Cameras with built-in geographic information systems technology are on many holiday wish lists this season. And this year, the consumer electronics industry may be proving just how valuable a GIS degree program is as an educational investment.
Since the advent of the digital camera, photographers have watched their equipment technology transform from 256-megabyte flashcards to impressive GPS-tagging technology inside their cameras. Today, photographers, who once carried large quantities of film, can now shoot thousands of images within one session and know exactly where they took each photo. With built-in GPS (global positioning systems), the photos are tagged while computer software builds maps of the photo locations.
But, this technology is not limited to professionals. It’s available for every consumer.
This is great news for those interested in or currently pursuing a GIS degree. Professionals with a GIS degree or GIS technology background will be attractive hires to the multibillion-dollar camera industry. Furthermore, municipalities and corporations hiring GIS positions will likely be expecting their candidates to be familiar with using cameras with GPS technology.
Here are a few cool camera technologies strongly using GIS. Who knows? You might find the perfect gift for somebody.
Photo software for Mac computers, this program allows you to use GPS location data to create an interactive map. If shooting with a GPS-enabled camera, Aperture 3 uses reverse geocoding to convert location coordinates into familiar location names, then displays those locations on the Places map. If you’re using a separate GPS tracking device, the path of your photo journey appears on the map when you import a track log, according to Apple. Users can even extract locations from iPhone tracker apps or iPhone photos, the company says. Even if a photo doesn’t have GPS metadata, users can drag a photo to a spot on the map to record the location data.
This pocket, point-and-shoot camera uses Hybrid GPS to acquire satellites and tag photos as images are taken. It even tags images if you go inside. There’s a map with thumbnail photos that helps find locations.
The PowerShot SX230 HS features a new GPS functionality, the first for a Canon compact camera that allows users to record the location where their images were taken and to record their journey with the GPS Logger. Users can record their journey using Map Utility software integrated with Google Maps.
Have you seen those wild adventure videos captured from a helmet cam? Chances are they were taken with a ContourGPS video camera that captures video and location data with a wide-angle rotating lens and built-in GPS receiver. The GPS technology tracks location, speed and altitude through hands-free HD video. The 5.2-ounce camera locks onto the body and the video can be uploaded to countour.com, where the world can watch it via an interactive map and video player. The camera also has built-in Bluetooth and a mobile App to turn your phone into a wireless viewfinder. Available on the Apple iOS platform, ContourGPS enables iPhone or iPod Touch to line up shots and change settings in real-time. Once the footage is taken, users can use Contour’s software to map their videos.
This new Nikon allows you to geo-tag images. Once uploaded to the “Picturetown,” you can execute searches based on location for instant organization. According to most reviews, it does not take long to acquire satellites.
The PENTAX Optio WG-1 GPS is a rugged waterproof, dustproof, shockproof, cold-proof and crushproof camera made for the outdoorsman or woman. It also features GPS that tracks and records positional data recording with images for geo-tagging applications. The data can later be linked with PC-based maps. The GPS works underwater and updates the built-in clock automatically to match local time of a particular shooting location. It automatically creates and stores log data as a KML-format file onto an SD memory card. This log feature allows users to keep accurate track of the movement during outdoor shooting and display it later on the computer using various online services such as Google Earth, but is only available with the Windows version.
With all these technologies, it’s a wonderful time to be a photographer. And, these cameras and software can be great tools for GIS career seekers.