Wednesday, November 28, 2007

GiSTEQ PhotoTrackr: first impressions

Overall, my impressions are positive, and in cases, very much so. It wasn't easy to set the whole thing up, and I wouldn't call the driver installation seamless, but eventually it it was all go.

As I emailed P-Doug this morning:

You should see the thing in action. Something it does that I didn't anticipate, but I got a big charge out of, is play back the trip. When I downloaded the log file, I was first amazed when it suddenly jumped up with a map and there was my whole route on it. Then I noticed there was this play button, so I clicked it and it ran through my drive, including a stop for gas, stops at lights, a more rapid pace along straight-aways... I was just delighted. Then I corralled the photos from that trip and added them. It processed them, showed them on the map, and then offered to embed the GPS data in the EXIF – which is what I was really after, after all. All the rest was cream.

Sadly, while it's possible to embed location data in older photos, it's a hassle. I was hoping it would just be a matter of opening the map, finding the location, and dragging photos onto it and telling it "embed the data". It's not so easy. You pretty much have to re-open the map every time and tell it the approximate location (like "Toronto"), and then keep zooming in and moving the pin to tighter and tighter approximations. So while it's possible, it's such a pain that I can't imagine doing it en masse for trips I took. Hopefully they'll add such functionality in upgrades.

(Hmmm... I didn't try selecting a GROUP of photos and doing this... if I can at least get them all on the map in one shot, then it's just a matter of moving them around. That might make it practical. I'll have to try that this evening.)

Last summer I was considering that little Sony one, but it's only guaranteed to work with their cameras, it was more expensive (this thing was barely a hundred bucks), and it has nowhere near the utility. I'm going to take it for a photowalk at lunchtime and see what I come up with.

Which I did. I'll see how it performs walking instead of driving.

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