New Camera GIS Technology Exciting for Shutterbugs

Every day, it seems a new GIS technology is hitting the market. The most exciting genre for personal technology has most certainly been cameras.

Coming soon, one camera provides military-grade geotagging and might be the next step in camera GIS evolution.

Tokyo-based Ricoh Americas Corporation, a global technology company specializing in IT, recently unveiled the new module for Ricoh digital cameras that provides the most advanced solution for precise, secure and portable military-grade photo/video geotagging.

The thumb-sized Ricoh SE-7 GPS hardware module bolts on to the ruggedized Ricoh G700SE digital camera. According to a press release, this combination enables users to automatically geotag images with location information immediately useful in navigation, mapping, planning, analysis, strategy, reporting and more.

“The SE-7 module gives the military and other users important new capabilities for fast, precise and secure geotagging under less-than-ideal conditions,” said Yuki Uchida, Vice President, New Business Development, Ricoh Americas Corporation. “There’s a lot going on in this ultra-compact module to help soldiers and others be more successful in their work.”

The camera/module combination supports up to 20 memo fields that are customizable for tagging photographs with valuable data, while the SE-7’s GPS Track-Log feature maps the geographic path by which photographs are collected. Data is uploaded using the camera’s built-in wireless, Bluetooth or USB connection in preparation for analysis, mapping and reporting. Coordinates are displayed in LAT/LONG, MGRS, UTM and combinations of each, depending on user requirements. Data is compatible with a broad range of software, and images are plotted as a spatial data layer along with tagged information. Ricoh’s

range finder integration allows users to tag not only where the picture was taken, but the location of objects in the distance being photographed.

Ricoh G700SE is not the only new exciting camera GIS technology coming soon. Geo Tactical Solutions Inc. (GTS) recently announced it will expand its product line of advanced GPS-enabled digital cameras to include Canon EOS digital SLRs. The DSLR cameras are coupled with a GeoMapr GPS module to achieve advanced geo-tagging capabilities that were previously only available in the Ricoh G700SE-M GPS camera. GeoMapr adds GPS and compass heading, recording ‘object’ location, attaching descriptive ‘memos’ to images, integrating data with mapping/GIS applications, and SAASM GPS compatibility.

“We. … wanted to make it possible to get those same capabilities into any digital camera, including our line of Canon EOS Digital SLRs such as the new 5D Mark III,” said Matt Kidd, President at Geo Tactical Solutions. “We have enhanced the GeoMapr GPS module to work seamlessly with DSLR systems. Now, using any Canon EOS DSLR camera coupled with GeoMapr, the photographer can capture the critical who, what, when, where and why with a simple press of the shutter.”

Another tech firm, Point Grey, created the world’s first USB camera phone in 2009. Since then, they’ve been adding GPS. The new model leverages the bandwidth capabilities of USB 3.0 by delivering 4096 x 2160 color images at 21 FPS (185 MByte/s).

The Flea3-U3-88S2C camera features Sony’s new IMX121 sensor with “Exmor R” back-illuminated CMOS architecture. By increasing quantum efficiency and reducing noise, “Exmor R” improves sensitivity and dynamic range for sharp, high-quality color images.

So, a photographer can use an industrial camera in the Canon series or as small as a pinky and still have similar GIS technology. From now on, it’s safe to say photographers will always know where they’re taking photos.

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