Thursday, August 28, 2008

Geotagging Your Images under Linux using the I-Blue 747

Knowing where you shot certain images can be of some value. GPS devices dropping in price and adding features while getting more precise will help you add that location meta data to your images.

I guess you have been there one way or the other. You went on a day trip and took hundreds of pictures. Getting back home the images file get transferred to the computer and sit there for some time. After a while you finally get to the images and start wondering where exactly did you take those pictures? Looking at a handful you might be able to remember. If you look and a couple hundred, you're screwed...

Geotagging will help you here. While being on a shoot, you carry around a GPS device, that will save the location data in defined time intervals. The logged location data can later be connected via the time stamp with your images.

I had been thinking for a while buying such a device but could be bothered choosing one. Browsing my regular photography forums I read about a new device, called the I-Blue 747, which supposedly sport more memory than others, is reasonably priced and was supposed to be a good buy, I went to ahead to eBay and got myself one of them I-Blues.

One of the main differences to many other GPS devices is, that the I-Blue does not present itself as a USB mass storage device when connected to your machine. Instead the GPS data can only be accessed using the software that comes with the device. Fine if you are on Windows or on a Mac but not so great if your are using Linux.

But low and behold there are quite some alternatives available. And in the coming days I will try to explore some of them:

1. The original I-Blue windows software using wine
2. bt747, a java application
3. gpsbabel
4. mtkbabel, a perl program
5. directly using the GPS information in geotag, a java geotagging application

So stay tuned to get some insight into how to use the I-Blue and get the most out of it under Linux.

2 comments:

Hans-Peter Bock said...

Have you had a look at the program gps-correlate? It correlates the GPX data with the timestamp of your photos and adds the meta information to them.

helmerj said...

Hi Hans-Peter,

No I haven't even heard of it. So far I am using geotag to add the gps information to my images. I like it since it also adds gps info to RAW files of various formats as well as not adding them to the images itslef but to xmp side car files. I will have a look at gps-correlates, though. Thanks for pointing me towards it.

Cheers Juergen