How to connect a Holux M-241 in 64-bit Snow Leopard over USB

I took me quite some time to figure this out (again). Actually, the solution was already provided in one of my posts from 2008 but I had completely forgotten about it. I recently downloaded the new 64-bit USBtoUART SiLabs driver (the package contains a 32-bit driver too) to hook up my Holux M-241 GPS logger to a USB port on my Mac. Every time I tried to connect the GPS client software BT747 to the Holux data logger I received the following exception: Continue reading

64-bit USB to UART drivers available now

Just in case you missed it: Silicon Labs (SiLabs) now offers a 64-bit driver version for its CP210x USB to UART bridge virtual COM port. These chips are found in quite a few GPS loggers, e.g. the Holux M-241. The latest version also contains a few fixes:

Corrected Kernel Panic in Snow Leopard which would randomly occur after
transmission
Modified DTR pin to toggle on open and close instead of on insertion
Modified driver to load without showing the Network Connection Dialog
Modified driver to allow toggling of RTS and DTR pins
Added 64 bit support for Snow Leopard

So if you’re running Snow Leopard in 64-bit kernel mode, head over to SiLabs website and download the new driver.

Review: Geotagging with Easytag GPS module (Nikon GP-1 compatible)

If you’re an avid geotagger and own a Nikon GP-1 (or compatible) on-camera GPS receiver, you may have found yourself in a situation where you had to take a photo even though your GPS unit wasn’t ready, thus leading to inaccurate or even missing latitude/longitude coordinates in your photo. A GPS receiver usually needs at least 30 to 40 seconds to acquire an accurate position fix in the open once you turn the camera on. Depending on your subject, that can be quite some time. An on-camera GPS unit like the Nikon GP-1 also puts quite a strain on your camera’s battery life.

On the other hand, if you’re using an off-camera geotagger like the Holux M-241 there’s always some sort of more or less complex post-processing workflow involved to store the GPS readings in your photo’s metadata header. I sometimes forget to switch my Holux M-241 on when I’m outside with the camera or even worse: I usually forget to take it with me at all. Doh!

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a GPS unit that sits on the camera (so I don’t forget it at home), runs on its own power but still is able to immediately store GPS readings in your photos whenever you take them? Running on it’s own power has the advantage that when you’re outside with your camera, you can simply forget about hot/warm/cold startup times or draining your camera’s battery and just concentrate on the non-GPS-side of photography.
This is where the Easytag GPS module (a.k.a. Easytagger) comes into play. The Easytagger is a hybrid between an off-camera and an on-camera GPS logger. Judging from the product description, this thing seems to be the jack of all trades:

  • Stores GPS info directly to a photo’s metadata header (no matter if NEF or JPEG)
  • Data logger mode: Ability to log a trail (a series of GPS readings) to a microSD card using the popular NMEA format
  • 2-axis magnetic sensor to record heading
  • Barometric altimeter
  • Built-in rechargeable 500mAh Li-Ion battery, and in case it’s emtpy, draws power from the camera
  • Unique design to allow mounting on flash accessory shoe and the built-in flash to be used at the same time
  • Multi-model compatibility: simply use the appropriate data cable. 10-pin: Nikon D200, D300, D300s, D700, D3/D3s/D3x, D2/D2x/D2xs/D2Hs. 8-pin: Nikon D90, D5000
  • No setup required, just plug and play!

But does the Easytagger really live up to its expectations? I’m going to have a close look at the Easytag GPS module from a Nikon D700 and a Mac user’s perspective. Continue reading

Apple Aperture 3 flickr upload lacks GPS data… not!

Ever since the release of Aperture, Apple only half-heartedly supported metadata in exported photo’s. I don’t know why but Apple decided not to export extremely useful metadata information like lens model and many others as well. Unfortunately, this is still the case with Aperture 3 :( Lens type is still not included in any exported JPEGs or when directly uploading a photo to flickr. When I tried to upload a photo to flickr using the new flickr button in Aperture 3, even location data from “Places” wasn’t included. Commenter Connor had the solution: I needed to check that checkbox in Aperture’s preferences web tab (see screenshot below). Continue reading

Apple adds GPS Geotagging support in Aperture 3

The new Geotagging features in Aperture 3 are pretty cool – and very simple to use too. Just like in iPhoto, Apple doesn’t use the term Geotagging but calls it “Places” instead. There’s support for the popular NMEA format which I’m able to export from my Holux M-241 GPS logger using BT747. Aperture Places is also able to read the latitude/longitude data embedded in a photo’s metadata and displays the location on map. Places is able to show the track log if you want to see the route as well. It’s so nice to finally have Geotagging support within Aperture. This simplifies the Geotagging workflow when using a GPS logger a lot. It’s even easier if you use an on-camera GPS unitContinue reading

Geotagging with YongNuo GPS receiver for Nikon D700 (GP-1 compatible)

I’ve always fancied the Nikon GP-1 GPS on-camera receiver for its ability to directly write geotagging information to a photo, including the Nikon .NEF RAW format, thus greatly reducing the complexity of the post-processing workflow involved when using an off-camera GPS logger like the Holux-M241. The Nikon GP-1 still costs around USD 200 which IMHO is a bit overpriced. Continue reading

D700 firmware v1.02 introduces new GPS related options for Nikon GP-1 GPS receiver

In the just released firmware version 1.02 for the D700, Nikon added an option to sync the GPS time to the camera time and a new option to allow the camera more time to acquire GPS data. I’ll be doing a review on a Nikon GP-1 compatible on-camera GPS receiver for the Nikon D700 (and the Nikon D3, D3X, D90, D200, D300, D900 as well) later this month, so keep watching this space if you think the original Nikon GP-1 is a tad too expensive for what it delivers. Continue reading

GPS Geotagging with my Nikon D80

Geotagging photos is becoming more and more popular since photosharing websites like Flickr, Picasa Web Albums and others support close integration of geotagged EXIF information.

Added 2008-7-13: See here for a complete geotagging workflow on the Mac!

Manual geotagging is a slow and boring process – provided you remember the locations the photos were taken at. I’m convinced that it won’t take long until almost every cheapo digital camera comes with its own GPS receiver that automatically stamps the coordinates into the EXIF header but unfortunately, we’re not quite there yet. So the main question is: how do I get the GPS readings into the EXIF header of the photos in my Nikon D80? Continue reading