Where Exactly Was I When I Took That Photo?

Posted on 12 May ’08 by Earl

_LND0825-2.jpgThe advances in GPS receiver technology continue to amaze me.

The bottom item in the image to the left is a Holux M-1200 Bluetooth GPS Receiver. I included a common pen in the photo as a reference for its small, sleek size. It can easily fit in a pocket or on a keychain.

Despite its small size, this receiver supports both bluetooth and USB connections with compatibility for the majority of navigation software on the market. It will track up to 32 satellites with an accuracy of 3.0 m with an operational battery life of over 12 hours between recharges (recharged via USB port). It can be found at various retailers for between $50-60 USD.

Neat technology, but a receiver such as this is only one side of the puzzle. To make use of the data it provides you’ll need appropriate software and/or hardware.

This may be navigation software on a Laptop or Smart Phone/PDA, a GPS capable phone (such as Nokias: 6110, 6120, N70, N72, N73, N93i) or a compatible hardware/camera combination. Using the bluetooth connection allows its operation to be totally unnoticed by the user…turn it on and forget about it.

200805121017.jpg One use I’ll be putting this little device to, along with the RED HEN Systems BLUE2CAN to automatically supply GPS locational data to my Nikon camera as each photo is taken. This GPS data is saved in the photo metadata with no additional steps required. This gives the latitude and longitude of the photo location as well as the altitude.

The small BLUE2CAN device is a total “no-brainer” and works with Nikon D200, D2X, D2Xs, DWHs, D3 and D300 product lines. It may not be the cheapest option ($279 USD) for getting GPS metadata but when you consider that it totally eliminates any additional steps or processes it may turn out to be a bargain.

Blue2CAN plugs directly into the 10 pin connector on the front of the camera without the use of cables. It uses a small amount of power from the camera to operate it’s BlueTooth radio and connects automatically to any BlueTooth enabled GPS receiver in near proximity. There is “zero configuration” required, just plug it in, turn on your GPS receiver and start shooting, not buttons to push except the shutter!

200805121032.jpg I’ll be giving this GPS to Photo combo a trial during the next two weeks while in Oregon, Washington and Alaska. I’ll post an update as to how it worked.

What can I say? I can’t help myself…I’m a techno-gadget geek! ;-)

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