Musings on Photography

Jobo Photo GPS

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul Butzi on February 3, 2008


This Macworld post provides some details about the Jobo Photo GPS.


It’s hard to tell exactly how this thing is going to work, but I assume that it uses the contacts in the hot shoe to record the location every time an exposure is made. That’s a great idea.

To be really useful, such a device needs to emit track logs that are compatible with other, more mainstream GPS devices, so that tools like Downloader Pro, ImageIngester Pro, etc. can accomodate them. Given that the info on the macworld post talks about Jobo software, I’m guessing the tracklog won’t work that way.

Still, we can hope. Or we can hope that this device will get enough distribution that the photo software world will support it directly.

In any case, this product has now been announced TWICE – once a year ago, and then just recently.

Maybe I’ll just go buy a little Garmin or Magellan unit and duct tape it to the top of my EOS-5d. Anyone got any recommendations on which unit to buy?

11 Responses

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  1. Andrew said, on February 3, 2008 at 9:37 pm

    Get a handheld, they do not cost much more and the additional functionality is worth it. I use and highly recommend the Garmin eTrex Vista HCx. Deal sealer for me was that it used AA batteries, which I already had plenty off. I carry the gps like a cell phone clipped to a pocket/belt. If one hikes much a handheld is a no brainer. One example was in a London and the green line was down so had to take the red line. When I got back on the street it took 15 seconds to figure out which direction to take back to the hotel.

  2. Ed Richards said, on February 3, 2008 at 10:28 pm

    Check this out:


  3. Maarten said, on February 4, 2008 at 12:11 am

    Bjørn Rørslett has reviewed the di-GPS on his website ( I looks like a good solution Nikon camera’s. The GPS info is directly recorded in the EXIF info of the file.

  4. Guy said, on February 4, 2008 at 5:00 am

    OK, I’m not being facetious in the least but I am admittedly stumped why so many think this is such a great idea? I can see the “cool” factor, and perhaps having the data on record will help with some automated cataloging and yes, I can also see some scientific applications but, other than that, why is this useful for the general public?


  5. Martin Doonan said, on February 4, 2008 at 5:14 am

    to Guy: I often take shots from locations that I cannot pinpoint at a later date. I often shoot in remote locations where it can be tricky determining exact locations on the map after the fact. When I’m trying to determine location or thing I was shooting, having GPS coords would be highly valuable. I would also love to have an orientation sensor so I know which way I was pointing.

    If this deveice can talk direct to EXIF, I’d be really happy.

  6. Greg Heins said, on February 4, 2008 at 8:33 am

    Why? Print titles, for me: I wander rather aimlessly around cities trolling for photographs. At the end of the day, I have a random collection of images of nothing special. But when I print one and make it available, it needs a title that distinguishes it from my other photos, and I often use location in my titles.

    Instead of “Window #19,” if I know that I was on 47th St., I’ll use “47th St. Window.” Or “Tree, Avenue Stalingrad.” Not that anyone cares whether it was 46th or 47th St., but I like to get it right and I don’t always remember months or even years later. Sometimes when I download the images, I take out the map and retrace my route and enter the location under File Info, but that’s a lot of trouble when the chances of my needing that information are so minimal (statistically, I have a group of about 100 prints available for sale, from about 5,000 digital captures). So if I had an easy (and Mac-able) way of getting that information into the EXIF data, I’d be happy. I don’t like the acc. shoe idea, though; I’m interested in the separate gizzmo that sits in your pocket or bag.

  7. Gordon McGregor said, on February 4, 2008 at 8:45 am

    I don’t really see the point of having it attached to the camera. Just a standard GPS doing a tracklog and some basic time synchronisation between the camera and GPS is all that’s really needed. The GPS can then be used for other useful things like not getting lost.

    Similarly pointless is that new Sony GPS logger, that doesn’t attach to the camera, just does the tracking automatically and costs $150, but can’t tell you where you are.

    There are quite a few bits of software out there that will attach a GPS log to the various images shot at the same time. I guess this device is useful if you really need to know precisely the location/ tagged to the shot, and the GPS tracking fidelity is too low, but it seems a bit clunky and feature lacking for what it does.

  8. Gordon McGregor said, on February 4, 2008 at 8:48 am

    I use a Garmin 60CSx that has been pretty good. Not amazing for road navigation, but good for hiking and okay for when driving.

    I’m in the middle of fiddling with Happy Camel to combine the tracks with images (though as mentioned there’s quite a lot of other software that will merge time stamps/ track info with EXIF shot time) I even wrote some software to do it myself, but thankfully found these other more mature projects in time to save my sanity.

  9. Andrew said, on February 4, 2008 at 9:14 am

    If you are really looking for a GPS unit, photography use or not, I recommend the Garmin Nuvi 200. Small and with all you really need. I love mine! One of the cheapest touchscreen GPS units.

    I don’t doubt that someday cameras will have GPS capability built in.

  10. Ed Richards said, on February 4, 2008 at 9:21 am

    The advantage of a simple unit like the Phototagger is battery life. It runs much longer on a battery than a GPS with a screen, and using the movement sensor, it only logs when you move, which can save some more battery life. It is not a substitute for a GPS for navigation. I have used a simple Explorist 210 for a few years, manually matching the log points I record to my LF photos. I have found it very handy for getting my way back out of the boonies when lose track of which swamp road is which.

  11. Guy said, on February 4, 2008 at 8:10 pm

    Thanks for the interesting responses! I guess my psyche is a bit different here. I make a lot of my images in places most people would generally dub “middle of nowhere,” often hiking and backpacking into deep wilderness. I can’t really imagine being anywhere without knowing my location with reasonably good accuracy, and needing a GPS to determine it after the fact (to me that’s a pretty scary thought.) I will use a GPS for convenience, but I could pick just about any image I made in my lifetime and find my way back to that same spot or pinpoint it on a topo with little trouble.
    I guess I’m not the target audience for this device 🙂


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