GeoTagging

Hey again,

I said in the last post that I would explain about a process call GeoTagging.

This is the process of adding location data into the MetaData of a digital photograph.  Now why would you want to do that you ask?  Well, maybe you have some family and friends, following your photographic adventure while you’re on vacation.  Maybe you just like taking a look at other people’s photos at a specific location.  The reasons are multiple and plentiful.

So, first, let’s introduce you to a couple of places that support Geotagged photos.  Amongst the popular, there’s Flickr and Panoramio (which is a Google Earth based application).  Do a Google search on the internet and I’m sure you’ll find something.  I’m going to talk about Flickr, it’s what my friends and I mainly use.

Capture

Above you can see this is Flickr’s map view of the Ottawa, ON area.  The little pink dots, well, as you probably have guessed, those are geotagged photos.  Doesn’t look like a lot, but trust me there’s a lot more.   You’ll have to zoom in closer.  In the next picture you’ll see a few of my photos that have been geotagged in at Phiney’s Point.

Capture2

Click on one of the Pink dots and it’ll open up the photo.  Neat, huh?

So, how do you Geotag a photo?  Well, the most inexpensive way, but the least accurate is to manually enter the data into the metadata of you digital photograph.  In Flickr, it gives you the option of drag and dropping it onto the map.  I’m not going to get into any great detail on how to do that.  You can figure that out on your own.  I have faith in you.

Now, the more expensive way to do it.

There’s at least two ways of doing this.  Direct Imbedding (while on the camera) or using a computer, handheld GPS device and geotagging software.

Now this is what I would like to get for Geotagging.  Well, since I have Nikon camera, I would like to use the Nikon GP-1.  This device will cost you about $280 at Henry’s.   It will automatically write the longitude and latitude coordinates into the picture as you take them.

25396_gp-1-gps-unit_front Nikon GP-1 Geotagging GPS Unit

nikon-gp1-mounted-20081202-600Nikon D90 with the GP-1 attached.

The other way, which is way more affordable is software.

I use a program called Robogeo, now there are other software out that that does Geotagging, but I found that Robogeo is more intuitive and easier to use.  Also that it will geotag RAW (.NEF) photos as well.

You’ll need to walk around with a handheld GPS that is capable of keeping a tracklog.  Previously, I used a Garmin GPSMap60 CSx (Robogeo was able to automatically grab the tracklog from the 60), now I use a Garmin Colorado 300.  I have to transfer the tracklog to my computer as a GPX file and import it into Robogeo.  Hind sight, being twenty-twenty, I should’ve kept my 60.

garmin_gpsmap_60csx_handheldGarmin GPSMap60CSx

garmin-colorado-300-sat-navGarmin Colorado 300

Technically speaking, this is the more expensive way to go about Geotagging.  Since you have to spend out for a good hand held GPS.  But since I go geoaching, I already had the handheld GPS.

Once you have imported the tracklog into Robogeo, then you have to import the photos that you want Geotagged.  You can either have the coordinates stamped right on the picture or written into the metadata or both.  This is a long process, especially when you go out for a photowalk and take hundreds of pictures.  I choose to write the geotagged photos to a new directory on the computer, therefore I don’t alter the original photo.

Well, I hope this answers your questions on what is geotagging.  If you have the means, I suggest giving it a try.  Oh yeah, Robogeo has a demo version available on their site.  I think it watermarks your photos until you register for a full version.

Until next time folks.

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