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 [TOPIC] GiSTEQ PhotoTrackr with Sensor - Reviewed
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gpspassion

94046 Posts

Posted - 24 avr. 2007 :  17:15:07  Show Profile  Visit gpspassion's Homepage  Reply with Quote
REVIEWED - GiSTEQ PhotoTrackr with Sensor


PhotoTrackr page on the Gisteq site

Picture geocoding is the "hot" GPS topic of 2007 and GpsPasSion published a comprehensive guide in March. As with many budding areas, the user needs to piece together various solutions and figure out what works best. Many users including myself will enjoy experimenting but a "turn-key" solution is needed for more people to join in the fun and when it is well designed even advanced users will enjoy using it. I'll admit that this introduction was a bit long, but it summarizes my point of view on GiSTEQ's PhotoTrackr solution.

For $100 at Semsons (10% off for GpsPasSion Club members) you'll get a GPS datalogger and the PhotoTrackr software that will let anyone with a digital camera geocode pictures with several bonus features not found elsewhere.

I've had the opportunity to test the PhotoTrackr over the past few weeks providing feedback to the team over there and probably for the first time since I started the site 5 years ago, the suggestions I made were quickly added to the software !
    Comments :
  1. GPS datalogger with sensor : the GPS datalogger to be based on a Xaiox design without the Bluetooth part (update : Gisteq will be releasing a Bluetooth verion too), so it won't double up as a GPS receiver for a PDA or laptop (can be used via USB though), but I generally find that dedicated devices do a better job. What makes this logger unique is that it has a built-in sensor that wakes it up when it senses a movement and turns it off when it doesn't (the delay is now user programmable). This is ideal for data logging as you don't use up memory to capture portions where you're not moving.

    Another unique feature is that it "talks", actually voice messages or sounds can be associated to certain actions, when it wakes it up it will say "searching for satellite signal", "found gps signal", etc...it can be muted if need be.

    The memory capacity is rated at 250,000 points it can log, consistent with my testing (118,000 points logged and about 50% memory used) with fast data transfers to the PC.

    The battery life is rated at 22 hours of continuous usage and 2,000 hours of standby time. I haven't verified that in detail but will say that I have seldom had to recharge it.




    Quite a bit larger than the Wintec WBT-201, but I didn't find any situations where that was a problem


  2. GPS Performance : the GPS chipset is the NemeriX 1030 chipset, likely with the advanced v4 firmware that I tested in the past to offer excellent accuracy. My concern was the fact that it not a "high sensitivity" chipset with its -152dBm rating, compared to the -158dBm of the MTK and uBlox and -159dBm of the SiRFstarIII chipset. The good news is that in my varied testing environments, car, bicycle, pedestrian I did not see any particular problems with lost fixes, see the track comparisons below. The main difference will be noticeable for TTFF (time to fix) in the morning (so-called "warm" fix) due to the lower correlation power of the NX chipset, but that can be easily fixed by giving it a good view of the sky.


    The Gisteq, WBT-201 and 818 MTK were placed in the outisde pocket of my backack while I rode my bike. The Mio A701 was on the handlebar with a better view of the sky and shows the exact track I followed.
    Good overall performance by the Gisteq with some slight multipath problems but far less than the WBT-201.


  3. The PhotoTrackr software : this is a full blown software suite that will handle everything from the GPS data downloading for multiple users to the GPS geocoding, Picture downloading, EXIF information display, the reverse geocoding to determine the address, geo-slideshow, picture sharing on flicker, logger settings, trip stats, etc...You'll find the complete list on their site but I'll list out a few features I particularly liked :
    1. Fast downloading : connect the datalogger, hit the "download log" button, choose the users and the data transfers quickly with instant display on Google Maps



    2. Reverse address geocoding : concurrent with the embedding of the GPS information (standard so it can be read with tools like www.locr.com), the software also does some reverse geocoding to show the address where the picture was taken



    3. Slideshow mode : this is probably the feature I like best since it lets you relive your trip by displaying the picture, top left, the reverse coded address, any comments you have added below and on the right a map showing where the picture was taken. As far as I know this a unique feature and certainly very enjoyable if you've taken many pictures on your trip



    4. GPS data exporting : even though PhotoTrackr is a turn-key solution, advanced users will be able to export the data logs to the NMEA or GPX format for further analysis. The raw .gps files are also compatible with Adam's www.gpsvisualizer.com


    5. Time synching but not time adjustment : the software has a tab to help you synch your camera's time to the GPS time. However if your camera's clock had drifted there is no way to adjust the time, something you can do with MS Location Stamper for instance

  4. Other test results :
    1. Battery life : 32.8 hours of contiuous use, better than the rated 22 (apparently for the Bluetooth version).
    3. The GPX export does not have any altitude info so it won't work with most analysis tools. I'll ask them if they can log the altitude too.

Questions, comments ?



Posted by jpvalenz - Anyone knows about this data logger? Although its a little bigger than the Wintec WBT-201, it seems a nice alternative (especially for geotagging). The specification can be found on their website.

Product Description:
Think about the last place you traveled to. Do you want to know exactly where all your pictures were taken? Take the GiSTEQ PhotoTrackr with you on your next trip! Utilizing the included mapping software and latest Geo-Mapping technology,the GiSTEQ PhotoTrackr allows you to record and review your trip knowing exactly where you have traveled. Furthermore, if you took pictures on your trip, it will even show you the exact location and time of your pictures.

The most exciting feature of all is that you can upload your photos to Flickr online. It's a cool way to share your trip experience with friends and families. Make your next trip special; don't let your trip gone by without precise location info. There is no subscription and no monthly fee. Get yours today!

Features:

# Share photos with location mapping on PhotoTrackr software.
# Integrated with Flickr online for easy online photo sharing.
# Keep track of your digital photos with satellite precision.
# Display or playback historical trip routes with the included mapping software.
# Compatible with ALL digital cameras
# Light weight & Low Power consumption.
# Power saving with build-in vibration sensor.
# Automated photo slideshow function.
# Geo-tagged function enables image-sharing in Geo-photo sharing websites.

GPS Specification:
# Battery Life: 22hrs, 2000hrs in stand-by mode
# NEMERIX 16 channels satellite tracking
# Cold/Warm/Hot start time: 45/38/6 seconds (on average)
# Superior sensitivity: -152dBm tracking
# Update Rate: 1 Hz (max)
# Built-in rechargeable 1100mAh Li-ion battery
# Support standard NMEA-0183 at 38400 bps baud rate
# Memory Capacity: 250000 waypoints
# Logging data interval programmable: by time or distance
# Data tag (start, stop) can be set by user, maximum 250 sections
# Support G-mouse function via USB cable
# Vibration sensor for power management (auto power on / off)
# Dimension: 3.05 (L) x 1.82 (W) x 0.89 (H) inch
# Weight: 68g including battery
# Accuracy: Position: 5m CEP (50%); 9m (90%); Velocity: 0.1m/sec, without SA
# Frequency: L1, 1575.42MHz
# Antenna: Built-in low noise patch antenna; External MMCX antenna port

Product Content:

Data Logger GPS Receiver x 1
Battery x 1
AC Charger x 1
USB Car Charger x 1
Data Cable x 1
Software CD x 1

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gpspassion

94046 Posts

Posted - 24 avr. 2007 :  17:16:54  Show Profile  Visit gpspassion's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Welcome to the forums, well I was just about to post news item about it as I have been testing it over the past few weeks and it is quite unique thanks to the PhotoTracker software it ships with.

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jpvalenz

Chile
6 Posts

Posted - 24 avr. 2007 :  18:10:02  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Nice. I'll wait you to do that before I make my final decision between the Gisteq PhotoTrackr or the Wintec WBT-201.

Juan Pablo Valenzuela
Chile
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gpspassion

94046 Posts

Posted - 26 avr. 2007 :  03:15:43  Show Profile  Visit gpspassion's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Review is up ;-)

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jpvalenz

Chile
6 Posts

Posted - 26 avr. 2007 :  17:52:18  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
(...) without the Bluetooth part, so it won't double up as a GPS receiver for a PDA or laptop (...)



But you can use it as a GPS receiver (G-mouse function) via USB with a laptop, isn't it?

Juan Pablo Valenzuela
Chile
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gpspassion

94046 Posts

Posted - 28 avr. 2007 :  10:58:03  Show Profile  Visit gpspassion's Homepage  Reply with Quote
No, again, this is a single purpose device optimized for data recording. If you need a USB GPS, you can get a SiRFstarIII mode for about $50 now. UPDATE - sweeper1 got his to work as a USB GPS, see below.

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leaf

Poland
5 Posts

Posted - 28 avr. 2007 :  21:11:47  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
can somebody give a link to gisteq software? I use xaiox itracku that is similar, but works as normal bluetooth GPS. The software included is awfull.
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gpspassion

94046 Posts

Posted - 29 avr. 2007 :  02:34:08  Show Profile  Visit gpspassion's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Right, that's really the hard part, tweaking the firmware and building good user friendly software. I was told they didn't have any plans to sell the software separately at this point. If the xaiox software let's you export GPX or NMEA files you can use the apps listed in the Geotagging article, locr, location stamper, etc...

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kiwiblade

Netherlands
27 Posts

Posted - 29 avr. 2007 :  08:57:12  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
This tracker seems to offer more memory than any other tracker out there, doesn't it? My father is going to cycle from the Netherlands to Santiago de Compostella in Spain and I'm looking to provide him with a datalogger that is:
- easy to use
- small
- loads of memory
- low on battery

The GiSTEQ seems to offer it all, especially through the movement sensor At an estimated distance of 2000-2500km, he'll be able to log between 100 and 125 points per km. Quite good if you ask me.

And the photo tracking is a bonus!

Any other device out there with this kind of performance?

Cheers,

Mark.
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gpspassion

94046 Posts

Posted - 29 avr. 2007 :  10:41:39  Show Profile  Visit gpspassion's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Seems to be a good match indeed, especially if he can leave it in place for several days as he won't have to worry about it. Not a problem for picture tagging, on the contrary, but it doesn't have a "smart" logging mode like the WBT-201 that could be handy to log a bike/car (only adds a point when it detects a change of direction of 15 degrees).

I'll deactivate the sensor to check the memory capacity and battery life this week.

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coffeemonk

USA
9 Posts

Posted - 01 mai 2007 :  05:59:12  Show Profile  Visit coffeemonk's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I emailed GiSTEQ to ask whether they would be selling a version of their tracker with bluetooth, and just received the reply tonight that they would indeed be offering it for sale starting next month. So, if you like the looks of their software, but want a bluetooth tracker, sounds like you'll be in luck, assuming you're also patient.

Edited by - coffeemonk on 01 mai 2007 05:59:42
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gpspassion

94046 Posts

Posted - 01 mai 2007 :  20:09:16  Show Profile  Visit gpspassion's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Interesting, wasn't aware of that.

More test results :
1. Battery life : 32.8 hours of contiuous use, better than the rated 22 !
2. Data logging : 118,000 points and just under the 50% mark, consistent with the rated 250,000
3. The GPX export does not have any altitude info so it won't work with most analysis tools. I'll ask them if they can log the altitude too.

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sweeper1

3 Posts

Posted - 04 mai 2007 :  15:11:16  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I just wanted to add, I received this unit yesterday and when I had it connected to my laptop, I noticed that I couldnt turn it off and that it was gathering location information (the blinking red light) So just for fun I decided to turn on microsoft streets and trips and turn on the gps tracking in the software. It actually does pipe a live stream to streets and trips over the USB cable...I'm not sure if this is something they enabled recently (since I just received my unit) but I wanted to let you know as it seems to contradict what you said in your review...So that was a welcome surprise for me...

Steve
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gpspassion

94046 Posts

Posted - 05 mai 2007 :  02:38:21  Show Profile  Visit gpspassion's Homepage  Reply with Quote
That's good news, could be hardware related, my test unit being an early version, I don't get any NMEA data coming through. Did you use any particular settings ?

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sweeper1

3 Posts

Posted - 06 mai 2007 :  14:03:46  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
No, I just plugged the unit in to download my trail...After I was done doing that I turned on streets and trips and clicked Start GPS Tracking under the GPS Pane. It asked the COM port and I selected 10, which is the com port that it shows connecting to in the gisteq software...And it worked. It's nice because this unit seems to get a location lock really fast..I mean sometimes in less than 30 seconds, inside on the 1st floor of my 2 story house...Maybe that's the norm for new GPSes these days, but it was impressive to me..

Steve
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gpspassion

94046 Posts

Posted - 06 mai 2007 :  19:09:49  Show Profile  Visit gpspassion's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Actually that's the relative weak point of the Nemerix 1030 chipset as it has a low correlation power. What you saw is probably a hot fix, if you wait 4+ hours for a warm fix, it will take longer than a high sensitivity chipset like SiRFIII, MTK, uBlox or NX3. More about that in the article above.

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