Adventures in Geo-Tagging: Combining Photography and GPS for Fun

Imagine you decide to spend the day hiking and taking pictures of nature. During your walk, you find a breathtaking waterfall you want to share with your friends and family members. You snap a picture and upload it to your favorite social media app. A few minutes later, a dozen people ask the same question: Where is this magical place?!

You might respond by telling them the general area. If you know the trail’s name, you might even tell them that information. If you know about geo-tagging, you can make your response much more meaningful by adding the waterfall’s GPS coordinates.

Now, anyone interested in visiting the waterfall can use your coordinates to find the precise location.

The Basics of Geo-Tagging

Geo-tagging refers to adding location metadata to any type of media, including photographs. Some cameras and smartphone camera apps have built-in geo-tagging features. Every time you snap a picture, it adds metadata pinpointing the location.

In some cases, you might need to intentionally add the metadata. For example, Google Photos lets you add locations after you take pictures. The app can also remove or update locations based on your needs.

Once you – or your device – add geo-tags to your images, you can view their locations on practically any operating system. Android, Windows, and macOS make it relatively easy to find the GPS coordinates of any picture you take. You just need to follow a few steps.

Why You Would Want to Geo-Tag Pictures

There are plenty of reasons to geo-tag your photographs. In addition to sharing destinations with friends, you might add metadata to images so you can:

  • Upload them to an online map to improve the experiences of other users.
  • Save the location so you can easily revisit it.
  • Plan future excursions that include your favorite spots.
  • Organize your photographs by region.

Geo-tagging might even help your photos rank higher in local search results. Keep in mind that search engines change their algorithms often. You shouldn’t rely on geo-tagging for an SEO boost, but it certainly won’t hurt.

Getting Accurate Geo-Tagging Information for Photos

Most smartphones and cameras with built-in geo-tagging features do a reasonably good job capturing a photograph’s GPS coordinates. However, accuracy can depend on several factors, including:

  • Access to a Wi-Fi or cellular network.
  • Whether trees, buildings, and other objects interfere with your signal.
  • The app you use (Google Maps only promises accuracy within 65 feet of your actual GPS coordinates).
  • The device you own.

If you want the most accurate location information for your pictures, you should carry a GPS tracker while you take pictures. A reliable GPS tracker will give you much more accurate coordinates. Many of them also have longer battery lives than smartphones and cameras. Plus, you can use them to track your journey, protect your photography equipment from theft, and stay safe by sharing your location with trusted loved ones.

Why Are GPS Trackers More Accurate Than Smartphones?

If you stay in areas with high population densities, your smartphone will probably connect to a nearby network easily. Although not as accurate as a GPS tracker, a smartphone does a decent job tagging locations while you take pictures in the city.

That convenience disappears once you head into a less-populated area without reliable network coverage. Cellular networks work by connecting to antennas that broadcast signals over specific areas. If you step outside of the coverage area, you lose the signal and can’t access your location information.

GPS relies on a global system of satellites, ground stations, and receivers that communicate accurate coordinates regardless of where your adventure takes you. Feel free to bound into the forest or explore a desert. GPS won’t let you down as long as you have a reliable tracker.

Choosing a GPS Tracker for Geo-Tagging Adventures

Adventures in geo-tagging often require walking long distances while carrying a camera, water, snacks, and other essentials. Even a small backpack can get heavy after walking up and down hills for a few hours.

That means you want a lightweight, compact GPS tracker that won’t add to your burden.

Additionally, you should look for a robust exterior, long battery life, and an app that helps you use your GPS information.

LandAirSea currently has two GPS trackers that match those needs.

LAS 54

The LAS 54 has a compact design that makes it perfect for geo-tagging adventures. It measures just 0.945 inches high and 2.275 inches in diameter, so it can easily fit into the pocket of your purse, backpack, or daypack.

Just as importantly, the LAS 54 has a waterproof, dustproof design that tolerates most environments. It won’t get damaged when you wade into a stream to get the perfect picture. Similarly, its exterior can keep out sand when you take pictures of desert scenes. If you feel comfortable, the 54 will work just fine.

The LAS 54 also has a battery life suitable for long excursions. Even when communicating its location every 3 seconds, you can expect the battery to last a full day. If you have a longer adventure planned, you can adjust the setting to maintain battery power for a week or longer.

You can buy the LAS 54 for about $30, making it an affordable option for anyone. You will have to pay for a monthly data plan to communicate your location. If you commit to a 24-month plan, though, you can spend as little as $9.95 per month.

LAS Overdrive

The LAS Overdrive has features very similar to the 54’s. It’s dustproof, waterproof will keep it in great condition no matter where you travel.

The LAS Overdrive does have a larger size and heavier weight than the LAS 54. It’s bigger because LAS engineers wanted to give it a longer battery life. Unless you plan on taking a journey that lasts multiple months, you don’t need to worry about recharging the Overdrive.

The Overdrive does have a higher upfront cost than the 54. Expect to pay about $200 for the device. After that, you pay for a data plan just like you would while using the 54.

LAS SYNC

Do you plan to take most of your pictures from inside or near a vehicle? If so, the LAS SYNC will serve you well. It plugs directly into your vehicle’s OBD II port, so you never need to worry about recharging the battery. As long as your vehicle has power, your GPS tracker has power.

The SYNC costs about $25, making it the most affordable GPS tracker from LandAirSea. Keep in mind that you will need a monthly data plan like with the other GPS trackers.

Choosing the Right GPS Tracker for Your Geo-Tagging Adventure

Geo-tagging is a fun way to capture memories and share images with loved ones. LAS GPS devices will make your coordinates more accurate and reliable than ever. If you want to revisit where you took a picture or add your images to an online map, the embedded metadata comes in handy.

Which LAS GPS tracker should you choose for your geo-tagging adventures? That depends on a few factors, including where you plan to go and how much you want to spend. Feel free to get more information by sending an email to ian.conley@landairsea.com. We always want to make sure you choose the right device for your needs!