GPS

Geotag_Photos_Pro

Geotag Photos Pro Works Great with Lightroom 4

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4 brings a new Map Module to the game that allows you to easily geotag your photos. You can geotag photos by using a reference photo that already contains location info (say one from your iPhone), you can manually drag photos onto the map, or you can use a GPX log to match your photos to. Of course if the photos already have location info in them then Lightroom will use that info as well.

What’s a GPX Log?

A GPX log contains an entry with the date, time, elevation, longitude and latitude for each time your location changes (see sample below). The idea is that if your photos are taken within the same time frame as the log entries then applications like Lightroom 4 can extract the location info from the GPX Log and insert this info into the photos that are matching the date and time.  It’s a simple concept and one that’s been around for years. Your iPhone has a GPS chip in it. With GeoTag Photos Pro you can take advantage of your iPhone (iPad or iPod touch) knowing where you are and then have it create this log for you.

How does it work?

GPX Log file example above

Since this process greatly depends on your camera being set to the same time zone/time/date as your iPhone, the App does a great job in showing you a display of exactly what to set your camera’s date/time setting to. Once you’ve done this important step all you have to do is create a new log and tap the record button. Once you tap the record button the App will start logging your location updates. By default the App is set to record your changes every 2 minutes or every 50 yards. I found this setting not to be accurate enough for my taste. I changed the setting to “Continuous” and every 10 yards. Of course this will use more battery power of your iDevice, but the difference in battery drain during my tests was insignificant. When you’re done with your shooting you tap the Stop button. At that point you can email the log to yourself or send it to iTunes for a wired transfer to your computer. The log is pretty small so I always just email it.

The Map Module in Lightroom 4

Once I got back to my computer I imported my RAW shots from my Nikon D7000, converted them to DNG (Not necessary, but I like DNG), and then imported the GPX log file that I created with GeoTag Photos Pro. It plotted a very precise route including the locations where I was inside a building.

Next I just used the AutoTag Photos command and like magic it auto tagged my selected photos and placed them on the map along the route.

The Bottom Line

I LOVE geotagging my photos and while I’ve got a variety of different GPS modules that connected directly to my Nikon DSLRs, it’s nice knowing that my iPhone becomes a wireless GPS module for any camera and I always have it with me. As far as the App goes, it works very well. I would make a couple of UI suggestions to the developer. The 1st one is to put the Camera Date/Time settings button right on the main screen instead of having to drill down to in the settings. The second one is to put the Email log button right on the main screen too. There is room for both of these and since I use them every time it would be nice not having to drill down to find them. Otherwise, this App does exactly what it’s supposed to do and makes a nice compliment for the NEW Lightroom 4.

You can get GeoTag Photos Pro for $3.99 here from the iTunes

You can also get it for Android here.

(more…)

navigon

Navigon Apps on Sale!

My favorite iOS Turn-by-Turn GPS Navigation Apps are ON SALE just in time for your holiday travel or App Gifting Needs.

 

Navigon North America (USA & Canada) Now $38.99 ($21 off)

iTunes

Navigon USA Only Now $29.99 ($20 off)

iTunes

 

Lower Cost Region Specific Apps Now $19.99 ($10 off):

iTunes
East (AL, CT, DE, FL, GA, IN, KY, MA, ME, MD, MI, NH, NJ, NY, NC, OH, PA, RI, SC, TN, VT, VA, WV)

iTunes
Central (AL, AR, CO, IL, IN, IA, KS, KY, LA, MI, MN, MO, MS, MT, NE, NM, ND, OH, OK, SD, TN, TX, WI, WY)

iTunes
West (AZ, CA, CO, ID, MT, NV, NM, OR, UT, WA, WY)

Navigon makes several apps for just about every region around the world. Find yours here: NAVIGON AG

These Apps are UNIVERSAL and work on iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. The Maps are BUILT-IN and therefore these Apps don't require a data connection to navigate. With version 2.0 you can now download just the maps you need for the areas you're driving in so that you don't waste a lot of space on your device.

 

If you're looking for a car kit, this one is my favorite:

My setup above is:

parkbud-icon

Parkbud Helps You Find Your Car

 

ParkbudI’ve never understood much of the problem with finding your car in a car park until I was visiting in the US a couple of weeks ago which was my first time having car while over there. Long story short, I now completely see how you can easily loose your car in the car park. Enter Parkbud, a gorgeous application that does two main things: Keep track of how long you have paid and where your car is.

Since I’m a sucker for a good UI, the app rates pretty highly from the start. However, setting the timer can be slightly confusing at first with a difference between time left and when the reminder alarm will go off. It is fully possible to have paid for 5 minutes and set the reminder to go off in 45 minutes. Not very good! There is also no simple way (that I have found) to quickly erase a time if you want to delete it.

Adding your car to the map is very simple and done via the touch of one of three little buttons. You can then easily get directions to the car from where you are using the built-in GPS. Should GPS not be enough for you, you can take a snapshot with the camera to remind yourself exactly how it looked where you parked (or perhaps what your car looks like if it is a rental car).

In the end, Parkbud is a nice application and worth the slight cost if you find yourself not remembering where you park now and then. Having the app on the phone is certainly nice, knowing that it is there when you need it.

iTunes
 

navigon

Navigon 2.0 is Here for iOS!

 

My favorite Turn-by-Turn voice GPS Navigation App has just been updated with a slicker, smarter interface. The 1st big change is that App has been cut down significantly in size. The North America version used to weigh in at about 1.7GB. Now the update is about 44MB in size. How can it get so small you ask? The good folks at Navigon took a brilliant approach in letting you selectively download the states/providences that you need. This is AWESOME! If i'm never going to drive through Alabama or Arkansas then why have those maps taking up space on my device? You can pick which states to download whenever you want.  You do have to be in Wi-Fi to download a state, but once it's downloaded you won't need a data connection at all to use the App. I downloaded Michigan (36.9MB) in a matter of just a few minutes over my WiFi/Cable connection. The next thing I noticed was that the new app launches SIGNIFICANTLY faster. Perhaps this is due to the weight loss :) I'm not a fan of GPS apps that require a constant data connection as the maps are in cloud. Navigon's new approach is a perfect blend between the flexibility of only loading what you need AND not requiring a data connection to use the App once the maps are on your device.

 

Nice and clean UI

I'm a User Interface (UI) freak and have never been blown away by any GPS navigation system. I'm not saying that this new interface blows me away, but it's certainly WAY cleaner than before and probably will send several competitors back to the design boards. The menus are animated, but not in an obnoxious way. I like the little pull downs to quickly access things you need while navigating. Most of all I like not having to dig through several menus to find the things that should be at the top level. Great job!

The same In-App purchases are available and yes it will allow you to restore the ones you've already purchased. In my case I got the Lifetime LIVE Traffic, Panorama 3D view and Radar Info. They've added a new one called FreshMaps XL that gives you a 1 year quarterly Map update with not only new/changed roads, but they promise tons of POI additions/updates. It's only $14.99 but I'll pass on it for now since this update includes the latest maps for free!

There is one gotcha with this update! The 1st and only problem I've run into so far is that you lose all your saved Favorites. That really sucks since there is NO WARNING! When you fire up the new app they're just not there anymore. I'm hoping that this is just a bug and that they can fix it so that anyone else that's upgrading will be able to either keep their Favorites or back them up and restore them. Navigon shame on you for not warning us about this or allow saved Favorites to come into version 2.0. Otherwise, this update rocks!

 

UPDATE! The Favorites ARE there! They just won't show up unless you download the Maps/States that they are for. Makes sense, thanks goes to David Lumsden for his troubleshooting help in the comments below! Now I'm even happier about this update!

 

Price drops until November 30th:

Navigon North America is now only $39.99 iTunes

Navigon USA is only $29.99 iTunes

Navigon My Region is now only $19.99

East iTunes

Central iTunes

West iTunes

magellan

Magellan RoadMate North America – A Second Look

 

I have completely discarded my dedicated Garmin GPS navigation devices because the iPhone GPS Turn-by-Turn navigation Apps are really good now. When I first took a look at the major players the features were pretty weak in those days. Also with no background processing in iOS itself the experience for talking on the phone while navigating was painful. A lot has changed since then! These Apps now in many cases offer more features than the dedicated handheld units by the same manufacturers and they are constantly updated due to the competitive landscape. 

What's New with the Magellan RoadMate App?

Each of the major Apps: Navigon, TomTom and Magellan all do the basic function of getting you from point A to point B using a GPS satellite and offering turn-by-turn voice directions. What keeps them competing with each other is what they offer beyond the basics and offering features that the other guys don't offer. Magellan was a little late to the party with their App, but they have certainly caught up with their latest update. First off this update takes advantage of iOS 4 and background processing with continued voice guidance while you run other apps in the foreground or take a call. 

What really gets me excited here is the addition of Realtime Lifetime Traffic with no additional costs. Another cool feature is POI (Points of Interest) sharing. You can quickly share a destination/POI with your contacts. This is great when you're trying to meet up with someone. Last but not least for the deal seekers out there you have the option of receiving Location Based Offers and Coupons. I think this is a neat idea and if I'm driving through an area and am presented with a compelling deal, I'd probably be willing to stop and take advantage of it. While not the most feature rich app out there, they certainly offer a nice bang for the buck.

A Deal on the Car Kit

I've been a fan of the Magellan iPhone/iPod touch Car Kit since day one! It's the only one that I use. It simply rocks! It offers a GPS signal boost as well as bluetooth handsfree speaker phone and audio out for your iPod music to your in car stereo. The Magellan RoadMate North America App is $44.99 and if you buy it between now and January 9, 2011 they'll give you a coupon credit of $44.99 towards the Car Kit. That's a heck of a deal! It definitely makes the car kit more attractive. 

You can get the Magellan RoadMake North America App for $44.99 here from the Magellan RoadMate North America - Magellan

If you already have a GPS navigation App you can still use the Magellan Car Kit with it. It's not specific to their App. You can get the Car Kit on sale here.

 

FAQ: Yes, all of the Maps are built-in to the App. No, you don't need a data connection while you're using it (except for the coupons/location based deals). No it does't require your data plan (except for the coupons/deals). No it doesn't require a Car Kit unless you're using an iPod touch, which doesn't have a GPS (the car kit does). No, there are no monthly fees. You buy the App and you're done.

Page 1 of 3123