Looking for a Good GPS Geotagger
August 2, 2008 5:36 AM   Subscribe

Any one has great suggestions for inexpensive GPS photo finders / photo trackers / geotaggers?

I'm not sure what is the generic term for this kind of device.

To track my photos via GPS, I bought an ATP Photo Finder. I gave it a try and I was extremely disappointed. It was losing its signal all the time. It couldn't write to any of my SDHC cards, even though the manual clearly states it can. When I generated a KML of a walk I took downtown, Google Earth implies that I've walked through buildings and jumped over bridges. When I've set the device for 10 minutes on a bench right outside of my home, the KML file it generated made it looked like if I attached the device on a boomrang and managed to make it swing and fly across four blocks from my place.

I looked at the Merax PhotoFinder GPS too, but since I have a Mac, I cannot use their software to tag my pictures with GPS coordinates.

Any suggestions for a better GPS geotagger that is within the same price range as the two devices I mentioned above?
posted by remi to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (6 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: I forgot to mention that I returned my ATP Photo Finder the day after I bought it.
posted by remi at 5:40 AM on August 2, 2008

How old is your Mac (ie - will it run Windows)?

I would probably use a good GPS datalogger and then manually use the WWMX Location Stamper to tag the photos after my trip/walk.

The key is to find reviews of how well a device performs in an urban area - then, find out if that same chipset is used by a datalogging unit. I recently got a non-data logger, Bluetooth-enabled device and it performed amazingly well in the dense alleys/streets of Brussels. Once it had aquired signal, I stuck it in my back pocket or top of backpack and it would always manage to quickly re-aquire even as I went in and out of shops. I found this datalogger which uses the same chipset.

(No, I am not a shill for GPSCentral - but, they are local to me and I love being able to browse both online and in-store.)
posted by jkaczor at 8:21 AM on August 2, 2008

I thought I'd need dedicated hardware, but I find that any regular GPS, combined with GPSPhotoLinker does the job. I'm currently using my Garmin Edge 305 which, of all things, is a cycling GPS.
posted by neilkod at 9:06 AM on August 2, 2008

Sorry, in my above comment, I failed to mention that GPSPhotoLinker runs on Mac.
posted by neilkod at 9:07 AM on August 2, 2008

GPSPhotoLinker and any SirfIII or MTK chipset data logger. I have a Qstarz BT-Q1000 which works pretty well in urban canyons, but you're going to have to accept some amount of walking through buildings and jumping bridges with any GPS--they're not magic. I see that the ATP Photo Finder uses the SirfIII chipset, which is generally recognized to be one of the best, so you're probably not going to get drastically better results from a different GPS, at least not an inexpensive one. If you move up to a handheld unit with a better antenna, maybe.

If you get something with an MTK chipset, you're probably going to have to use some free software to download your data; I don't know of any which come with Mac-compatible software from the vendor.
posted by hades at 9:26 AM on August 2, 2008

I just started getting into this geotagging sort of thing and right now I'm using Sony's latest model (which is now Mac compatible since it mounts as a USB mass storage device as long as you're running at least 10.5.3), the GPS-CS1KA, after wading through tons of information, most notably, Science Library Pad's entry on GPS loggers and Macs. I was going to use the automator scripts I mentioned previously on Ask MeFi, but instead opted to use HoudahGeo. It is far from perfect and I did put together an automator script to fix up their not 100% perfect reverse geotagging.

Let me know if you want me to send you a KML or whatever of a log I did with my GPS unit.

(I'm not associated with Sony or Houdah software, just a pretty pleased customer, but judging by the number of people who I recommend their stuff to, I think I should be entitled to some sort of finders fee.)
posted by Brian Puccio at 11:56 AM on August 3, 2008

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