Geotagging for the masses

The 3 informations you need when you take a picture are "when did I shoot it", "where was the action taking place", and "what is the subject".

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Up to now, you have to rely only on your memory (or paper) for the subject and the place, your digital camera taking care of "when" by embedding automatically this information in your pictures.

With the commodization of GPS devices, we should have already have seen GPS integration into mainstream digital camera, or at least support for Bluetooth connexion. However, none of the manufacturers took the jump, and out of high range digital reflex where a pricey GPS is available, there is no simple way to embed location information in your picture EXIF datas Frown

There enters ATP, an US memory maker, who launched during the last CES a device aimed to be the "world most easy to use geotagging device". The "ATP Photo Finder " is a portable GPS unit which records your whereabouts during your shootings. By the end of the day, remove your memory card from your camera, and plug it into the ATP Photo Finder (it features a build in card reader). The ATP Photo Finder will then automatically embed location information in your pictures using EXIF information and recorded track (make sure that your camera and the ATP device are time synchonized !).

When you import your pictures on your computer, you will now have location information, as well as date/time and shooting parameters ! Cool

I use to do this using my PDA GPS with OziExplorer to record the track, and matching tracking data with the pictures on my PC, but I have to say that this solution is far more elegant and simple to use ! I hope the product will be quickly wildly availble to get my hands on it as soon as possible.

PS : Don’t forget to check the clock of your camera everyday you use it. Importing a batch of many tens of pictures just to find them dated in 2005 may be annoying and it happened to me many times … But thanks to Photoshop Elements date/time functions, you have the ability to shift the date of your pictures back to the right date !

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