S. and I know how to  
use roadmaps and topo maps so I don't really need a GPS except when  
traveling out of the country, and then more for this sort of record  
keeping than for route finding. But as Doug noted, if one needs to  
have yet another battery enabled device, it might as well serve  
multiple purposes.

Can any of you tell me if there is a unit/system that meets the  
following critera?
a. Mac compatible software for the GPS management
b. Handheld unit
c. Simple changeout of the relevant basemap for a region
d. Availability of reasonably detailed basemaps for most/all regions  
of the world.
e. Simple export of log files.
f. Reasonable accuracy, quick startup and signal acquisition
g. At least 16-hour battery life or easily interchangeable batteries
h. Simple (Mac compatible) software to synch log files with exif data.

Oh, and of course low cost.


stan




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