April 12, 2008

Syncing Photos With Your GPS Tracks

A couple of weeks ago we discussed how to display your GPS tracks in Google Earth. But wouldn't it be nice if we could also save the locations of the exact spots where we happened to have taken photographs when we were out geocaching? Well, guess what, you can. Actually, there are several ways to do this:
  1. You can create Placemarks in Google Earth or in Google Maps' My Maps, and add your own images to those Placemarks. You just have to know where you were when you took the picture.
  2. You can use online image hosting sites like flickr and Picasa that allow you to geotag your uploaded images with coordinate data. Again, you still need to estimate the location from which you took the picture to create the geotag.
  3. Or, you can use my new favorite program, GPicSync, which automates the entire process for you.
I discovered this program while reading one of Hick@Heart's recent posts, and decided I had to try it out for myself. Well, I'm glad I did, because it works great. All you have to do is download the track data from your GPSr and the photos from your digital camera. As long as the internal clocks on your two devices are synchronized, the program will match the coordinates from the GPX file with the time stamp on the image file, and then embed those coordinates into the image's header file. It can even go a step further and create a Google Earth KMZ file containing your geolocalized pictures and tracklog. Here's a screenshot of The Google Earth file GPicSync created for me:

You can see the thumbnail images it placed at the exact locations I took these photos along this bike ride/caching adventure. In Google Earth, you can click on the thumbnails to bring up larger versions of the images.

The program also lets you create a Google Maps file to publish your pictures and tracks on the web. Here's the same track and image data from above in Google Maps. Feel free to zoom in and click on the photo icons to see the thumbnails. Then click on the thumbnails for larger versions of the images.

Needless to say, I am really impressed with GPicSync, and can't wait to use it again. And the best part... it's free!

Keep on cachin'!

1 comment:

Danilo said...

GpicSync ? There is a better solution !
I tried Geosetter 3.0.14 (http://www.geosetter.de/en/).
It is far better respect other like GpicSync. Its GUI interface is well done and has a lot of features.
Siply to use, almost nothing to do to configurate it. In a snap all the photo are geotagged using the data from logger unit.
In a word: wonderful freeware !
Danilo - Italy