Getting into Geo-Tagging

My First Ever Geo-Tagged Photo.
My first ever Geo-tagged Photo

(I originally wrote most of this on Thursday, 21 May)

I can’t explain to you the thrill and excitement I get from geo-tagging my photos.  I don’t mean that the thrill is so large as to defy explanation; rather that I can’t articulate what it is about geo-tagging my photos that excites me so much.  Perhaps it’s the fascination of two different technologies coming together.  Maybe it’s the age-old excitement of being able to point to a map and say “I was there!”, only this time you have the EXACT coordinates and you have photographic proof.  All I know is that ever since I resolved to get a GPS device to work with my cameras, I’ve been anxious to get my hands on the device.  Officially, it’s an anniversary gift from my wife, and I think it will be one of the ones I enjoy the most.

Originally I was going to buy the JOBO photoGPS but it had lots of marks against it.  First of all, it resides in the camera’s flash hot shoe.  This means that 1) I cannot use flash when geo-tagging my photos and 2) I cannot geo-tag my point and shoot photographs.  Not only this, but second, most people online complained that it was very loose on Canon cameras and was always falling off or in danger of doing so.  Then it was featured on Digital Photography School. Almost no one liked it and everyone mentioned just getting a regular GPS reciever and syncing the track files.  Nearly everyone recommended Geosetter for syncing the track files.  I did some searching and eventually came across Jeffry Friedl’s blog.  He has an awesome photoblog documenting his living and travels in Japan.  Jeff uses the Garmen Legend eTrex Hcx .  After reading his review, I knew that was the device for me.

My new GPS unit for geo-tagging my photos and a "holy-cow-that's-insanely-small" memory card for it
My GPS unit

Yesterday I got the eTrex and I couldn’t wait to go and try it out!  I got it set up and I couldn’t wait to go out with the GPS and try linking the GPS track with my photos.  So, after dinner, we went out for a walk and I took my first ever geo-tagged photos.  I walked around with the GPS unit hanging around my neck.  Then I came home and loaded up the GPS tracks.  It was so excitingto see my path traced out on the map – that’s where I walked!  And then to see the photos matched up to the path – it was great!


View Larger Map
Mapped Location of my First Geo-tagged photo

Since then I have used it to geo-tag photos from Dina’s graduation and a walk on the boardwalk near Coney Island – one of the places I was most excited about geo-tagging.  I’ll be blogging about that in the future and I also plan to post a review of both the Garmin unit and Geosetter – now that I’ve had more time to use them.
Retention Pond
Another geo-tagged photo from the same outing.

Author: Eric Mesa

To find out a little more about me, see About Me

3 thoughts on “Getting into Geo-Tagging”

  1. Pretty awesome stuff. I’m super jealous. I’ll have to figure out something for when I’m not using my iPhone for pictures.

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