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Garmin waypoints don't have time stamps?


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I've been playing with RoboGEO, trying to decide whether to use it to geotag pictures I take while on the hunt. Basically, i'm setting a waypoint when I take a picture, instead of using a recorded track.

 

I'm having a problem getting RoboGEO to import the waypoint file That I created with the Garmin. I'm using EasyGPS to export the waypoints as a GPX file, which I then attempt to import into RoboGEO. RoboGEO refuses to import the file, because it says the waypoints have no timestamp. Looking at the waypoints in EasyGPS, I see that the timestamp is in a comment field.

 

Is there a workaround for this problem, or does RoboGEO simply not read waypoint files from Garmin units?

 

Thanks for your help.

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I've been playing with RoboGEO, trying to decide whether to use it to geotag pictures I take while on the hunt. Basically, i'm setting a waypoint when I take a picture, instead of using a recorded track.

This is exactly what I do. I use and love RoboGEO (thanks Tim!) with my Garmin Map60C, 60Cx, and Legend and it works perfectly. Here's what I do. When taking photos I also record a waypoint that I let default to the number (001, 002, 003...) and type in a short comment (with my 60C/CX).

 

After my hike I save my GPS data as a .gpx file using Mapsource. Then in RoboGEO I open my folder of photos, then go to File/Get Locations/Waypoints/Manually Assign. Click on .GPX and Get Waypoints. It shows the photos on the left and lists the waypoints on the right as "Waypoint Identifiers:". Here you highlight a waypoint and it displays the Waypoint Comment for you.

 

When you match the photo with the proper waypoint click Done, and you're all set!

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Hi imajeep,

 

The Garmin protocol does not allow reading timestamps from the comment field, so RoboGEO doesn't do it. RoboGEO must follow the rules.

 

Tim Helton

 

????

 

The time stamp is put in the comment field when you create a new Waypoint.

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Maybe this applies and maybe it doesn't. I'm just trying to help. :)

 

I was interested in applying visible tags to the images with software. (Free software.)

 

http://software.copiks.com/photomapper/

 

I came across this which appears to be similar to the Google application mentioned. I have not used the Google app. I did install this program though. It seems very simple. Upload the track log from GPS and load the pictures that you want to tag. Also after you put the track log and images in it can transfer the info to google earth.

 

I don't think it applies the visual info to the image of the coords. I think it just alters the EXIF. (Does what i said even make sense?) LOL.

 

Besides just knowing where the picture was taken at- what is the benefit of doing this?

Edited by knight2000
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It's true that most Garmin units puts a timestamp in the comment field when a waypoint is saved. I don't know specifically why Garmin does this, but I suppose it's just a convienence for the user.

 

Any program that implements the Garmin Protocol (like RoboGEO) must adhere to it and the protocol forbids treating the waypoint comment field as a date. There are also practical issues like the date being written in whatever language is configured for the GPS unit and the fact that the comment field is editable. You just can't do it. Well, let me rephrase that - a program "could" do it if it implemented a nasty hack to deal with the language issue and if it was willing to tug on Superman's cape (Garmin) by defying their protocol.

 

Tim Helton

Edited by robogeo
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I don't know specifically why Garmin does this, but I suppose it's just a convienence for the user.

 

Adher to old design flaws until a market shift forces them to straighten the issue? I can't see any convenience to the user. Especially not as the comment field is limited to somewhat 36 characters. Thus get your comment or the time.

 

Honestly, if I think of properties a point acquired by a GPSr should carry I would think of longitude, latitude, altitude and time immediately. Funny that after inventing around 18 (!) different data formats for waypoints, Garmin still did not get it.

 

Let us be grateful that the 5 track point types have a time stamp. Maybe because they miss a comment field for obvious reasons :)

 

Oliver

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It's true that most Garmin units puts a timestamp in the comment field when a waypoint is saved. I don't know specifically why Garmin does this, but I suppose it's just a convienence for the user.

 

Any program that implements the Garmin Protocol (like RoboGEO) must adhere to it and the protocol forbids treating the waypoint comment field as a date. There are also practical issues like the date being written in whatever language is configured for the GPS unit and the fact that the comment field is editable. You just can't do it. Well, let me rephrase that - a program "could" do it if it implemented a nasty hack to deal with the language issue and if it was willing to tug on Superman's cape (Garmin) by defying their protocol.

The comment field is free form and you can put anything you want in it. Nothing is forbidden. Garmin puts a time stamp in the comment when I do a mark on my 60csx , but I can erase it if I want. The waypoint record type of the Garmin protocol has a time stamp field. Why don't you use that time stamp field.
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I actually bought myself a copy of JetPhoto Studio (http://www.jetphotosoft.com). It's kind of like iPhoto, except that it offers automatic geotagging, and works pretty darn well. I know there were free alternatives but I wanted something that was fast where I could geotag hundreds of pictures at once. I'm going to be taking advantage of it when I'm in Europe for a year starting next fall for school.

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The comment field is free form and you can put anything you want in it. Nothing is forbidden. Garmin puts a time stamp in the comment when I do a mark on my 60csx , but I can erase it if I want. The waypoint record type of the Garmin protocol has a time stamp field. Why don't you use that time stamp field.

 

The is not such a thing like the waypoint type of the Garmin protocol. There are about 18 different protocols. The only waypoint type that comes with a time stamp is D110. However the specification clearly states:

 

time - Time. May not be supported by all devices. A value of 0xFFFFFFFF in this field indicates that this parameter is not supported or is unknown for this waypoint.

 

Thus Garmin consequently occupies the comment field with the time stamp. As the time stamp is a crucial property of a waypoint, most user's will spare their comment to the waypoint. However sometimes they do not spare their comment about that kind of crooked data handling. And that makes the birds falling from the trees, because of bad language in the forests. :)

 

Oliver

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why not use the tracklog?

 

Also, if you wanted something free try gpicsync; i'm using it for a bunch of geotagging and it works great: http://code.google.com/p/gpicsync/

 

Actually, I've been testing GPicSync, and I'm pretty impressed with it. Also, I've recently upgraded to a Garmin GPSMAP 60 Csx, which gets absolutely phenominal reception in forest canopy. No more broken-up track logs! So, using a track log for geotagging photos is an attractive option once again.

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Maybe this applies and maybe it doesn't. I'm just trying to help. :)

 

I was interested in applying visible tags to the images with software. (Free software.)

 

http://software.copiks.com/photomapper/

 

I came across this which appears to be similar to the Google application mentioned. I have not used the Google app. I did install this program though. It seems very simple. Upload the track log from GPS and load the pictures that you want to tag. Also after you put the track log and images in it can transfer the info to google earth.

 

I don't think it applies the visual info to the image of the coords. I think it just alters the EXIF. (Does what i said even make sense?) LOL.

 

Besides just knowing where the picture was taken at- what is the benefit of doing this?

 

So, if I understand correctly, the PhotoMapper software inserts the coordinates on the face of the picture? That's pretty cool; I'll check it out. Thanks!

 

As to 'what's the benefit?': If pictures are geotagged in their EXIF headers, Flickr will let you store them in a map. I can map the hundreds of pictures I've taken hiking--my Chiracahua National Monument pictures will be stored 'at' the Chiracahua!

 

But what I think is really cool is Google Earth. GPicSync can compile my pictures and my tracklog into a KMZ file that will display my tracklog and pictures in Google Earth. So, I can email the KMZ file, and the recipient can see my tracklog, and the point on the trail where I took each picture.

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oeichler and robogeo are correct that parsing the waypoint comment field to try to extract a date is doomed. There is a timestamp field in the protocol but the majority of the Garmin units do not populate it when creating a waypoint. Offhand, I can't think of any of the handhelds that do it, but the higher end streetpilots and marine models do it. I've seen timestamps in D110s, but they are indeed in a minority.

 

For georeferencing photos, you're more likely to find more joy in correlating the times of your tracks (which contain a timestamp, except when they don't) with the times on the photos and grabbing the coords of the nearest trackpoint.

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I actually bought myself a copy of JetPhoto Studio (http://www.jetphotosoft.com). It's kind of like iPhoto, except that it offers automatic geotagging, and works pretty darn well. I know there were free alternatives but I wanted something that was fast where I could geotag hundreds of pictures at once. I'm going to be taking advantage of it when I'm in Europe for a year starting next fall for school.

 

Interesting, and very reasonably priced ($25). Kind of like a combination of Picasa and GPicSync. How long does it take to geotag a couple of hundred pictures?

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I actually bought myself a copy of JetPhoto Studio (http://www.jetphotosoft.com). It's kind of like iPhoto, except that it offers automatic geotagging, and works pretty darn well. I know there were free alternatives but I wanted something that was fast where I could geotag hundreds of pictures at once. I'm going to be taking advantage of it when I'm in Europe for a year starting next fall for school.

 

Interesting, and very reasonably priced ($25). Kind of like a combination of Picasa and GPicSync. How long does it take to geotag a couple of hundred pictures?

It didn't take me too long. A few minutes.

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