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New to GPS, any Canon Solutions
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Author Topic: New to GPS, any Canon Solutions  (Read 24836 times)
bslanger
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« on: August 06, 2007, 09:01:37 PM »

I'm totally new to the GPS world. I was waiting for Jobo's PhotoGPS to come out, which is built on new
technology (see Google results for Jobs PhotoGPS), but it won't be out until October.  I have a surprise
quick trip to Arizona next week, and was hoping to have a somewhat easy solution to GPS and my Canons.
Currently I have no GPS unit, other than what's built into my new cell phone.  Is there somewhere online
I can get a crash course on GPS, or, does anyone have any suggestions.  I would be willing to spend
a couple hundred (hopefully not 400) on some kind of set up, and hopefully the whole process is not
crazy difficult.  Thanks for any info.
Brian
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Marc Rochkind
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« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2007, 10:13:54 PM »

Get a GPS device based on the SIRFstar III chip (e.g., Garmin 60CSx). Don't worry about interfacing it with the camera. Have it write a track log while you shoot. Then tag the photos with GPS coordinates during ingestion automatically (it uses the times to correlate the two).

As a matter of fact... that's what the ImageIngesterPro (my product) can do if you use one of the Version 2.3 betas.

Sorry for the plug (not really!), but IIP really is the tool you want. Honestly! OK, so I'm biased... ;-)

--Marc
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bslanger
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« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2007, 05:19:20 AM »

Thanks Marc,
IIP is great, I think you might even be using a genuine testimonial about it from me.
Is using/understanding how to use that Garmin unit and have it 'write tracks' difficult?
I imagine a quick run down is that I read the manual a bit, figure out what writing tracks is,
get to a specific location, synch the camera and Garmin unit, shoot, then move on the next
location, write new tracks, and then keep a written log of when I 'wrote tracks'.  Or, can I just
set up the Garmin and shoot all day long?  Again, never done any of this before.
Brian
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Marc Rochkind
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« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2007, 06:08:37 AM »

Brian--

No need to synch. Just bring up the Garmin tracks menu and turn logging on (Magellan and other brands have similar menus). Then, if you can, set the camera's time to the exact second. If you can't, don't worry about it (just set it as closely as you can), as IIP has a feature to adjust the image times when it correlates the track log with the images.

If Arizona isn't in your time zone and/or doesn't observe daylight time, those options can be set when you ingest as well. (The GPS device keeps its time in UTC and so the track log isn't concerned with time zones and daylight time.)

I also use my 60CSx for driving directions. For that, you'll need to buy the US maps for an additional $75-$100 or so. (I got mine from Amazon.)

--Marc
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bslanger
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« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2007, 08:16:51 PM »

Thanks Marc,
I just ordered the Garmin 60CSx today from Amazon.
Good reviews on the device.   I get it Thursday, so I might pick your brain a bit on making
sure I know what to do (ie. turning logging on, use, etc).  Thanks!
Brian
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bslanger
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« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2007, 07:02:42 AM »

The Garmin 60CSx is coming tomorrow, but I have been looking at the user feedback on Amazon, and there is continuous
mention of the unit not having support for Mac.  As I have not used any GPS before, I'm assuming/hoping that I can still get
what I need into the photo files.  Anyone know about this unit/Garmin and Mac. I actually don't know how the info. from the GPS
is downloaded to computer (total Newbie questions here).  I guess I could always install PC software on my Intel Macs as a last
resort.  Does one take the 'track' info. and get that from the micro SD card inside, or a direct interface with a computer (PC only?)
via USB
Brian
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Marc Rochkind
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« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2007, 07:33:39 AM »

Brian--

The software shipped with the Garmin and their map software (extra cost) won't run on OS X. However, you don't need to install anything at all for tracking. No drivers or anything else needs to be installed on the Mac. If you just connect the 60CSx via USB, IIP will interface to it directly. Or, you can set an option on the 60CSx to have it mount as a disk drive.

I think the lack of OS X support is widespread. It's the case with my Magellan eXplorist also. My Sony GPS device won't connect to the Mac at all.

I don't use the software that came with the Garmin at all. I do load maps into it, but very rarely as I put a 2GB card into mine. For loading maps I use a Windows machine.

--Marc
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bslanger
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« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2007, 01:59:28 PM »

Marc,
thanks for all your help/info. on tagging.  I got the 60CSx today and having been reading the manual.
Couple thoughts/questions....For the tracking logs, would you recommend setting a new tracking log
for each day, or in smaller breakdowns, such as every major shift in new shooting areas, which might
result in many logs per day? You had mentioned that the GPS can be hooked to the computer directly
with UPS cable, and IIPro Beta can read the GPS directly.  Is this true for a Mac as well?  Would there
be any advantage to writing the tracks directly to the internal micro SD card, or is it simplest to just plug
the USB to the Mac and ingest that way?  Last clarification....For the time zone issue, as I'm flying to Arizona
from Baltimore, would you recommend resetting the times on my Canons to AZ time, or just leaving them be,
and just trying to synch the cameras to the GPS time?  Would I set the GPS time zone to 'Phoenix' or does this
really matter with IIP?  MUCH APPRECIATED.
Brian
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Marc Rochkind
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« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2007, 03:50:51 PM »

Brian--

How you break up the logs doesn't matter as far as IIP is concerned. You can feed multiple logs into it, and it will sift through them to find the time intervals it needs.

You can connect the 60CSx directly to a Windows machine once you load the drivers that come on the CD, or to a Mac without loading anything (there isn't anything on the CD that works on the Mac anyway). You don't have to set anything on the Garmin--once it's connected, IIP will read what it needs.

If you save logs to the card, you'll probably want to mount the Garmin as a disk drive (which does involve a menu choice) so you can access the multiple files on the card. But, for a single shoot, I just turn on tracking and let it track and then connect it directly. I don't worry about "files." You might want to set the option to have the logs spill over onto the card (which is different from saving them to the card) in case they get really big. (By the way, buy a larger card for your Garmin. I think it's a micro SD, which is different from a mini SD, which is different from an SD.)

You can set the camera to any time zone you want. But, when you ingest, you need to know what time zone it was set for and whether that was daylight time or not. (Basically, IIP needs to figure out the offset from UTC.) Since EXIF times are recorded with no time zone, it may make the most sense to set the camera to local time of the shoot. That way if you take a picture at high noon, the EXIF time will read noon.

The problem for travelers is that they go somewhere (e.g., Arizona), set the camera to local time, and then come back and don't know whether it was daylight time or not (I think Arizona doesn't have it). If you get it wrong, then the matching will be an hour off, and that could throuw the coordinates way off. So, if you do set your camera to local time, make a note of whether it was daylight or not. Or, if that's too much trouble, just leave the camera set to your home time.

By all means do some trial runs before you leave town!

--Marc
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bslanger
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« Reply #9 on: August 09, 2007, 06:16:06 PM »

Great, thanks a bunch.
I will do some testing tomorrow.
IIP the miracle worker!
Brian
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bslanger
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« Reply #10 on: August 11, 2007, 10:27:38 PM »

Hi Marc,
Yikes, it seems I have a gazillion questions, which actually probably is not that many, I'm contemplating
see  if you could call on Sunday the 12th (today), and I could pay you for 10/15 minutes of your time.  I'll try to do a breakdown
here.  I've tried to find all I could online first in terms of what you had written.  So many newbie questions.....
I shot a wedding today, and had the GPS on, and then ran the IIP beta.  All the files do have GPS data associated with them,
which is cool.  I still am not clear on the time synching issue.  I synched the camera time to the GPS clock.  The time zone on the GPS
is Eastern time, 12 hour interval, but the camera was set to 24  hour. 
1. Does the camera and the Garmin 60CSx have to both be on 24 time (or 12 hour) time? If one is 24, and one is 12, is this a gigantic issue?
2. When I am in Arizona, should I set the Garmin to 'Phoenix' instead of Washington D.C.? 
3. I was/am unclear on the notes on your blog about getting the time from the camera exif, and why I would need to do this.  On the Camera Time Adjustment entry boxes,
Where is the Exif time?  Do I have to download a file to the computer to get that? Set from Photo...?
4. How can I verify tha the right time code is with the right photo file?
5. Once I am sure that I have the right time code with the right file, then what? How can I correlate a town/name/city/landmark with the file photo
and get that info. into a keyword or other for the files?
6. On the Garmin, if the tracking fills up, does it spill to the micro card? If on the micro card internally, can hooking the Garmin to A mac still work to get the IIP info
for GPS?

I'm going to try and do more testing.
I'll stop there!
Again, if you had a bit of time, I would happy make another donation/purchase of IIP again, etc.
Thank you,
Brian
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Marc Rochkind
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« Reply #11 on: August 11, 2007, 11:10:42 PM »

Brian--
Quote
I shot a wedding today, and had the GPS on, and then ran the IIP beta.  All the files do have GPS data associated with them,
which is cool.  I still am not clear on the time synching issue.  I synched the camera time to the GPS clock.  The time zone on the GPS
is Eastern time, 12 hour interval, but the camera was set to 24  hour.
Quote
1. Does the camera and the Garmin 60CSx have to both be on 24 time (or 12 hour) time? If one is 24, and one is 12, is this a gigantic issue?
Doesn't matter. 12/24 is just a display issue. Has nothing to do with how time is recorded.
Quote
2. When I am in Arizona, should I set the Garmin to 'Phoenix' instead of Washington D.C.?
Your choice... depends on how you'd like the EXIF data to read. All IIP cares about is that you remember what you did set the camera to and whether is was daylight time or not.
Quote
3. I was/am unclear on the notes on your blog about getting the time from the camera exif, and why I would need to do this.  On the Camera Time Adjustment entry boxes,
Where is the Exif time?  Do I have to download a file to the computer to get that? Set from Photo...?
If you weren't able to set the camera to the second, or forgot, then you need to tell IIP what the adjustment is. If you know the error, you can just enter it. But, an easy way to do it is to take a picture of an accurate clock. Then input the clock time and the picture's EXIF time (recorded by the camera), and IIP will calculate the adjustment for you. If you don't know the EXIF time (my Leica M8 displays it, but not all camera's do), then IIP has a button to open the image of the clock and read it directly.
Quote
4. How can I verify tha the right time code is with the right photo file?
What I do is wait until I've imported the photos into Lightroom, and then use Lightroom's feature that shows the location on a Google map. Other than that, I can't exactly say how to check without knowing how you're going to use the GPS tagging.
Quote
5. Once I am sure that I have the right time code with the right file, then what? How can I correlate a town/name/city/landmark with the file photo
and get that info. into a keyword or other for the files?
All IIP does is tag the image with latitude, longitude, and altitude. Any additional tagging (e.g., city) is outside the scope of IIP. There are various apps around to take the coordinates to the next step.
Quote
6. On the Garmin, if the tracking fills up, does it spill to the micro card? If on the micro card internally, can hooking the Garmin to A mac still work to get the IIP info
for GPS?
Spilling onto a card is an option you set, as I recall. Once set, IIP will read the whole log from the Garmin regardless of how it's stored.

When you read in the track log(s), there's a button in IIP to display a summary of the various tracks so you can ensure that you've got the right tracks and the right segments of time.

I can't really offer telephone support... what I can offer is fairly responsive email/forum support. Look over the above and email me with additional questions. I will be around tomorrow (Sunday) and all week.

The most critical thing is that when you shoot that you have the log. You can then spend as much time as you need back home dealing with the data. If you think you might have to try the ingestion several times, save the track log and just have IIP read your saved file.

--Marc
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bslanger
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« Reply #12 on: August 12, 2007, 11:56:11 AM »

Thanks Marc.
Only other thing I can think to ask (and I'm sure you've had plenty :-0  ) is if you know
of any of the apps that take the latitude and longitude and translate the data to useful exif data or keywords?
I don't really use Lightroom, but am staying with Peter's workflow for the most part. 
Again, thank you so much for the words.  I think/hope the rest will be just regular trial and error until
I tweak it out and get a grip on the process. 
Brian
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ianw
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« Reply #13 on: August 12, 2007, 01:33:34 PM »

Only other thing I can think to ask is if you knowof any of the apps that take the latitude and longitude and translate the data to useful exif data or keywords?

ImageIngester "could" do this if it incorporated web service calls into the ingest process.  There is a website called www.geonames.org that has lists of names of places - from country to state/county/lander to smaller divisions.  I've downloaded some of these to help create some vocabularies for iView.

The site also has some web services available, many of which work from latitute / longitude information.  There are services to find country name, country subdivision, nearby place name, nearby postal codes, Wikipedia entries for location, and current weather observations!  There are also beta services to find nearest address, intersection and neaby streets for US only.  There's also a semantic call which returns the different 'names' for a location in different languages.

Now if Marc could include some of these services into IIPro then it would be real selling point.  If you are in the US then imagine the power of taking a picture and later getting the address automatically added to the meta-data!

Note you would need to be online when doing the ingestion, and the services would need to be available for it to work.

Check out http://www.geonames.org/export/reverse-geocoding.html for more information on the web services.  However implementing them is not for the faint-hearted!  Depends on how much of a challenge Marc wants!  Might be the sort of thing that goes into v3...

Ian
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bslanger
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« Reply #14 on: August 15, 2007, 10:07:38 PM »

ThaI nks for all the words and info.
I just want to go over this before doing it to make sure I've got this right.
I arrived in Arizona, set the time on my camera to match the time on the Garmin 60CSx
as close as possible, maybe off by a few seconds.  I set the time on the Garmin to Phoenix time,
and since AZ does not use Daylight savings time, I left that box unchecked. So, in theory, the Garmin
is synched to the Cameras.    I can then just do a straight ingest I take it? Just before started the tracking,
I took a picture of the clock on the Garmin.  Question is, do I try and synch exactly using the camera Exif time info.
option Marc mentioned, or just go for it since the times are not off by more than a few seconds.  Hope that all made
sense. 
Looks like I can get three full days of tracking before the memory fills up.
Thanks for any help.
Brian
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