GPS Enabled Compact Flash

Geotagging photos is a great way to add another level of organization to your photo collection, but it can be quite time consuming if done manually. There are devices you can carry with you that record your location while shooting so you can sync up your images after the fact and apply geotag information, but that’s still extra work and those devices can cost more than a memory card. Some cameras have GPS and geotagging built-in, but it’s far from mainstream.

A new company, Geo-Card, has come up with a different solution to geotagging photos on-the-fly. These new Compact Flash cards have a built-in GPS receiver and microcontroller that automatically inserts geotag information right into your photos as they are written to the card — and they’re fast enough to keep up with even the fastest of cameras at 15fps. The cards are available in 1GB, 2GB, and 4GB capacities.

The GPS receiver and microcontroller fit snugly inside the standard CF card shell, so it’s compatible with any camera that accepts Compact Flash cards. The GPS receiver has 20-channel support, and has a very low power consumption. The microcontroller also has low power consumption, and the firmware can be updated by plugging the card into any card reader — which allows for updates and support for future camera models.

WHERE CAN YOU GET ONE?

You can’t… I made everything up; these cards don’t really exist — and if they do, I don’t know about them. I’m sure that the technology isn’t that far off, and you might expect to see something like this within the next couple of years. I do know that as soon as somebody makes one that works, I’m all over it.

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You almost got me here Brian :) Being a techno geek I was surprised that I missed this one …

BTW one of the easiest way to geotag is to get one of those GPS built specially for photography and they are not that expensive (starts at $100) here is one

November 26, 2007 1:47 am

Yeah, but wouldn’t this be way cool? No extra work, just take the picture.

I’ve been very much considering picking up one of those “pocket” gps trackers… maybe Santa will bring me one.

November 26, 2007 2:54 am

Hehe I’ve asked wife santa for one too, I just have to be a good boy now ;)

November 26, 2007 3:49 am

A while back there was a device you could attached to your flash hot shoe.
A quick search to jostle my memory comes up with the JOBO PhotoGPS
http://www.cameratown.com/news/news.cfm/hurl/id%7C3758
Frankly I’m not convinced I need GPS coordinates for every shot.
To your idea it’d be neat, but it sure wouldn’t work for that small a device… not yet. GPS tracking can be really challenging even with a full size antenna. Perhaps sometime in the future :)

November 26, 2007 3:52 am

I think you’re right Jim — the antenna is the hard part. I’ve seen GPS receiver chips that measure 5mm x 5mm x .8mm, but without the antenna.

November 26, 2007 3:55 am

On my wish list Brian ;)

November 26, 2007 5:45 am

I was taken in by this post. how very evil. I have a device that while it doesn’t automatically add the GPS data on the memory card it does add geotagging data to the photo very easily. I’m giving one away on my blog in December. The device is a GiSTEQ PhotoTrackr and it works great. I’ve done many photowalks while using it.

November 26, 2007 8:08 am

I love this idea. Perhaps you can submit a patent application for it. There is already SD card with wifi. Many cell phones have GPS unit. It may be possible to get a GPS into a CF card.

Max

November 26, 2007 9:39 am

I thought about the patent thing, but it’s such a pain in the butt — plus I don’t have the money for it.

I saw that wifi SD card a little while back — that’s really impressive! I’ve also seen an entire Linux computer crammed into a CF card, so almost anything is possible.

November 26, 2007 10:55 am

When they come out…I am buying!

November 26, 2007 1:10 pm

Blast you, Brian Auer. :)

November 26, 2007 3:25 pm

http://gizmodo.com/gadgets/digital-cameras/sony-gpscs1-tags-photos-with-location-191454.php

Leave it to Sony….

The Canon 40D has a USB connection to connect devices. This review gives the suggestion that a GPS and other USB devices can be connectted to the camera. The wireless grip

http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/E40D/E40DA.HTM

Here is another acticle on GPS tagged photos.

http://akuaku.org/archives/2003/05/gps_tagged_jpeg.shtml

You could always carry a second gps camera and just take a casual picture to mark the spot.

November 26, 2007 11:08 pm


um… 2003!
http://www.dpreview.com/news/0302/03022601ricohi700g.asp
” This one supports the CFGPS2 Compact Flash GPS card from I-O Data”

January 26, 2008 1:46 pm

Close, but not exactly what I was describing. That camera uses a GPS Flash card, yes. But those GPS CF cards are ONLY GPS units and they have a big bulky chunk of extra hardware hanging off of them. That type of technology is on the right track, they just need to keep making it smaller until it all fits inside the standard card footprint.

January 26, 2008 3:50 pm

My pulse went up… then down reading this Brain ;-)

I’d thought for a moment I’d missed a key development here! I guess one problem would be that if you changed cameras you likely couldn’t migrate it e.g. if the new camera has SD. The real advantage of data loggers, as I’ve been researching is that they are platform-independent. They work with your dSLR, your point-and-click (who carries their dSLR everywhere?), and your smart phone.

March 7, 2008 3:34 pm

I am really surprised Brian how i missed reporting on this one. Nice post there.

May 2, 2008 12:56 pm

I didn’t realize they made compact cards such as this. I have only recently gotten into GPS. My wife is an avid photographer I can see where she would really like to have something like this. Thanks.

May 23, 2008 3:50 pm

It didn’t even take a year from your joke post:

http://www.eye.fi/products/explore/

It’s not GPS geotagging, but I believe it uses wi-fi triangluation to determine position. So you’re rather limited as to where the geotagging will work. It can’t be too long though till we see full-on GPS technology like this!

July 2, 2008 4:19 am

You really had me going on this post, Brian. Now it looks like, since you have put the idea out there in the airwaves of the universe, this invention might become reality? I wonder if your post might give you some intellectual property rights if and when the card does come on the market? Wouldn’t that be grand? I would definitely buy this product at any price under 100 dollars USA.

August 19, 2008 10:30 am

Photography is developing at such a pace it won’t be too long before these cards are available I’m sure – and what a neat idea, was it your own idea or was it inspired by something you read somewhere?

The reason your post caught my eye, is my interest in both GPS technology and photography, and I know that particularly on the GPS side of things, that manufactureres are looking into literally hundreds of new uses for this technology – so when these cards do eventually hit the market, I want to be first in line to buy one.

Ray

October 15, 2008 4:09 am

Partly inspired by the Eye-Fi card and partly inspired by the cameras with built-in GPS — but mostly a figment of my imagination. It would be kinda neat to have something like this, but it looks like the camera manufacturers are going to be the ones including GPS technology in their cameras down the road.

October 15, 2008 10:10 am

I wish this was already a reality,and I would gladly pay up to $75 for this invention. I was also fooled by the title and initial post…clever!

November 3, 2008 1:11 am

I wonder if the new Google phone applications will include this capability? Some coder is probably working on this right now, and with the Android being open source, it just might happen. Hope you get credit, though.

November 4, 2008 12:19 am

Hehe… you throw out a joke post and then within a year they are closing in on the technology!! Love your foresight my friend. You need to start working on these ideas that you have. Remember, patent owners get PAID!!

November 10, 2008 12:58 am

Haha, well… patents cost lots of money to file. I’ve done patent work in the past, but for the companies I worked for — it’s such a tedious and resource intensive process. If I had the resources, I certainly would!

November 10, 2008 1:31 am

Brian, I sure wish it weren’t so expensive to secure your intellectual property rights on this idea. It is a good one, and you deserve to get some money for it. And what a fun blog post, too, btw.

November 15, 2008 10:31 pm

We’ll just have to keep our fingers crossed that the technology will finally reach to market , preferably in our lifetime heheh.

But judging on how fast technological development is moving I’d say that’s a very good possibility , but the real question is how high it’s price tag will be, hopefully not too high that we end up simply dreaming about owning one.

November 20, 2008 3:55 am

Have you seen Mac iphoto 9.0. Geo-tagging is a new feature. I have the new Sony Alpha a350. Would love to have this GPS enabled Compact Flash card.

January 27, 2009 5:00 pm

I have been dreaming for a product like this as long as i can remember. Canon thinks this is worth at least $700. that’s what they charge for the WFT-E3A, which allows you to plug in a usb gps. In the mean time I’ve built my web site oistr.com, which helps people to geocode and share their pictures and videos and VR’s with an easy drag and drop interface. Take a look and let me know what you think.

February 2, 2009 6:24 am

http://i.gizmodo.com/5163244/eye+fi-doubles-storage-and-adds-video-support

This new release (at least new to me) seems to have geo-tagging as part of its offerings. I’m all about it, and excited, but a friend tells me the geo-tagging only works domestically b/c of the wifi limitations. Something to look into if you travel internationally often.

March 3, 2009 12:30 pm

GPS units need to be able to send/recieve from sats, puting the reciever into the heart of a digital camera would be crazy due to likelihood of reflection/refraction of signal. on the fly geo tagging won’t come in the form of flash cards, it’ll be USB or built into expensive cameras as it’s a useless function to many

December 6, 2009 9:40 am

They do have these now. Eye-fi with geo tagging. Look it up.

May 22, 2010 7:41 am

Geotagging is of great fun. I am satisfied with my Eztag Bluetooth GPS which would record every info to my photos any time.

March 2, 2011 12:28 am

Comment now!