Add location to your digital camera's metadata

Sony announced the availability of the GPS-CS1 tracking system for digital images on the eve of the Photokina imaging show.

EEver been on a trip where you've visited a dozen places, taken hundreds of pictures but can't quite remember where you shot them? Sony has developed a pocket-size, GPS (Global Positioning System) device and software that helps you identify the location of every picture you've taken within a couple of meters.

The Japanese consumer electronics giant announced the availability of the GPS-CS1 tracking system on the eve of the Photokina imaging trade show, which opens Tuesday in Cologne, Germany.

The device, which records location data every 15 seconds, can accurately pinpoint a shot to within two meters.

The device measures 87 by 36 by 36 millimeters (3.43 by 1.42 by 1.42 inches), can hold up to 31M bytes of data (equivalent to approximately one month of tracking and recording for 12 hours per day) and has a power-efficient design that allows up to 10 hours of continuous use with a single, alkaline cell battery.

The GPS-CS1 doesn't connect to a digital camera. Instead, tracking data from the device is downloaded via a USB cable to a Windows PC running the Sony GPS Image Tracker software. Camera images are also downloaded to the same PC, which then "matches" the position data from the GPS tracking device with date and time data from the images.

Another piece of software, the Picture Motion Browser, which Sony now supplies with new cameras, allows users to view JPEG images with the appended location information. If they want a more visual view of the location, they can click the "Map View" function, which uses the online Google Maps services to show the geographic location.

"This is a device aimed at the amateur user," a Sony spokesman said at the company's booth. "It's lightweight, easy to use and affordable."

The suggested retail price of the GPS-CS1, now available in all major markets, is Euro 130 (AUD$221) , the spokesman said.

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John Blau

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