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21 April 2008 @ 02:22 am
Where in the world?  
What's the difference between the photograph below and the thousands I've shot before? If someone asked me where this photograph was taken then I would say, "Yosemite National Park in California at a place called Tunnel View which is on Highway 41." -- I could be more verbose but imagine all that being replaced by just giving out the latitude and longitude of the place where the photograph was taken. All I'd have to do then is find it on a map.

Geographic information can be embedded into photographs and that is known as geocoding. It is popular with photo sharing sites like Flickr which allow photographs to be dragged onto a map to be geo-tagged. However, if you happen to have one of the modern digital cameras like the Nikon D300, then you can take photographs with geographic information in them at the time of shooting. For example, the image above has this information embedded:
    Latitude: N 37° 42' 55.98"
    Longitude: W 119° 40' 37.068"
    Altitude: 1329 meters

I'm not sure if any cameras have built-in GPS units today, but I think we're soon going to have matchbox-sized cameras with just that. For now, it's a fairly expensive and a cumbersome way of doing things. First, you'll need a camera which supports GPS input and there aren't too many of those in the Digital SLR world. Then you'll need a GPS unit and a few special connecting cables...

Nikon D300 + Nikon MC-35 + Garmin Serial interface cable + Garmin GPSMap 60CSx

Unfortunately, Garmin does not supply the serial interface cable with its GPS units (or at least not with the unit I use) and Nikon does not supply its cameras with the GPS connecting cable. Those cables cost quite a bit and can potentially sound like a bad investment because: one, together they cost more than most GPS units available in the market and two, it is cumbersome with the cables, camera around the neck and the GPS unit on the belt. However, I thought it was fun and it just takes a little time getting used to and I can't wait to hit the trails with this setup.

depontideponti on April 21st, 2008 10:12 am (UTC)
Wow. That wow was for the photograph.

And Wow. That's for something that I had not even thought of, but the minute I read it, I went, "of COURSE!"....

I do agree that miniaturization will happen, and fast. But as now...YOU are doing something fairly new....
(Deleted comment)
Yathinyathin on April 21st, 2008 08:06 pm (UTC)
That's a neat way of doing things!
Kathy Walkerkatbyte on April 21st, 2008 12:37 pm (UTC)
Wonderful, you were recommended to me to add to my friends list so I have done so and hope you add me back. I understand you found and adopted a dog, I would love to read about it. We are into greyhound rescue now, but love all dogs.

My journal is pretty boring since we are older and not as exciting as we once were, lol.
Yathinyathin on April 21st, 2008 08:05 pm (UTC)
added you back! :)
Ruth: Birdlaruth on April 21st, 2008 08:03 pm (UTC)
Cool. I've been using the map interface on flickr which adds the geotags too, but it would be cool to get the actual coordinates from our GPS.

We have a QStar GPS tracker which we're yet to try, in terms of syncing the coordinates and photos.
Premnath Kudvapremkudva on April 22nd, 2008 05:54 am (UTC)
> I'm not sure if any cameras have built-in GPS units today,

Man I think this will be invaluable to pro photographers who hit the trail. Imagine the chaps at National Geographic;-)
Yathinyathin on April 22nd, 2008 05:58 am (UTC)
I don't think professionals will be too keen to use this. ;)
Premnath Kudvapremkudva on April 22nd, 2008 06:10 am (UTC)
Really! Then who is the target audience for this gadget?
Yathinyathin on April 22nd, 2008 06:18 am (UTC)
Just ordinary hiking/enthusiastic folks ...
Premnath Kudvapremkudva on April 22nd, 2008 06:23 am (UTC)
But the info you will be getting doesn't seem commensurate with the cost and the inconvenience involved.

So I thought that the pros will require it say if someone at NG asked "Hey Steve where did you take this photo?" and Jim says "God damn it I lost my notebook in Afghanistan!"
(Anonymous) on April 22nd, 2008 10:41 am (UTC)
NG photographers have to be named Steve and Jim I presume

Yathinyathin on April 22nd, 2008 03:36 pm (UTC)
I think there is at least one Steve (McCurry) and one Jim (Brandenburg) in the NG world. ;)
Premnath Kudvapremkudva on April 23rd, 2008 05:17 am (UTC)
Yes it is, Steve I was speaking about has been to Afghanistan several times [also India] a lot and took the photo of the famous Afghan girl.

Jim will be someone in office who has to co-ordinate between the photographers, the writers, and the editors. Or it could be his friend John or Malcolm;-)
Philipbluesmoon on April 24th, 2008 10:54 pm (UTC)
Russ Nelson has a wrist mounted GPS device that shows the time. At the start of a trip, he takes a photo of the GPS screen. When he's done, he loads it all into his laptop, uses the timestamp of the first photo to get a start time for the GPS, and then uses a perl script to merge geo data from the GPS with photos based on timestamps.
Yathinyathin on April 24th, 2008 11:05 pm (UTC)
Unfortunately, Nikon's raw image format, NEF, is proprietary. :(
Philipbluesmoon on April 24th, 2008 11:09 pm (UTC)
but jpegs are not, and you can extract EXIF data from the jpeg after converting using your proprietary software.