In part 1 of this blog post series, we discussed how you can use reference photos to speed up your geocoding process. The easiest, fastest and most precise way to geotag your photos, however, is to provide HoudahGeo with a so called track log file. While there are smartphone apps which record track logs (as discussed in part 2), these may drain your phone’s battery if left running over a prolonged period of time. Therefore, you may want to consider investing in a GPS track logger.
Part 3 – Geocoding using a GPS track logger
GPS track loggers are small devices that serve the sole purpose to record where you have been going. Just switch the device on, slide it into your pocket and leave it running. At the end of the day, extract the track log file to your computer. Feed this file to HoudahGeo, and it will automatically match your photos to the track log and geocode your photos.
You can buy GPS track loggers from electronics stores or online, e.g. from Amazon. Just make sure that you can extract a compatible track log file to your Mac. This happens using software that comes with the device. Alternatively, there are tools like GPSBabel or LoadMyTracks which help you import or convert track log files.
If you need some help finding the right track logger for you, we highly recommend you check out David Coleman’s extensive post on GPS trackers for photographers.
Once you got your track logger, there is just one more thing to do before you head off: set the date and time of your camera accurately and remember the time zone you set it to (e.g. if you set it to the time zone you travelled to or if you left it to your home time zone). This is important for the automatic geocoding process to work without any difficulty.