GPS Support

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Overview

 

Location data stored in images (latitude and longitude) can be displayed in BreezeBrowser Pro by right clicking on an image and selecting "Image Properties". The location where a photo was taken can be viewed using an online map site by right clicking on the image and selecting "View map". The location can also be displayed automatically in Google Earth as images are browsed using BreezeBrowser Pro.

 

A web gallery containing a map showing thumbnails and image locations can be generated using BreezeBrowser Pro's GPS template (please see below for details).
Example gallery generated using the GPS template

 

Latitude and longitude information is normally gathered using a GPS receiver which stores location data in the form of a track log (a list of positions and timestamps). There are two common standard formats for track log files: GPX and NMEA. Most modern GPS receivers can store track logs in GPX or NMEA format. The free utility GPSBabel can be used to convert between a wide range of formats if required.

 

A few cameras can connect directly to a GPS receiver and automatically store the location data in the image as it is taken but most cameras need to have the location data added after the shots are taken.

 

The process of copying location data to an image is known as "geo-tagging". Location data is normally stored in the form of EXIF shooting data in JPEG or TIFF files or as Adobe XMP data in an XMP sidecar file for raw files. (An XMP sidecar file is a file of the same name as the main image but with a file extension of .XMP e.g. the XMP sidecar file for the Canon raw file IMG_1234.CR2 would be called IMG_1234.XMP). BreezeBrowser Pro is able to read location data in either format.

 

BreezeBrowser can geo-tag images automatically using GPS track logs or manually using Google Earth. Breeze Systems' Downloader Pro software can also be used to automatically read a track log file and geo-tag images as they are downloaded. Other geo-tagging applications are available but they usually only support the geo-tagging of JPEG and TIFF files and require the images to be downloaded first. Downloader Pro has the advantage that it automates the process of downloading and geo-tagging images and supports the geo-tagging of both JPEG and raw files. Once the images are geo-tagged the location data can be viewed using BreezeBrowser Pro or displayed automatically in Google Earth while browsing in BreezeBrowser Pro.

 

 

Automatically displaying image locations in Google Earth when browsing images

 

Please note: Google Earth no longer supports the API used by BreezeBrowser Pro and so this feature has been removed in BreezeBrowser Pro v1.9.10 onwards.

 

BreezeBrowser Pro can automatically display where an image was taken in Google Earth using the GPS data from the image. To enable this select the "Auto Display in Google Earth" option from the Tools menu. With this option selected each time an image containing GPS data is selected in BreezeBrowser Pro's thumbnail view or displayed in the main view the location will be displayed in Google Earth. If Google Earth is not already running it will be started automatically.

 

Please note:

1.Google Earth needs to be installed on your computer and it must have an internet connection in order to geo-tag images. Google Earth can be downloaded free from http://earth.google.com
2.The "Auto Display in Google Earth" option is automatically disabled when you exit BreezeBrowser Pro and has to be re-enabled if required each time BreezeBrowser Pro is run

 

 

Generating Web Galleries

 

The GPS HTML template (see HTML Page Generation) generates a web gallery which displays thumbnail images on a map or using a conventional thumbnail display similar to the drop shadow template.

Example gallery generated using the GPS template

 

Please note that you need to obtain a Google Maps API key if you wish to upload the gallery to your website. The map key should be entered in the HTML preferences so that it can be automatically added to the gallery when it is generated.

 

GPS data in images can be accessed in other captions, watermarks and HTML templates using the following tokens:

 

@latitude@, @longitude@

Latitude and longitude in the form degrees°minutes'seconds"N/S/E/W
e.g. 50°15'49.283"N or 4°47'10.427"W

@latitudeAsDecimal@, @longitudeAsDecimal@

Latitude and longitude expressed as the number of degrees
e.g. 50.263690,-4.786230

Note: always uses . (period/full stop) for the decimal separator irrespective of the locale

@latitudeAsDecimalLocalized@, @longitudeAsDecimalLocalized@

Similar to @latitudeAsDecimal@ and @longitudeAsDecimal@ but uses the decimal separator for the computer's locale e.g. , (comma) for most European countries except the UK

@altitude@

Altitude (usually in meters)

@mapKey@

The map key entered in HTML preferences

 

Suggested Workflow

 

1.Before taking any pictures it is a good idea to check that the camera's clock is set correctly
The time and date when the pictures are taken are stored in the image files and this is later used to determine the position from the GPS track log. Making sure your camera's clock is set accurately will make it much simpler to geo-tag your images later.
 
2.Turn on a suitable GPS receiver and take take the photos
Any GPS receiver capable of storing track logs with position and time data should be suitable.
 
3.Download your images and automatically geo-tag them using Downloader Pro
If your GPS receiver has a mass storage mode and stores track logs in NMEA format or GPX format you can simply connect it to your PC using a USB cable and tell Downloader Pro to read the track logs automatically.
Track logs from GPS receivers that don't have a mass storage mode need to be downloaded separately to a folder on the computer's hard disk. If the track log format is not GPX or NMEA it will be necessary to convert it to GPX or NMEA using a tool such as GPSBabel
 
4.View the images in BreezeBrowser Pro
If an image contains GPS data the latitude, longitude and altitude can be displayed in BreezeBrowser Pro by right clicking on the image and selecting "Image Properties". (Please note that altitude information is not always available and is often less accurate than latitude and longitude data).
The location where a picture was taken can be displayed in an online map by right clicking on the image and selecting "View map" (only available for images containing GPS data). The URL used specify the mapping service can be defined in BreezeBrowser Pro's preferences.
Generate web galleries containing map a location to share with others e.g. using the GPS HTML template

 

Useful links

Downloader Pro - a tool for downloading images to your computer and optionally geo-tagging them automatically as they are downloaded

GPSBabel - a free tool for downloading and converting track logs from a wide range of GPS devices

RoboGeo - a tool for geo-tagging images after they have been downloaded

Google Maps API - information about putting Google maps on your web site

Microsoft Live Search - Microsoft's "Live Search" maps website

Yahoo! Maps - Yahoo! Maps website