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The topic of GPS in relation to tagging photos is one that seems to be coming up a lot these days. “Is it worth it” “Is it beneficial” “Why would you?” Then there’s the whole privacy thing “Why would I want someone knowing where I take my photos” some people even going as far as to say “why would I GPS tag my photos, then people would know where I lived and could come and steal all my gear” …well, yes, if you’re daft enough to broadcast on the internet where you hide your pot of gold, someone will inevitably try to take it from you.
I did a bit of a tweet fest prior to putting pen to paper on this one and have come up with a few scenarios in which a GPS / Camera set-up could be very useful. I even took my Jobo Photo GPS Geo Tagging Flash Shoe unit to Oxford with me on a work trip, taking photos all the way, alas – my 24 day old MacBook Pro had a hard disk failure prior to me working out my backup strategy and I lost all of the images and their associated data prior to backing them up… Quality!
I only had the JOBO PhotoGPS for a week, but I was using it easily from the minute I placed it on my camera’s hot shoe – with a simple set of lights to tell you if you’re capturing GPS data or not. The software is also very easy to install on both mac and pc. The install process for both my mac and my pc laptop was completed in a couple of minutes with no tricky questions to answer.
Once you’ve taken your photos with the JOBO PhotoGPS unit attached to your camera, you simply upload your images to your computer, import them into the supplied software, attach your GPS unit to the computer with the supplied USB cable and the software matches the images giving you a list of exactly where your photos were taken – including surrounding attractions / facilities etc. I was actually amazed at the level of detail that you were able to see in terms of the information that the software would gather for you from the internet, based on where your images were taken.
Once you’ve matched your images, the software makes “sidecar” files for you that are imported into your photo manipulation software and then embedded in the exif data. Simples!
Sure, there are various people concerned with privacy, so if you don’t want people knowing where you live – don’t take a photo of your £7,500 plasma tv and put it on the internet with your address – common sense will tell you lots.
The only issue I had with the JOBO PhotoGPS was that it was VERY loose in my hotshoe and I nearly lost it overboard into the Thames when I was taking a photo off a bridge – I hope that this was down to it being a well used REVIEW unit, but that’s something to keep in mind.
Alternatively, You could use a GPS / Photo matching application in association with the GPS on your phone / existing GPS device for a lot less money, but then – this is an “out of the box” solution that works and works very well. There is a great comparison table on the JOBO website that points out the main differences between the regular “make shift GPS solution” and the Jobo PhotoGPS – You can see it here The main stand-out for me being the start up time… I have waited minutes for my Blackberry GPS to start, to the point that I’d rather be lost it was taking so long! ha..
Capture time: approximately 0.2 seconds
Memory capacity: around 1000 locations (build in 128MB memory)
Geodata: via Tele Atlas Map Material (Country, City, Street, POI)
Hot-shoe interface: Standard hot-shoe (ISO 518:2006)
Power source: Internal rechargeable120mAh cell (non user replaceable)
System Information: via 2 LED’s (System Status)
Supported file formats: JPEG, RAW with XMP Sidecar file
PC connectivity: USB2.0
Battery charging electrical source: USB2.0
Dimensions: Main unit without adapter 68 x 20 x 43 mm
Weight: 80 g
System requirements: Windows XP (SP2) and Vista (SP1), MAC available by end of 2008
Included accessories: USB cable, CD-ROM with photoGPS matching software, organizer and viewing software
I love this device, great unit, well built (unless it’s old and worn and your hotshoe lets it fall off into a river!) very easy to use and the software is very good. I give this one a 3.75 stars out of a possible 5.
1 Star off because it’s another $156.00 that you have to spend if you’ve already got a GPS device and .25 stars off for almost falling into a river! (That said, it hit the ground twice, bounced and kept working just fine)
Get the Jobo Photo GPS Geo Tagging Flash Shoe at Amazon.