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Monday, January 28, 2013

My Camera's GPS

I am really liking my new camera's GPS capabilities, and have been practicing what I can do with it.  The feature will be a useful tool for archaeological fieldwork.  In fact, I already used it on the Kulluk Response - my little point-and-shoot camera took the first GPS points on the lifeboats that had washed off of the oil rig and onto the shore.  Those points are now in Shell's Kulluk Response database.

Lately I have been using the 'tracking' GPS feature to map out my ski trips. When I get home I download the tracks into google earth and create a map like below.  The one below is my route from yesterday's skate ski trip into the hills above the ski chalet.  I have found that it is incredibly accurate as long as I am not in under the trees, in a car, house or helicopter.  But even in a helicopter it still tracks pretty well if you sit by the window.  I have also found that you need to pause a moment and check the GPS 'status' at the very start of your trip or it may not start actually tracking until you are well into your trip.  All this is very important to know prior to using the camera GPS on an actual archaeological survey.  I also think I am going to get some GPS mapping software for my computer.

Anyway, it is also sort of cool to see exactly where you went skiing.  I took the top photo yesterday while on my way home on the track marked below.  The photo above even has GPS info tagged into it so if I wanted I could place it exactly onto the track (actually it is the 3 dots nearest the middle and looking towards the upper right corner).  All good stuff to know before I am actually out in the field!  Patrick

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