Before the rush

Before the rush
by evan-pak

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I'm embarking on a trip across Europe in a few weeks. I have a QStarz GPS logger that I intend to use to log the trip and I will use the tools built into Aperture to geotag my photos when I return.

My only concern is crossing multiple timezones. What should I do to ensure I can tag my photos when I return without a lot of extra work adjusting metadata?

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Timezones have no impact on geographical position. Do you mean you want to record the local time accurately? You might need to check the GPS logger manual to see if local time is automatically recorded. Or did you mean UTM Zones? If you are currently collecting GPS data using the local NAD 83 UTM Zone coordinate system then you might have to change the coordinate system on the unit to match the current UTM Zone. Alternatively, you might want to use a "world" coordinate system such as the WGS84 which is a default in most GPS units. This way you don't have to worry about UTM Zones. – Jakub Jun 23 '11 at 14:00
I was more concerned about setting my camera clock. I've decided to use Andres's suggestion and set the clock to GMT and not bother with adjusting to local time. – speshak Jun 28 '11 at 0:01
up vote 6 down vote accepted

Another solution is setting you camera and GPS to the GMT timezone and never change it.

Then you can geotag your photos and time-adjust the GPS time-staps. Geosetter is an alternative geotagger that can do this:

enter image description here

You can also add or subtract hours/minutes/seconds if the GPS and the Camera aren't perfectly synchronized.

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Some hints:

  1. Actually, there aren't that many time zones in Central Europe. Most likely you won't be crossing multiple time zones that often.

  2. If you first import each time zone into a separate project, and then follow the instructions here, you should be fine. Any constant offset between photo time stamps and GPS time stamps is fine – indeed, Aperture basically assumes that there is some offset.

  3. No matter what you do, it will be a lot of manual work. Matching GPS tracks and camera timestamps is not that straightforward (camera clock drift; GPS errors; indoor locations), and the somewhat unfriendly user interface in Aperture does not help.

If at all possible, I would try to do geotagging as soon as possible. If you are going to have a laptop with you, you might prefer to geotag daily. That way it will be easier to remember what you did.

It might be a very good idea to take a "calibration shot" each day. For instance, while walking with your GPS on, take a sharp turn and shoot a photo quickly (don't stop). Then it'll be easy to drag'n'drop this photo in the right location along the track (remember that the precise geographic location is not significant for this photo; it is the time dimension that matters), and Aperture takes care of everything else based on the timestamp offset.

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I really like the calibration shot idea. I'm going to use this along with setting my camera to GMT and ignoring the local time. – speshak Jun 27 '11 at 23:59

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