BlackBerry 8310 with GPSLogger as geologger in the test

GPS tracks for track-based geotagging do not always have to be recorded with loggers. Even a smartphone with an integrated GPS chip allows for tracking with the right software. This is about recording with the business smartphone par excellence. With a BlackBerry.

The test device was the BlackBerry Curve 8310 with the free GPSLogger tracking software .

BlackBerry 8310 smartphone

The BlackBerry 8310 is already one of the older smartphones from Research In Motion (RIM). Equipped with a 2.0 megapixel camera and an internal GPS module, it is already suitable for geotagging. The operating system is version 4.5.0 of the RIM own OS.

Software GPSLogger

GPSLogger is a simple, free GPS application that works without online features. Thus, it is always and everywhere applicable without data traffic is necessary. From the surface it is kept simple. For the data display 7 views are available. These are usually plot graphics for altitude or speed over time. A plot of the distance covered can also be displayed without a map background.

Settings can be made numerous. Important for logging in the General Settings area are the recording interval (set here to 5 seconds) and the Export Settings area.

To export the tracks, the directory must be defined. I opted for the microSD card, as it is easily accessible from the PC as a removable disk. The formats include KML, GPX and CSV. GPX (Mapsource compatible) is to be preferred, as it is stored as a track point. Thus, the distance traveled is available for visualization. GPX (1.0) stores only waypoints. In GeoSetter, this is not interpreted as a route, which means that no route is displayed. For the pure tagging of photos, it does not matter. My recommendation for use with GeoSetter therefore clearly goes to the GPX (Mapsource compatible) format.

In both GPX file formats, the following values ​​are stored in addition to the time and coordinate information:

  • magvar: Local magnetic aberration
  • sat: number of satellites used
  • hdop: (Horizontal Dilution Of Precision) Horizontal Accuracy (2-D)
  • vdop: (Vertical Dilution Of Precision) Vertical accuracy; height

These serve as additional information for assessing track quality. Although they are not necessary for geotagging, they represent a certain added value for the advanced user.

Record GPS track and save

Logging is easy as shown in the screenshots below.

After completion of the recording, the track can be stored in the defined directory in the set formats. The GPX file was then copied to the PC via USB connection.

Record track and save track

data controlThe distance traveledExport success message

test drive

The 13 km long lap was completed without any special occurrences. The reception quality of the stowed in the handlebar bag BlackBerry is consistently described as good. A recording took place in the 5 sec distance if reception was available. Without satellite contact also no recording takes place. This avoids nonsensical or distant track points. The gap during the stay in the underground garage was 2 min 39 sec.

The method 1 from the Geotagging Book (page 20) was used as the time comparison method.

For track-based geotagging with GeoSetter the GPX file was used.

A problem occurred with altitude information. In the track height values ​​of well -500m were stored. In fact, the test round is at just under 500m (above sea level).

Conclusion Blackberry GPS Logger

For users of a BlackBerry, the combination of smartphone and GPSLogger software is a very neat option for photo geotagging. The quality of the track is very good. The software can run in the background in addition to normal business applications. The battery life is still long with recording. Black-on-the-window tests yielded recordings of nearly 24 hours.

If you only want to record a track from time to time, for example to a special photo tour, this combination is the perfect solution.

I like that:
  • For a smartphone very long battery life
  • Unless BlackBerry has any additional costs
  • Simple and logical operation of the software
I do not really like it that much:
  • If the battery becomes empty during recording, there is no track. This is first saved with Stop Logging
  • Problem with altitude

gps4cam: Complete package for smartphones in the field test

In the practical test, the app must show what it can hold.

 

gps4cam start screen

gps4cam start screen

With gps4cam is a very easy to use complete package for geotagging with smartphone support available.

The GPS positions are recorded with the smartphone app. On a PC or Mac then brings a small program GPS data and photos together.

It shows gps4cam very flexible. Smartphone apps are available for Android and iOS (iPhone and iPad). The desktop tool runs on PC and Mac. There should be something for everyone.

For the test version 6.1.8 was installed on a HTC One Android smartphone.

Record track with your smartphone

After starting the app, first select the recording interval and then start the “Photo report”. The interval is 30 seconds, 5 minutes or 30 minutes to choose from. The more frequently the storage, the more accurate the track. But this also means a higher power consumption and the shorter the battery life of the mobile phone. In the Pro version (for iPhone only), the interval can be further shortened.

Even more energy-saving is the setting “Manual”. The location is triggered by shaking the phone. Such power saving requires discipline. If you forget to shake the smartphone, the location information is missing.

During the tour, the interval can also be changed or the entire recording paused. The previously traveled route can be followed on a map.

Stop and export active recording

At the end of the photo tour the recording is stopped with the ” Export ” button. Why not a stop button? I do not think so logical. No matter – at least one QR code is shown in the display (for longer tours also several) – this code contains the time information and all GPS coordinates as a track.

Take a picture of the QR code

Take a picture of the QR code

The code simply with the camera photographed. The QR code does not even have to be full-format. It is important that he is sharp and complete. A screenshot from the display brings nothing, because so the time information of the camera is missing. Because that is important to compensate later for the difference between GPS time and camera clock. This saves syncing your smartphone and camera clocks and makes geotagging even easier. By the way, you can take your time photographing. Even several hours are no problem as long as the clock in the camera has not been adjusted in the meantime.

The recorded GPS data can also be exported directly as a GPX file and sent by e-mail or uploaded to the Dropbox. If you take a closer look at such a track, you notice that even if the interval is set to 30 seconds, the track points are usually much farther apart. 50 to 100 seconds are the rule rather than the exception.

Bring photos and track together

For the merge a small tool from the gps4cam website is needed.

Geodata successfully added

Geodata successfully added

Copy all the photos from the map to a folder on the computer and select the folder in the gps4cam tool. Specify another folder for the results and press “Go”. After a few seconds, the images are linked to geodata.

The selected output folder now contains sub-folders for the tagged photos, the photos with the QR codes and the GPX tracks. The latter can be used for presentations of the itinerary, for example in Google Earth.

In some tests, I noticed that gps4cam simply places the photos on the nearest track point. There is no interpolation between the waypoints. Placing the photo between two coordinates would give better results, especially at the long intervals.

Here’s the standard bike tour with Garmin reference track and photos geocoded once with gps4cam and once with Garmin. Very nice are the long distances between the waypoints and the sometimes significant deviations.

Personal conclusion

The idea to bring track and time information via QR code from the smartphone to the camera and on to the computer is a great experience.

What bothers me are the (far too) long recording intervals (a tribute to better battery life) and the getting used to app design.

In any case, gps4cam is one of the easiest-to-use track-based geotagging systems. In the end, everyone has to decide for themselves whether more emphasis is placed on accuracy or ease of use. If the emphasis is on the latter gps4cam is in any case a buy tip.

 gps4cam

Download QR code gps4cam Developer: SYSMIGO Price: 3,19 € gps4cam - geotag your photos gps4cam - geotag your photos

I like that:
  • Very easy to use
  • Track exchange via QR code
I do not really like it that much:
  • Only long time intervals selectable
  • No interpolation
  • Customization design

GPSLogger: Easy GPS track recording for Android in Apptest

Record the distance traveled by GPS. It’s easy with the open source app for Android. In addition still some exciting additional functions in the App test.

If you are looking for an app to record the distance covered by GPS, then you quickly come across MyTracks from Google (→ App-Test ). But there are still good other apps for track-based geotagging. Today I’d like to introduce you to the open-source alternative GPSLogger.

At the time of the test version 33 was up to date. The requested permissions are inconspicuous and fit the functionality.

Features of the GPSLogger

GPSLogger settings

GPSLogger settings

The free app for Android smartphones and tablets is clearly limited to the core functions: record routes via GPS, save and export. Destinations for export include the SD card as well as FTP and cloud storage services.

On recording formats, GPS Logger offers GPX, KML, OpenGTS and plain text. Several formats are possible at the same time. The recording interval can be set as a function of time or distance.

Unfortunately, I find some settings of the logging details a little confused named.

Track recording with GPSLogger

Start the recording Start the recording

Directly on the start page there is the button ” Start the recording “. Click on it and go.

The recording works completely offline even without data connection. Expensive data roaming abroad is not necessary. The track is always first stored in the internal memory or on the SD card. To be found in the folder ” GPSLogger “.

If the tour is over, simply stop the recording with the “Exit” button.

Low power consumption with the GPSLogger?

Logging details

Logging details

Again and again you hear that GPSLogger works very energy efficient. I can not confirm that after my tests. If the recording interval is long enough, (meaningfully) GPS is deactivated in between, which of course saves power. Google recently used this technique in MyTracks as well. With identical logging settings, I could not find any difference in power consumption. In addition, this technique even has a counterproductive effect at single-digit interval times. That’s why I switched it off in the settings.

Export the tracks

Completely offline access to the tracks via the folder “GPSLogger” on the phone memory.

If the data is to be forwarded, GPSLogger offers a wide range of export options. So the tracks can either be sent by e-mail or uploaded to Dropbox, Google Drive, OpenStreetMap, OpenGTS or FTP.

Personally, I prefer the Dropbox. It should be emphasized positively that the app does not get the permission over the entire Dropbox with the Dropbox release, but only for the Apps folder. The tracks are then in the folder Apps / GPSLogger for Android .

Special feature: Automatic transmission

I especially like the possibility to perform uploads automatically. For automatic upload at the end of recording, these settings must be made:

  1. Switch from the GPSLogger auto-send settings
  2. Define the destination for automatic sending. For example, authorize the Dropbox or enter FTP data
  3. Under “How often?” Enter when should be sent. I prefer to shoot right after the stop.
  4. Finally, check the box to allow automatic sending

If there is no Internet at the moment the recording is stopped, automatic sending will not be made later.

The manual upload

The manual upload

If you do not want to be sent automatically, you can also upload tracks individually or forward them via the Android Share function. Here I miss the opportunity to upload multiple tracks at the same time.

Personal conclusion

GPSLogger can not compete with MyTracks from Google either visually or by the mass of functions. But it does not want that either.

It is easy to use and offers the possibility to automatically send the recorded tracks or store them in online storage. In addition, it is open source software, which brings benefits including data protection. On the quality of the track recording is broadly nothing to complain about.

All in all a serious alternative to record GPS tracks.

 GPS Logger for Android

Download QR code GPS Logger for Android Developer: Mendhak Price: Free

I like that:
  • Easy handling
  • Automatic cloud upload
I do not really like it that much:
  • Confusing track settings

Canon Map Utility in the field test

Canon Map Utility is required for reading from the track memory of Canon GPS devices. How does it work and what else can the software do?

Canon’s GPS-enabled devices include Map Utility as its management software. I had the opportunity to test the Canon GPS solution together with the GPS receiver GP-E2 in practice. Reports on the GP-E2 are already available in Part 1 (Logger) and Part 2 (On the EOS 5D) of the series “Geotagging with Canon”.

Installing Map Utility

Map Utility Installation

Map Utility Installation

Insert the enclosed CD and start the ” Easy Installation “. You should install ImageBrowser EX and Map Utility. For me, only the Image Browser was installed in the first step. Then came the message that an update was available. It was then Map Utility installed. At the time of the test, version 1.4.1.8 was up to date.

Download GPS Tracks from the GP-E2

The most important feature of Map Utility is to download the recorded GPS tracks. That is to my knowledge namely only with this Canon own software possible.

On the tab GPS log files you will find the button below to start the download. Already downloaded tracks will not be saved twice.

Track page in Canon Map Utility Track page in Canon Map Utility

If the track in another program, such as Google Earth, continue to be used, you will find the button for export in KMZ format on the top right.

These were already the track features of Map Utility. Editing is not possible except setting the time zone.

Delete track memory

Delete track memory

To release the memory in the logger, go to Extras – GPS Device Settings. There you will find on the second page the button to delete the tracks from the logger. Above that the setting for the timing interval.

View photos and videos with GPS

You are responsible for transferring the photos to the computer. Map Utility then displays the photos and videos with GPS on a Google map. To do this, drag and drop the desired images in the images tab or import them via the folder on the bottom left. Now the photos are shown looking in the map.

Show photos on the map

Show photos on the map

A common view of photos and tracks is unfortunately not possible. Another weakness of Map Utility occurs when the application is closed. At the next start, the images have disappeared from the Map Utility Map and need to be re-imported.

Photos without GPS data can also be retro-georeferenced with Map Utility on the basis of the recorded tracks (track-based geotagging).

GPS tracks for professionals

If you want to avoid using the Google Earth export (KMZ file) and prefer to use the tracks in better GPS applications, you can access the log data directly with a little work. Map Utility places the original LOG files directly after the download within their own user directory. In my case:

C: Users matthias Documents Canon Utilities GPS Log Files

On closer inspection, these are standard NMEA files with an extra line. At the beginning @ Canon, then the GPS device and the serial number.

The .log file of the desired day (file name is the same date) in a text editor open (I prefer Notepad ++ ). Delete the first line and save it with the new file extension .nmea. Now most GPS programs can do something directly with the file from the GP-E2.

Convert LOG file to NMEA file

Convert LOG file to NMEA file

Unfortunately, Canon Map Utility is still not superfluous, but at least it comes directly to the original GPS tracks

Conclusion Map Utility

Unfortunately, once again confirms my prejudice that included software, especially in the GPS field, is simply bad. So also with Canon’s GPS solution. To download the tracks of GPS cameras and receivers such as the GP-E2, the tool is absolutely necessary. For everything else, really useful tools should be used. For professionals, the direct route to the NMEA data makes sense. This saves you the extra export as a KMZ file.

Nikon D750: Full-format DSLR with Wi-Fi and GPS Option Introduced

Lightweight and compact full-size camera with great technical features. Wi-Fi is built-in, GPS is available as an option.

 

Nikon D750 with 24-120 lens

Nikon D750 with 24-120 lens

Nikon fills in the gap between D610 and D810 with the new D750.

In short, a new sensor, a folding display and Wi-Fi are integrated into a lightweight and compact housing. The Nikon D750 is also referred to by many as the long-awaited real successor to the D700.

Features and functions of the Nikon D750

At the heart of the camera is the newly developed 24.3 megapixel sensor in FX format. While Nikon does not use an AA filter in most other cameras, the D750 is still equipped with a low-pass filter. The ISO range of the sensor ranges from 100 to 12,800 and can be extended to ISO 50 to 51,200.

The autofocus is equipped with the Multi-Cam 3500 II module with 51 measuring fields (including 15 cross sensors).

Folding display of the D750

Folding display of the D750

Brand new at Nikon is the folding monitor. The 3.2 “display with a resolution of about 1.2 million pixels can be folded down to 75 degrees and 90 degrees to the top. A touchscreen is not included. Also known from the D5300 turning function of the monitor is not available in the full-frame camera.

The housing is made of a mixture of carbon fiber reinforced plastic and a magnesium alloy.
Thanks to numerous seals, the D750 – like the D810 – is protected against dust and moisture. Because of the new case, another battery grip is needed. The D750 fits the MB-D16.

Video features of the D750

Video menu on folding display

Video menu on folding display

Videos record the camera in full HD resolution with up to 60 frames per second. Alternatively also 24p, 25p, 30p, and 50p.

The aperture is controlled during recording. An uncompressed video output via HDMI is possible, even directly while recording to the SD memory card. New is an automatic ISO control with manual iris and time. For example, aperture and shutter speed can be preset for video, and exposure is controlled by ISO sensitivity.

Movie support includes a switchable zebra pattern. During the recording, scorched lights are highlighted on the display.

Built-in Wi-Fi

Built-in WLAN module Built-in WLAN module

A Wi-Fi module is installed directly in the housing. Technically it will be a WU-1b module. This allows remote control of the camera from the tablet or smartphone.

As software, Nikon offers the “Wireless Mobile Utility” app for Android and iOS.

WirelessMobileUtility WirelessMobileUtility

Download QR code WirelessMobileUtility Developer: Nikon Corporation Price: Free  Wireless Mobile Utility

Download QR code Wireless Mobile Utility Developer: Nikon Corporation Price: Free

However, outstanding features are not to be expected, as my WMU test has shown.

GPS for the Nikon D750

The photographer does not need an internal GPS module. If I think of my experience with the D5300 but that is not a disadvantage.

GPS connection - at the top

GPS connection – at the top

As with all current Nikon DSLR cameras Geotagging can be retrofitted via the GPS receiver GP-1. The Geotagger can be connected via the MC-DC2 compatible accessory socket.

Also the numerous alternatives Geotagger are compatible. Which GPS receiver to the Nikon D750 fit I summarized in the Geotagger database .

[Update November 2014]
In this article I have summarized all details about GPS with the Nikon D750.

My first assessment

Space for 2 SD memory cards Space for 2 SD memory cards

Exactly the camera that I imagined. A “small” D810 without the 36 megapixels and with a decent autofocus. The folding screen is cool. How this works in practice will become apparent.

I see the WLAN as a nice add-on. The function will (unfortunately) not go beyond the known WLAN wart WU-1a.

At the photokina I will get further information at the press conference. After a hands-on I can certainly say more. Even if that will be my new camera.

Price and availability

Nikon D750 Nikon D750

For the Nikon D750 Body is a price of 2149 euros. There will also be two kits. Once with 24-85 f / 3.5-f / 4.5 for 2699 euros and with the 24-120 f / 4 lens for 2799 euros.

The delivery date is already called the week after the photokina. As of September 23, 2014 camera and 24-85 kit should be commercially available. The kit with the 24-120, however, only from the end of October 2014.

However, why the set with the 24-120 is not available at the same time as the body, I’m surprised.

GPS Track on Android with MyTracks Record

Record the distance covered with the Android app “My Tracks”. Useful for track-based geotagging. The free GPS program can do even more.

On the way to track-based geotagging, the first thing you need is a record of the distance covered during the photo tour. So why not record this route with your constant companion, an Android smartphone? With the Google-developed “My Tracks” or “My Tracks” beginners quickly come to the first recorded route. Advanced users will find in the extensive settings and transfer options to other Google services always new uses.

[Update] My tracks have been discontinued

Info about the end of My Tracks

Info about the end of My Tracks

Unfortunately, Google has decided to set the Android app “MyTracks” or as it was called in the German Store: “My Tracks”. Since the last update welcomes this info page.

The GPS logger will be discontinued on April 30, 2016. Until 5 April, the tracks can still be exported to an external storage or Google Drive. Then only external memory.

Too bad that Google is going that way. Does anyone want to push Google Fit?

My Tracks – App Datasheet

  • Tested app version: 2.0
  • Price: free
  • Test device: Samsung Galaxy S2
  • Android Version: 4.0.4 (Ice Cream Sandwich)
  • Root: Not necessary

Record route

Start recording as soon as the GPS signal is good enough

Start recording as soon as the GPS signal is good enough

The app is available for free in the Google Play Store. After starting, simply tap the circle with the red dot and start recording as soon as the GPS position is accurate enough. Once triggered, the recording continues in the background. You can use other applications, even other GPS applications, such as navigation, or turn off the power-saving screen. Even in the list of previous records can be browsed during the recording.

In the status line, the program icon signals the current recording. When the photo tour ends, stop the tracking over the red square. Enter another name and save.

Save photo locations of special interest on the way in addition as a waypoint with name and description.

Of course, the quality of the recording depends crucially on the hardware used.

Export as a GPX file

Save track to SD card

Save track to SD card

Now bring the track as a GPX file on the computer and start the track-based geotagging there. Select the track in the list of recordings. With the menu button “In the ext. Memory “and save as GPX. The file is now in the folder / mnt / sdcard / MyTracks / gpx on the memory card.

For a single track, sharing a track file makes sense. So simply send the GPX file as an e-mail attachment to your own computer.

Personally, I prefer to automatically sync the track folder with my Dropbox . This is Dropsync Pro (-> App Presentation ) used. So the GPX tracks land directly in the correct directory on my PC and are ready for geotagging with GeoSetter or Lightroom.

Incidentally, Lightroom in version 4.1 accepts the generated GPX files in the card module. That is not self-evident. With some GPX files, which GeoSetter reads easily, I already had problems in Lightroom. Everything fits with my tracks.

Other features, settings and user interface

Flight along the track with Google Earth

Flight along the track with Google Earth

For those who want to record more than just tracks for geotagging, “My Tracks” still has a lot of networking features. Recorded tracks can be viewed on the phone in the Google Earth app in an impressive overflight. Redirects to Google Maps, Google Fusion Tables, or Google Drive (formerly Google Docs) make it easier to publish on the Internet. Once uploaded to Google Maps, sharing via Google+, Facebook or Twitter is easy.

If you want to monitor and record your workout in a professional way with a heart rate monitor, you can pair Bluetooth sensors from Polar or Zephyr.

Nice setting option is the color representation of the track on the map. Depending on the speed, the color of the line changes. In the section “Recording” you can set the distances between individual track points, depending on time or distance. Important for interruptions in GPS reception, such as in buildings, is the time, how long a recorded track is continued. After the set time a new track is created. I prefer the setting “Always” to save each photo tour in a single GPX file.

For trips to remote areas or abroad, another note: No mobile signal is required for the recording. Without a data connection, only a previously downloaded map or a gray area behind the track will be displayed.

As Google’s own development, of course, it fully complies with the current Android design guidelines and is easy to use.
The entire application can also be operated in landscape format.

Picture gallery My Tracks

Track List; Google Earthwaypoint

Conclusion My Tracks – Android App

The program runs fast and absolutely reliable. I had no crashes. MyTracks (or “My Tracks” in Germany) is more than just a record tool for covered tracks with good GPX export. Google shows how many of their own services can be perfectly linked.

In the GPS recording tools on Android smartphones, “My Tracks” is at the forefront. There is my app recommendation for the GPS recording for track-based geotagging!