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Picture Geocoding Guide : Hardware, Software, Workflow
Posté le 01 mars 2007 à 13:37:59 par gpspassion.

Picture Geocoding Guide : Hardware, Software, Workflow

UPDATED 20070930

Picture geocoding is the action of adding the GPS position (latitude/longitude) to a picture to view the exact spot where it was taken. There are two ways to do this, either by taking a picture with a GPS enabled camera or by recording a GPS track and then matching the timestamp on the picture with the timestamp in the GPS log. While the latter has been possible for a while, the availability of online maps of the world with Google Maps/Earth or Microsoft Live Search makes it more appealing than ever.

Here is a guide to share the way to geotag pictures with the "workflow", hardware, software, etc...and you can use this thread of the forums for questions or comments.

  1. Taking a Geocoded Picture
    1. PDA/PDAPhone with GPS : an easy way to have geotagged pictures since the onboard photo application does all the work...but limited to poor quality pictures so far
      1. HP hw6915 : lat/long only down to the 5th decimal only
      2. HTC P3600 (aka Orange SPVM700, Dopod 818)
      3. HTC P4550 (aka Kaiser, TyTn II, AT&T 8925)
      4. (with tweak)

    2. GPS AIO/PND Systems with a Camera : same as above, easy, but low picture quality for now
      1. Navman AIOs : N40i and N60i (widescreen AIO), decent 1Mp sensor but low quality optics that can't compare with an entry level camera
      2. Mio is preparing systems with a camera as well, announcement expected in March for CeBIT - no model shown at CeBIT, maybe later...

  2. Geocoding a Standard picture
    1. Taking a picture : any digital camera will do, just make sure that the date and time are set correctly. In case of an error, adjustments can be made in the geotagging software later.
    2. Recording a GPS Log

      1. Logging software for PDAs : there are many tools for PDAs that will let you log data. VisualGPS, NoniGPS Plot, etc...This is not very convenient though as the PDA needs to be running at all times with a battery life limited to a maximum of about 6 hours. There is now a dedicated tool for Windows Mobile device, SunsetGPSLogger, registration required.

      2. GPS Systems that log data : a more convenient approach are the navigation systems that offer optional data logging in the background while you use them as you normally do. These are "off-road" systems by Garmin, Magellan or Lowrance but also road systems like the iGO based systems such as the Mio C310x, some Garmin AIOs (not the nüvis except the new 7xx series) or the TomTom AIOs with the Tripmaster plug-in.

      3. Dedicated GPS Loggers : this is probably the best approach, with a small dedicated device that has been specifically designed for logging, with convenience in mind for recording and retrieving. Some double up as a Bluetooth or mouse GPS receiver. You will find a summary spreadsheet in the forums and here is "family portrait" of some of the data loggers available as of 09/2007.

        1. Globalsat DG-100 - SiRFstarIII chipset : excellent battery life of 36 hours and a memory for about 60,000 data points. Comes with a three-way switch to change logging modes on the fly, a push to log buttong and a convenient belt-clip. PC application exports to NMEA (RMC) or .csv, then convert to GPX with

        2. iBlue 757 Pro / Semsons iTrek Z1 - MTK Chipset with similar sensitivity to SiRFstarIII. The 757 has 8Mb of memory for about 30,000 data points. It has a solar pannel and can be used as a Bluetooth or Mouse GPS. PC application exports to NMEA (RMC) or .csv, then convert to GPX with

        3. iBlue 747>/Qstarz BT-Q1000 - MTK Chipset with similar sensitivity to SiRFstarIII but much better battery life. The Q1000 has the latest v1.94 firmware that provided better dynamics for pedestrian use. They have 16Mb of memory for about 60,000 data points. PC application exports to NMEA (RMC) or .csv, then convert to GPX with if needed.

        4. Gisteq Logger - Dedicated logger based on NemeriX NJ-1030 chipset with average sensitivy, ok for driving but less so for pedestrian use. Has a hardware sensor for auto on/off. Sold with a full logging suite.

        5. Royaltek RGM-3800 - Small dedicated logger, no Bluetooth. Uses the latest SiRFstarIII/LP (low power) chipset but has a limited battery life of about 10 hours. PC application is easy to use and interfaces well with

        6. Sony GPS-CS1 - Sony chipset : no first hand experience with this logger, based on reviews it does not appear to be very sensitive, which will be a problem for a device used to log in the "background"
        7. Wintec WBT100/200 - uNav chipset: battery life limited to 17 hours (with Bluetooth off). Can double up as a Bluetooth receiver. Comes with PC application that exports to GPX. uNav chipset currently not as accurate or sensitive as SiRFstarIII

    3. Geocoding software : this is the step where the timestamp in the pictures is going to be matched to the timestamp of the recorded GPS Log
      1. WWMX Location Stamper : free software out of the Microsoft labs, add pictures (adjust the timestamp if need be) a GPX Track and you're done (click to enlarge - the circles show where the pictures were taken) :

      2. LOCR - v1.1 : this online viewing service comes with a free optional PC application (also for Nokia Smartphones and upcoming version for Windows Mobile devices) for geocoding your pictures with a track or manually - see the mini-review

      3. PhotoMapper : a user friendly application that handles gpx, hst, tcx, nmea formats.

      4. RoboGeo : commercial software that provides automated geotagging with Google Earth and Google Maps export. Demo version creates position errors of about 1 mile so it's difficult to check that it works properly.

      5. JetPhoto Studio : provides automated geotagging with Google Earth export. Free version limited to geotagging of 100 pictures

  3. Viewing Geocoded Pictures - On the Web and Locally : :
    1. WEB - Flickr : upload a geocoded picture and you will see it on Yahoo maps but you for automatic placement on the map you will need to activate this option (tip seen here)

    2. WEB - LOCR : upload a geocoded picture and you will see it on Google Map maps. New version lets you put your pictures in albums. Pictures can be rotated and the site displays wikipedia links - see the mini-review
    3. WEB - Panoramio : upload a geocoded picture and you will see it on Google Map maps, here is an example. They will also appear for Google Earth users who have activated the panoramio overlay

    4. WEB - Picasa : you can now view your pictures on a map in Picasa web albums, but you will likely need to process your geocoded pictures with these tools so that Picasa recognizes the lat/long.

    5. WEB - : Triptracker not only lets you display geocoded pictures but also upload a track of your trip as well as add comments for a full report to share with your friends
    6. LOCAL - Google Earth : you can create a GE file from Picasa and then load it in Google Earth. You can also send the file via email as it contains the compressed pictures

If you have questions or comments, you can use this thread of the forums.

My personal setup/workflow :
1. Globalsat DG-100 Datalogger or Globalsat GH-615 watch -> NMEA
2. Locr PC to geocode
3a. Upload to
or 3b. Picasa PC -> Picasa Web albums

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