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.
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
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