Wednesday, August 05, 2009

So ...

... if everything is going according to plan, I'll have a nice little map with my geotagged pictures on it by the end of my vacation. I didn't follow the advice of Epicanis at The Big Room (to get a Garmin) and wound up getting a Merax Photo Finder GPS instead. Here is to hoping it doesn't stink.

Any advice on software (after I've downloaded the GPS log) to use would be nice. I don't think Photoshop Elements is going to work.

2 comments:

Epicanis ( http://www.bigroom.org/wordpress ) said...

That's actually a pretty nifty looking device. Only three complaints I'd have about it, personally:

1) Apparently non-replaceable battery. It may last a long time, but if it DOES happen to run out while you're in the field or on a long trip, there's no convenient way to buy and swap in a fresh set of batteries. (Everybody seems to love the built-in rechargeable battery thing these days, but I hate having to hover around somewhere with a power cord waiting for run-down devices to recharge)

2) No way to save your tracks to external media without plugging into your computer (i.e. no SD or microSD card slot as far as I can tell that you can save your tracks to). Now that I have a nice, portable little netbook this isn't as much of an issue for me, though.

3) Unclear whether you can get to your data without having MIcrosoft and Merax's permission (i.e. requires their own special Windows-only software to see your track data). It's not clear, though, and for all I know it may actually show itself as a plain old "USB Mass Storage" device to the computer, and save your track(s) in well-supported GPX format, in which case this complaint is moot (and my own desire for one of these increases substantially...)

From the linked article: "Cons: relatively expensive.", but then it lists the "price as tested" as $150. Is that really "expensive" for a device like this these days? I'm guessing the author of the review got a cellphone with a GPS that he thinks really cost only $30 because of the contract he agreed to...

I'll be looking forward to hearing how it worked for you...

Epicanis ( http://www.bigroom.org/wordpress ) said...

Oops - quick followup - I just realized the device has no screen and no maps - it's JUST a track logger, apparently, so I guess $150 IS quite expensive - especially since it looks like the geotagging and track display is entirely done in the special Windows software. Still might be a handy, nifty device if the data is accessible directly (e.g. as .gpx or other recognizeable files) rather than only through the special software they provide.

Personally, I'd recommend digikam for handling photos and geotagging. You can even have it generate a kml file containing a set of geotagged photos and the track for viewing in Google Earth or Google Maps - the last couple of paddling-trip map-and-photo sets I posted were based on Digikam's output. For track-viewing, I personally just use GPSBabel to convert tracks to KML format and view them directly in Google Earth.