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Entries in GPS (6)


gps4cam Photo Geotagging App

I'd read a review on Terry White's Best App Site at for Geotag Photos Pro. I'd had this app on my phone for a while now but hadn't actually got around to trying it out on a trip. It had a large time display for manually synchronising your cameras to, but it still always depended on the camera time and GPS app time being in sync.  

What did intrigue me thought was the first comment to this posting, recommending a similar GPS app called gps4cam from

The difference between this geotagging app and all of the others I've seen is that the cameras and phone app don't have to be exactly in sync to get accurate geo locating as the app can generate a bar code at the end of a trip and you take a photograph of the bar code and a free companion desktop program will work out the time offset between the time encoded in the bar code and the time that the photo of the bar code was taken and insert the correct latitude and longitude details into your photo data.

This means that any number of cameras can use the same trip data to geotag the photos, always assuming they don't stray too far away from the person with the phone app.

I also wondered how long you had to take a photo of the bar code that the app generates but when I tried it I was pleasantly surprised to see that the bar code gets updated every ten seconds.

I've only used this geotagging app on one trip so far but I've been very impressed with the ease of use and the results. It's well worth trying out for yourself.


Trails / EveryTrail

Yesterday, when I went for a walk during my lunch break, I'd listened to a Mac Break Weekly podcast and one of the iPhone programmes discussed was Trails.

I downloaded it from the Apple App Store during my walk, but as I was nearly back at work by then I didn't have time to try it out.

During today's lunch time walk I turned it on as soon as I left work and left it running while I walked through town, went to the bank, and returned to work.

Trails keeps a track log of where you've been, so I could be used for geotagging photographs taken during the trip, as well as just keeping a general log of your various trips.

The track logs can be uploaded to the website when they can be stored in your account and there's also a widget that allows the trails to be embedded in a webpage in either an animated or static map.

The track on the map seems to very accurate. The speed during the walk varies widely, although the average speed for the whole walk seems sensible. One oddity is the Vertical Up / Vertical Down figures. Although I started and finished the walk from the same location, I seem to have climbed 679 feet and descended 358 feet during the walk and ended up 321 higher than I started.

Footnote: The connection to the seems a bit flakey and the embedded widgets don't always appear. A refresh of the web page sometimes seems to sort the problem.

Grrrrr, TomTom

A few days ago, in preparation for a long weekend in the UK, I decided to dig out our latest TomTom GPS and make sure it was all up to date with the software and map corrections.

After the update I was stuck with what seems to be known as the "TomTom Red X" and a GPS that no longer worked.

I'd had a couple of tries to fix it myself but to no avail so this evening I settled down with a glass of wine and Googled for the problem. It seemed to be quite widespread and had affected a lot of users of different TomTom models.

I had tried clearing the flash memory several times but I still didn't have a functioning GPS so I eventually bit the bullet and after backing up all of the files on the GPS I wiped it. By this time I was well through the bottle of wine and while I wouldn't advocate alcohol while trying to fix technology it did make it a bit easier.

Instead of hovering over the "are you sure you really want to wipe the device?" option for ages I said a quick "Hell, yes!" and it was wiped clean in no time at all.

After reinstalling the data, removing and reinstalling the applications folder, and wiping the flash memory yet again I eventually had a working GPS again.

All it took was 3.5 hours out of my evening and a bottle of wine.

I'm just so glad that I hadn't decided to update the GPS the night before our trip.


We went for another drive in the Boxster to Langness. I'd brought my new Canon 5D MkII and Oregon GPS as I wanted to try out geotagging using a seperate GPS unit and not one that was attached to the camera.

I went for a short walk out to the old Herring Tower and and then to near the lighthouse where Jeremey Clarkson owns the buildings and surrounding land.

We then drove to the Sound, but it was busy as usual so we headed off to Niarbyl for soup and a baked potato for lunch and then we drove home.

I copied the GPS track log in to Google Earth and was pleased to see that it showed the route we had driven that day. I then loaded the GPS track and photos into Houdah Geo to see how it synced the GPS data and photos. While it was fairly accurate it was apparent that I needed sync the times of the camera and GPS together more accurately for better results.

Photo: GPS track log in Google Earth


It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

I'd ordered a  Garmin Oregon 400t GPS from Amazon earlier this week. I'd wanted to use it to help geotag my Canon 5D images.  I missed the GPS device on my Nikon as the Canon didn't have a serial socket to plug it in to. It arrived at work this morning.

So that's a Canon 5D MkII, an iPhone and a GPS all in the space of four days.

It's beginning to be a bit like Christmas every day at the moment.