By >Daimaou - G.G-B
Sony’s GPS-CS3K: Your Geotagging Best Friend… Mini-Review
Wolfgang H., the head behind Akihabara News’ future CMS, kindly gave us some of his time and wrote us a little review of Sony’s latest portable GPS solely made to geotag pictures.
The Sony GPS-CS3K GPS tracker has a tiny display that operates in three modes: displays current coordinates in big letters, exact coordinates (not rounded values) in small letters, and the current date/time. It might take a few minutes to complete the initial positioning during the first boot after not using the device for some time.
If the device loses a satellite it usually takes only a few seconds to re-calculate its position. The device can be placed in a pocket without any problems, it doesn’t need a direct visual connection to a satellite.
The whole process for geocoding images is quite simple. Just turn it on when you start your voyage and activate the “hold” function to disable the buttons to avoid unintentional input. For geocoding open the back cover and insert your MS/SD card. Sadly no support for other memory cards types and older generations are not supported.
Memory Stick media is slightly thicker than newer MS cards, and SD card works perfectly. In our test we used a 8GB SD card. After inserting close the cover and select “Matching” from the menu. It automatically detects the images on your memory card and puts geocode information into the EXIF data.
The good news is that the device happily accepts images from any camera. In our case it worked perfectly with images from a Casio Exilim FC-100. The process of enhancing the image EXIF data with geo data takes some time, expect to wait several seconds for each image. Don’t be afraid to run tagging during a trip, the device is clever enough to skip tagged photos.
There is also one external USB port for connecting the device to a PC, it’s recognized as a mass storage device. This enables you to directly browse log files stored on the device. These files contain all the GPS data (waypoints, etc.) in standardized plain text NMEA format. Although each text file starts with a line of text that must be removed before importing data into free geocoding software of your choice.
The software on CD is Windows only that’s no bother to install. Theoretically it should provide nice tools for displaying tracked routes on the screen and the associated photos. Optimized for the device it might be the best solution to export waypoints and display the photo routes on the screen. There’s plenty of free software tools that runs on any OS flavor (even on Mac OS X and GNU/Linux).
The whole kit includes the device itself, a very short USB cable to connect it to a PC, and a protective case which lets you operate it even when it’s covered. It also allows you to fix it to a belt or bag. No batteries included. The device is crafted well and doesn’t feel too cheap. A nice gadget to enhance your photo experience and to put even more information in your holiday reports.