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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.


iPad iCloud Syncing

I finally got around to trying to sort my iPad iCloud syncing problem. Basically iCloud syncing wasn't working with Pages and Numbers documents on my iPad, but it working fine between my iPhone and iCloud. When you turned on iCloud syncing in the Settings and then went to Pages and then came back to Settings the iCloud sync was turned off again.

I'd read several support threads where a number of solutions were offered and different solutions seemed to work for different people. The most severe option was to completely wipe and reinstall the iPad and I was keen to avoid that if possible. One interesting looking thread was a bit frustrating in that several different people were saying "that worked for me" or "that made no difference" without referring to which solution they had tried.

In the end the suggestion to disable of remove any other clashing accounts, in my case a dormant Mobile Me account, worked fine for me and was a simple and fast fix. I created and deleted several test documents on my phone, pad and cloud web page and they now all synced perfectly.


Clagh Ouyr and North Barrule

For a while now I'd had a list of walks I wanted to do once I'd lost a little weight and got a bit fitter. One of them was North Barrule and today was the day I decided to go for it.

I packed my small cycling rucksack with some Lucozade and a Twix and part filled the water bladder so I could take sips on the way. I also added my small Canon S90 camera, having decided to leave my heavy Canon 5D, grip and 24-70 lens (aka The Brick) at home. My iPhone 4 was in my pocket, loaded up with podcasts, and I was quite keen to try the new HDR photo option that came with the recent 4.1 operating system update.

Photo: Clagh Ouyr and North Barrule

I parked at the Black Hut and set off up what I soon realised was Clagh Ouyr and not North Barrule. From the summit of Clagh Ouyr I could see the North Barrule ridge "stretching" all the way to North Barrule itself. I know for most walkers this was a trifling distance, a mere stroll, but for me it was one of the longest walks I'd done in many years and last time I'd tried to climb one of the Island's hill I was severely out of breath and quite distressed.

I set off and was quite enjoying the walk. I had to stop on some of the steeper uphill bits but was pleased that it was because my legs were tiring and not because I was totally out of breath. I asked one walker passing in the opposite direction if he knew where the crash site of a World War II bomber was and he told me to look for a small flagpole in the right hand (easterly) side of North Barrule itself.

Photo: North Barrule WWII crash site
Once I'd reached the trig point at the summit of North Barrule I set about trying to find the flag pole and eventually spotted it some was down a rock scree slope and scrambled down to it. There were some small parts of airplane wreckage left and a commemorative plaque was mounted on one of the rocks. I was also pleased to see a couple of small wooden Remembrance Day crosses on the ground in front of the plaque.

Photo: The memorial plaque

The plaque reads:

"On this hillside at 10:25 a.m. on the 23rd April 1945, a flying fortress B17G – 38856 crashed with the loss of 31 American servicemen. The aircraft belonged to the 381st heavy bombardment group, 533rd squadron based at Ridgewell in Essex and was on a ferry flight to Nutts corner in M. Ireland

This memorial was erected in memory of those who list their lives here and in other aircraft accidents in these hills, by Maughold Parish Commissioners and the Manx Aviation Preservation Society on 5th August 1995.

It cost me about an hour in time to scramble down to the crash site, take some photos, and then regain some height and get back to the style over the wall and fence to get back on the path that would take me back along the ridge back to Clagh Ouyr and my car. 

By the time I returned to the car I'd been out for about five hours. My feet and legs were aching but I as happy with my small accomplishment this afternoon. The HDR iPhone photos were a mixed bunch. Some of the normal photos were better, in my opinion, than their HDP counterparts but in a few instances, e.g. mixed lighting conditions, the HDR version was better and in one case it was startlingly better where a blown out sky was totally saved.

Photo: iPhone HDR example



I've been a fan of Dropbox, a cloud file storage system, for a while now. I use it to sync files between all of my computers, both at work and home, and also to have access to them when I'm away from home travelling. The facility to keep all of my travel documents, copies of passports and travel insurance is invaluable to me. It's also proved very useful for keeping Moneydance and 1Password data files on so that several computers always have the same up to date file data on them.

I've been able to access these files throught their web interface on my iPhone but recently they're released a dedicated Dropbox application for the iPhone which gives better access to your files, especially your photographs. It also gives you an easy way to upload photos straight from your iPhone to your Dropbox cloud storage and share them with friends.

My only problem is that after installing the app my iPhone battery seems to have drained very quickly. I need to carry out some tests to see if the iPhone Dropbox app is the culprit.

You can try Dropbox for free yourself by using my affiliate link below

We both get an extra 250MB free if you use the above link


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.