The Jelbert GeoTagger connects to a Garmin Geko 301 GPS device and fits into a DSLR’s flash shoe. Every time you take a photo the camera triggers the geotagger, which records the precise position and heading of a camera using the GPS device. Later you will add the Geotagger’s stored GPS data to the photo’s EXIF data via an application like RoboGeo (PC) or GPSPhotoLinker (Mac). (The Jelbert Geotagger is £149, the Geko 301 is $246.)
It’s a step forward for georeferencing photos vs. the traditional method of a calculating time-weighted averages of the nearest tracklog points. The holy grail, however, is recording a photo’s position data as EXIF the moment it is taken. Nikon has a cable that lets you do this for the D2X and D200 — the MC-35 ($99), which connects to your GPS device. Or make your own for the D200.
It doesn’t appear like the Nikon-specific solutions can transfer compass data, though, even if you were to use a Geko 301, which has an electronic compass built in. To do that, you still need the Jelbert Geotagger. Here is their demo of how the direction data plays in Google Earth. Good to see directional icons in use!
What else is left to innovate? Vertical tilt. My Nikon can already sense whether the camera is taking a portrait or a panorama shot, so this feature can’t be too far off. When all that is in place, there is no reason why the KML can’t be made to construct <LookAt> tags mimicking the view of the camera, as Alan Glennon mooted back in January.