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by evan-pak

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I have recently bought an Android smartphone and I would like to use the integrated GPS to geo-tag my photos. Does anyone have any experience doing that? (Which GPS logging app to use, with what settings...)

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

I use OpenGPS Tracker. It is free and open source and doesn't steal your data. You can get it at the link, on Google's Appstore, or through FDroid.

I then start tracking, it will ask for a name of the track, and at the end of the day/journey, I will stop tracking and then go on share.

On clicking share, a tool comes up, where you can choose between KMZ (Google Earth, etc), GPX, or Text (speed and distance). I choose GPX and either send it via email, or store it on the SD card.

I then open it up in Digikam and apply it to the photos. I'd image, you are not using Digikam, so you might want to pick a different format although GPX seems to be prevalent.

More open source GPS apps: 3

Go to the appropriate album, select all images and then go to: "Image>Geo-location". In the dialog, go to the Tab "GPS correlator". Open a GPX file and click correlate. Apply, and you are done.



The settings I use depend on the situation. I would recommend to se the default settings. And change it as you see fit.

You can also set a minimum time and distance to be covered between waypoings.

It really doesn't matter too much. I haven't changed settings much, as I never saw the need. The only thing fancy I can see yourself trying to achieve is long battery life. But I couldn't tell you how to achieve that other than to by a dedicated GPS unit.

Battery life

Battery life really depens on the phone, not on the software (although I've heard software can be blamed sometimes). On my Motorola Defy, I have enough battery for a full day tracking. If you want long battery life, get a dedicated GPS unit (Garmin, etc), they have significantly better chips.


The largest problem with accuracy will be in the GPS signal. It really isn't very good. You can get sudden jumps, and your phone thinks you are 100m to the side. Over time, the results actually get better, as I imagine some sort of filter is used.

The interpolation that Digikam does is quite good. I haven't got a complaint.

For me the use is simply to tell me what town and street I was in (i.e. what building could that be), and in the country side, to tell where I was, 100m is good enough for me there.

The most useful time, I used geo-coding was during a sailing trip. We moored in a river, and it gives a nice feeling to be able to say exactly which river we were in.

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What accuracy setting do you use and what are battery life and accuracy like with that? – Erik Apr 12 '12 at 17:01
@Erik: I expanded my answer. I don't thing either part is terribly important. – Unapiedra Apr 12 '12 at 17:40

A couple of applications are available from the Android Market that will turn your handset into a Bluetooth GPS. I've experimented with Bluetooth GPS Provider for other applications and it works fine. With that set up, there are a few adapters available that will connect DSLRs of various flavors to a Bluetooth GPS. Foolography and others make them for Nikon DSLRs.

A number of manufacturers make GPS units that mount in your hot shoe and connect directly to the camera. some in the low $200 range. That makes them worth considering given that the Foolography unit runs in the high $100s and your phone would consume more battery while it's running. The down side to these units is that they don't get the benefit of AGPS, which might be useful if you often shoot in areas with good mobile service but poor GPS visibility.

Both options would put geo data directly into the EXIF in your images.

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+1. I love the Foolography Unleashed. But while I have an Android smartphone, GPS usage eats battery. So I use a Holux GPS received with the Unleashed instead. – James Youngman Apr 12 '12 at 23:49

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