The Future of Digital Photography, Geotagging Baked Inside the Camera

Geotagging on the iPhonescreenshot borrowed from Apple Insider.

AppleInsider | Latest iPhone 2.0 beta adds geo-tagging to Camera photos Apple Insider has an interesting post out about the latest beta version of the iPhone software. According to the post, next gen iPhone software will allow you to plot your location on your iPhone map and then have your iPhone photos from that location geotagged.

Now this isn’t exactly the same as actual GPS technology, but it’s interesting.

I don’t use my iPhone camera all that much (my 5D is pretty much with me everywhere I go) but I do think that this is just a glimpse into the world to come for geotagging photos.

A few weeks ago I posted on the latest Eye-Fi chips that use wi-fi to try and geotag. This might be pretty cool if you use it in an urban area with lots of wi-fi hotspots but is probably pretty worthless in rural areas or places without wi-fi. As an aside I also recently learned that Eye-Fi doesn’t support the RAW format, which is a total deal breaker to me.

Of course the best geotagging units are actually GPS based units. I haven’t tried any of these out personally myself yet and I’m not especially excited about trying to synch my camera’s clock with external software from a device that may or may not work super well.

The Holy Grail for geotagging for me of course will be when Canon actually includes GPS in a professional grade digital SLR built in — or at a minimum offers an external battery grip type GPS device that can be added to a Canon digital SLR to add geotags based on GPS.

Bottom line is though that we are only seeing the beginning of geotagging photos. I think it’s only a matter of time until every digital camera produced includes geotagging capabilities.

Until then I’m continuing to use Google Earth and Geotagger for the Mac to geotag as many of my photos as I can. As I’ve written before, this method works much better than either Flickr and Zooomr and ensures that your photos are tagged at the file level.

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  1. Tobias says:

    I love my Garmin Venture GPS that along with GPSPhotoLinker and I am in great shape for Geotagging. I hope to have a workflow video up soon.

  2. TranceMist says:

    Interesting.

    I have read rumors about an actual GPS in the new iPhone. If that turns out to be true, then this is fantastic.

    (wouldn’t it be great if you could then link that via Bluetooth to a new 5D mk II so it could use the data too?)

    However, without an actual GPS the information is only useful to within a few blocks, and therefore not that useful to me.

    At least it would be based on Cell ID which I’ve found useful for the mobile Google Maps, rather than a database of WiFi hotspots which I don’t see how anyone could keep up with accuracy on.

  3. Perhaps the dash devices, which have an open API, can do this? Leave a comment on my blog , if you’d like me to figure out how this works?