Readers Ask. Once or twice a month, a blog reader asks me a question about GIS, software, or schools. I’ll be relaying my responses and answers in this new column. This is the first entry.
On Oct 29, 2010, J wrote:
I see from your blog that you use the Sony Â DSC-HX5V camera to record the locations/photos, and that you also use ESRI software. Â I am just about to buy that same camera for my work, and have been looking for information about if it is easy (or not) to upload the info in Arcinfo/ESRI software. Â Would you mind letting me know?
I used an external GPS logger to create the map of my bicycle trip around New York City.
I have no experience with using the GPS in the camera. I believed that reception would be poor, especially in urban areas, like where I live – Chicago. I use an external GPS logger (in the same list as the camera) and external antenna. When I get back from a trip, I use software to link the GPS tracks with the photos. The software embeds the coordinates into the JPEG metadata.
I also have no experience using GPS with ArcInfo. I know that ArcExplorer Desktop allows you to import GPX (GPS XML files) but I don’t know what you can do with them in the program. I tried, but failed. I use Windows inside Parallels for Mac, so not everything works 100% of the time.
I did load a GPX file from my external GPS logger into QGIS using the GpsTools plugin. I can export a shapefile from it to work in ArcGIS just fine.
I looked at your organization’s website and it seems you work in the open country. I think you’ll have better GPS tracking results out there with the camera than I do in Chicago. Even with the external antenna, the results in Chicago can be weird – it seems the signals bounce off skyscrapers and trick the GPS receiver into thinking it’s in Lake Michigan.
Lastly, I do recommend the camera for its low-light capabilities, iSweep panorama mode, and 1080i60 HD movie mode.
Steve – contact me