Eirik blogs about a trip to France where he stored GPS points everytime he took a photo. Back home he merged the GPS information with the photos, and made an interactive map of the trip. Nice!
Now, what if there was an easy way to do what Eirik has done?
EXIF to the rescue
As you may know, EXIF is the standard used to store camera data in every digital photo. EXIF makes it possible for programs like iPhoto to tell you that this picture was taken April 2nd, 2005, with a Canon Powershot S50, aperture 5.6 and so on. The EXIF standard has a tag for GPS data, and there’s even a proposal to make a more “human” location data tag in EXIF, like “At Aunt Mary’s cabin, Nordfjord, Norway”.
Superb camera site dpreview has a good page about EXIF. Sites like Flickr reads the EXIF data, and displays it when you look at pictures, like this one I took last year. Flickr will display the correct date I took the picture, even if I didn’t upload it until later.
Jeffrey Early has made a Mac OSX application that let’s you put GPS data in pictures EXIF data. Add a comment if you know any Windows or Linux programs that does the same. Jeffrey writes that “Apple has confirmed that MacOS 10.4 will support the GPS metadata tags in photos. This will open up a whole realm of opportunities for users and developers to take advantage of the position data on photos.” Excellent! I couldn’t find on the 200+ New features page for Tiger at Apple, but it’s probably there.
Jeffrey also made a photo album with maps, to show an example how to combine photos and GPS data.
A GPS in every camera and cameraphone
In a few years, most cameras and cameraphones could have small GPS units inside, that stores the exact location every picture is taken. But already now Flickr should add maps, especially now that Yahoo has bought Flickr. So when I add GPS data to my pictures before uploading them to Flickr, I could have a small map next to the picture. Clicking this will list every other picture at Flickr taken at the same spot, or within 50 meters, 500 meters, 5 kms etc.
I blogged yesterday about Gary Turner’s GPS/Flickr/Mobile wish. With Yahoo and all the data already in Yahoo maps, and GPS already in the EXIF standard, why wait until 2015? Why not this friday?
Just a little wish to Yahoo maps and Google maps all others making übercool maps on the web: The world. Not just the US. Every street in Europe, Asia and Australia is already in a database somewhere. I want to make my own “Google sightseeing” of the neighbourhood.
Update As of 1st of August 2006, Sony has launched cameras with a GPS unity connected to them. More about it here.