gps4cam: Complete package for smartphones in the field test
In the practical test, the app must show what it can hold.
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
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
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.
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.
Download QR code gps4cam Developer: SYSMIGO Price: 3,19 €
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