Friday, December 10, 2010

One more reason to leave your point-and-shoot at home: geotagging

Read this New York Times article that hinted at the demise of point-and-shoots: In Smartphone Era, Point-and-Shoots Stay Home.

I want to add one more reason: geotagging.  Smartphones can write the coordinates, latitude and longitude, of a photo to the picture file.  When these pictures are uploaded to sites such as,  you can choose to have a google map automatically showing the location of the picture.

See for an example.  These pictures were taken with a HTC Desire HD android.  I uploaded the pictures to Picasaweb, and Google maps are shown without any work on my part.

In contrast, the pictures at were taken with a point-and-shoot that carried no geo info.  We can manually add geotags as I did here.  But it is extra work that discourages me from using my point-and-shoot.

Pictures at
show some interesting features of the HTC Desire HD camera app.  Note that IMAG0184.jpg has geo info, but IMAG0185.jpg doesn't. Likewise, IMAG0179.jpg does and IMAG0180.jpg doesn't.  In between shots, I did not change camera setting to turn off geotagging.  So who did?

Even more serious is the fact that the geo info for IMAG0178.jpg is completely wrong.    IMAG0125.jpg and IMAG0144.jpg have distinct geotags even though they are the same place.

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