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Geotagging with the Genie BGT-31

Don’t get me wrong, buying the Trackstick was a really good idea, it’s fuelled my interest in the location-aware Internet, it’s given me excuses to connect with other developers on Gallery2, had me writing geo-based modules, updates and hacks, and eased geotagging a whole bunch of photos.

But in the past two years, it’s also caused me to create and use some really really complicated geotagging techniques, frustration over forgetting what the flashing lights mean in Krakow, and aided and abetted in destroying one man’s Internet business in Split, even if just for a day.

Even the new Trackstick II’s still only boast a 1MB block of memory for storing tracks on, and I still need their proprietary drivers that caused me to destroy the book store/Internet Cafe in Split.  So for my next trip to Vietnam, I’ve bought the Genie BGT-31.  Granted, it’s almost twice the size of the Trackstick but contains a USB-chargeable battery which means no more carrying around stacks of AAA batteries and separate charger.

The built-in memory will store up to 20,000 records – but more importantly, supports SD cards, increases the measly 1MB into 1GB (thanks to the numerous cards lying around my flat and down the side of sofas).  These can taken out very quickly and dropped into the EEE where gpsbabel will convert the flat NMEA text format to whatever you might need … GPX, for example.

It also has a screen, so I no longer need to repeat the mantra constantly to myself in my head (or aloud) – “green for good, red for bad”.  Not to mention keep my blog posts updated with some more positioning (well, possibly).

So far the first impressions are good – and it will certainly tide me over until we can just tag the photos using our government-issue ID card’s weekly e-statements.