May 6

Nat Torkington

Nat Torkington

Digital camera + GPS = Flickr mapping heaven!

I love the Geobloggers' Flickr + Google Maps and Stamen's Mappr hacks. Mappr guesses locations from the text accompanying the photo, whereas the Geobloggers' system uses special tags. The geobloggers can also use latitude-longitude embedded in the JPEG's metadata. Enter the Ricoh Pro G3 GPS Camera--it'll take 3Mpixel photos and embed the coordinates of where you took them. Sweet!

As the cost of embedding a GPS chip in a device drops to a handful of dollars, expect to see a lot more of these location-aware devices. We already have some, in the form of cellular phones, though the carriers tend to try to charge heftily for it. But what happens when my car comes with a GPS device that'll automatically upload my traces to my server? When will my bank statement come with lat-long for the places I shopped?

I can work at hacking together some of these things, but it's not reliable and it's not scalable. My sister doesn't want to know about Garmin's buttheaded attempt to lock down the data your GPS collects, she just wants to see where she drove last month so she knows why her petrol bill was so high. My Dad doesn't want to arse about annotating cell towers when the pesky phone company already knows where they are, he just wants to know whether he's been successful at reducing the amount of time he spends driving and talking. My wife doesn't want to have to carry around two bulky devices and greatly extend the already considerable time it takes her to get photos online by manually tagging photos with lat-long, she just wants to be able to find all the 2004 photos of the kids in New Zealand in one quick search.

Kudos to Ricoh for making one set of hacks redundant, thus enabling an entirely new set of hacks built on top of their work.

tags:   | comments: 19   | Sphere It

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Comments: 19

  barb dybwad [05.06.05 08:31 PM]

I, too, have been drooling over this camera. I'm still not 100% sure, though -- because they seem to go out of their way to make it unclear -- but it appears that you have to purchase the camera and the GPS Photo Link software to wed the images and GPS data together automagically. What's worse, their bundles seem designed to prevent you from just getting the camera and the software; at $870 for the camera plus $299 for the software, you're better off getting the bundle with one of the CF cards even if you don't need it! Either way, spending $1150-ish for a 3 megapixel camera seems crazy (and the GPS function doesn't even cover any of the functions you might want in a standard GPS to use in regular navigation).

I agree with you -- I want these tools! I was hoping this camera would be it, but I can't justify it. I really just want to be able to upload a geo-tagged image from my camphone to Flickr and have all that metadata nicely taken care of for me... ahhhh, someday! :)

  Mikel [05.07.05 02:03 AM]

Just wanted to point out the 'mapping flickr' project, which can map images worldwide on satellite imagery. This, and 'mapping delicious', were the first projects to promote the use of geotags. Can also handle exif.

an example

btw, mappr can handle geotags as well. and mapping delicious uses the mappr api to make guesses

  Jeffrey Early [06.07.05 02:02 PM]

You don't need expensive software, just download GPSPhotoLinker at

  Allen Smith [06.27.05 07:25 AM]

There is an application available for the Motorola i860 on the Nextel network that allows you to easily upload geo-stamped cameraphone pictures to a website:

There is an Easter egg in the application that lets you upload geostamped pictures directly to Here is a link to one of my pictures:
geo-stamped flickr pic
The phone adds tags of the city, state, and zip code of where the picture was taken as well as adding a link to a MapQuest map of the location. To enter your flickr email press # *your pin* 8 7 5 0 # from the first start-up screen. So if your pin is 1234 you would press the keys # 1 2 3 4 8 7 5 0 # and a screen will pop-up that lets you enter your flickr email and password

  Lauren [06.27.05 01:28 PM]

As a newcomer to GPS, I am so psyched about all that you can do. We spent the whole weekend geocaching and it was SO fun. I spent a lot of recent evening Geotagging images. It's so addicting. I'm really enjoying all the new gps hobbies.

  Derek [11.28.05 03:58 PM]

Having worked in the GPS industry for several years gathering data and linking coordinates to these pictures I find GPS-Photo Link (GPL)software to be a life saver. That is why I applied for a job with the company that created this software. The GPL software will not only allow you to output HTML pages it will soon allow you to output to a KMZ file. This is the file extension used by Google Earth. You can share your pics with anyone by emailing the .KMZ file. When this file is opened in Google Earth it will zoom in to the area the photos were taken. If there is satellite imagery available then the photos will show up on top as thumb nails. When you hover over the thumb nail the larger photo will appear. You can even watermark the photos with latitude/longitude information. The software is modestly priced compared to some of our competitors @ $229 per liscense. If anyone has any questions or would like a 10-20 use demo copy please send me an email. I will help walk you through a demo any time.

  yourmap [01.03.06 09:57 AM]

Check out It can Geocode original images which can be uploaded to Flickr, Geosnapper or other photo services that support EXIF GPS tags. As a bonus, you can use the yourmap viewer to display your photos from your hard drive without being connected to the Internet. It's free.

  sam [08.25.06 02:32 AM]

On a photomap at you can filter the flickr photos based on tags or owner name to display on Google Map. Then you can get the link for the filtered output to share with others.

  geotagr [09.12.06 04:41 PM]

Try It allows the user to upload a track file saved from a GPS device, then use the track information to geotag flickr photos that are taken in the same time period as the track file. This is a lot easier than geotagging photos manually using flickr organizr, and more accurate, too.

  Ron Davison [02.20.07 12:37 PM]

I want to take my re-foresting survey crew onto 33 remote atolls in the Central Pacific to take pictures of various coconut grove sites and boundary markers. I wish that I could have simply stamped on those pictures:

1) longitude/latitude of the camera's location.
2) direction the cameral is pointing.
3) date the picture was taken.

As for now, I am using a separate GPS and the voice memo on my 3.2 MP Canon PowerShot camera.

Does such a camera exist today?

Someday, when GoggleEarth includes those atolls, I would like a simple way to "Fly" to those locations as guided by the location stamps on those pictures.

  Jim [03.07.07 02:45 PM]

I am looking for a camera\video camera that I can then attatch images to a GIS map. anybody have ideas?????

  Tom [04.23.07 08:54 PM]

The Ricoh 500SE with GPS option captures and embeds GPS location data including direction into exif which can be extracted for use.

  Jon [05.02.07 03:51 PM]

check out this gadget:
You can actually write GPS info into the exif and make the photos geo-taggable in any other 3rd party websites.

  paul [07.16.07 07:21 AM]

I am looking for a sample of a kml/kmz file taken using the ricoh 500se and converted using their software so i can better understand how it works....anyone help?

  Anonymous [07.31.07 06:39 AM]

Sir, i would like know the names of digital camera wich measures GPS coordinates and it has 5 megapixeel.
Can u pls tell soon as possible.

  Joel [08.07.07 03:45 AM]

Seems like a this could be married with sites like or even the newish software from microsoft called Photosynth that could help connect your pictures with others pictures around the world.
I'll wait for more companies like canon to add it to their cams. Would have been nice to have this for the Goudy Cathedral, you can never take enough pictures of that thing.

  Phil [09.29.07 07:22 PM]

I have a ruby script I wrote to export KML from a set of exif-geotagged photos:

This relies on the excellent gpsbabel ( and gpscorrelate ( software.

  Bryan [01.14.08 09:29 AM]

Here I have a recommendation. DP-GPS N1, it has its own battery, so you won't worry drain up your camera's battery. And when you turn off the camera, you can still keep the GPS on. this is the the price is $248, including the software.

  Jim [03.16.08 08:09 PM]
For some time now, higher-end Nikon DSLR cameras have had the ability to link with select Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) receivers and record very precise information on the camera's location at the time each image was captured. Nikon cameras equipped with this feature include the D200, D300, D2Hs, D2X, D2Xs, and D3, as well as the Fujifilm S5 Pro (a D200 derivative). The typical setup involved the camera with a Nikon MC-35 GPS adapter cord attached to its ten pin remote terminal while the other end connected to a PC interface cable connector that was in turn attached to the GPS.
Now, Shenzhen Solmeta Technology Co., LTD (Solmeta, for branding purposes) has produced a camera-specific GPS unit that is dwarfed in both size and weight by the typical hand-held GPS used for this type application in the past, and makes use of a single connection directly to the camera's 10 pin terminal. For digital users who need or want GPS data for their images, things just got a lot simpler.

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