Archive for March 2012

Adobe Lightroom 4 released – with extensive Geotagging support

Tuesday, March 6th, 2012

More and more software is coming out with support for geotagged photos. Finally Adobe has caught on, and has released Lightroom 4, along with pretty decent geotagging features.

Lightroom 4 Senegal Map

“Map” is now one of the main views available in Lightroom, in which you will see a big map, with markers in all the spots on the map in which you took photos. If you zoom out, markers too close together are merged. Instead of an empty marker representing a single photo, a number is displayed on that marker, indicating the number of photos taken in that area. You can also choose to load GPS tracklog files, and have Lightroom 4 display these on the map. These tracks can even be used to indirectly geotag photos that are not yet geotagged, by matching the timestamps.

Lightroom 4 tracklogs

Optionally, you can blend in extra panels. The left panel contains three subviews:

  • Navigator – a smaller overview map
  • Saved Locations – a set of manually saved spots/areas, defined by location and radius. For each Location you can set a privacy option, if you want location metadata to be deleted whenever you export photos from this area (your home, for example)
  • Collections – what would be called “Albums” in most other Photo Managment software – not geotagging specific.

The right panel is your usual Metadata panel, in which you can see EXIF, IPTC and other Metadata, including the EXIF Fields with the GPS coordinates, along with button that will center the map to those coordinates. You can even choose to only display Location Metadata.

Along the bottom you have your film-strip panel. The photos in here all have badges in the bottom right corner, indicating whether or not they are geotagged. if you click on one of the markers in the map view, all the photos in that location are centered and highlighted in the film-strip view, so you can quickly see which photos were taken there. Instead of clicking on a single marker in the map, you can also apply one of three Location filters (along the top of the map view):

Lightroom 4 location filter

  • Visible on Map – highlights all photos in the filmstrip which were taken in the currently visible area on the map.
  • Tagged – highlights all photos in the filmstrip that are geotagged, and dims the photos without geotag
  • Untagged – does exactly the opposite.
The latter is especially useful for finding the photos where your geotagging device missed a photo or two without you noticing, so that you can manually add its location – for example by synching Location metadata from another photo taken in the same spot, or using a tracklog that you might have additionally saved.

I have not taken the time to dive any deeper into Lightroom 4 (I use Apples Aperture – which has supported geotagging for quite a while longer), who knows what other gems I might have missed – so feel free to add your own finds in the comments!

Canon 5D Mark III announced, with GP-E2 GPS receiver!

Friday, March 2nd, 2012

It’s official – the long awaited Canon EOS 5D Mark III was released a few hours ago. Read the press release, or check out previews and hands-on details at the usual sites – I won’t re-iterate those here.

I must however mention the big news, that Canon seems to finally be embracing geotagging, and announced the GP-E2 GPS receiver along with the 5D Mark III.

Canon GP-E2 GPS Receiver
Image by Canon

It has 3 modes of operation:

  1. Direct communication with the camera via the hot-shoe (only 5D Mark III and 1D x)
  2. Direct communication with the camera via USB (7D – with limations)
  3. Logging a GPS track (any camera)
Unfortunately, no other camera is supported yet, but I suppose that the hot-shoe communication will be available with all future Canon DSLRs. This is great news, as we might well be able to produce a single Unleashed for all Canon cameras, which will allow wireless direct geotagging, and who knows what other great features we will think of for you.

Canon’s GP-E2 will offer the following key features:

  • High-sensitivity GPS chip
  • Digital compass
  • UTC time setting (to set camera clock)
  • Logging function
  • Universal fitting
  • Powered by 1x AA battery
You can find all the details on Canon’s GP-E2 product page.

Here’s the relevant paragraph from the 5D Mark III press release about this new accessory:

“The EOS 5D Mark III also has an optional Canon GPS Receiver GP-E2, which can be connected to the camera via the accessory shoe or a USB cable. With a GPS logging function built-in, the GP-E2 will log latitude, longitude, elevation, and the Universal Time Code – and allow viewing of camera movement on a PC after shooting. With its built-in compass, the GP-E2 receiver will also record camera direction when shooting, even when shooting vertically. The Canon GPS Receiver GP-E2 is compatible with the EOS-1D X and EOS 7Di as well as the EOS 5D Mark III.ii”

i) When the EOS 7D is used with the GP-E2, the following restrictions will apply: a) geotagging function will not work for movies while recording; b) geotagging features will not work for movies when using the Map Utility; c) electronic compass information and automatic time setting is not available; d) transmission via the hot shoe is not possible.

ii) In certain countries and regions, the use of GPS may be restricted. Therefore, be sure to use GPS in accordance with the laws and regulations of your country or region. Be particularly careful when traveling outside your home country. As a signal is received from GPS satellites, take sufficient measures when using in locations where the use of electronics is regulated.

The EOS 5D Mark III requires a firmware upgrade to be compatible with the GPS Receiver GP-E2, which will be available soon.

One more image:

Canon GP-E2 GPS Receiver
Image by Canon