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danviento
My wife and I were on a two week vacation in europe last august, and I got it into my head that having exact location of all of our photos would be a great way to preserve our memories to the umpteenth degree.

So I picked up a Visiontac VGPS900, a 2GB sd card, set the camera to the time at the location(s), and had a good time, thinking i'd sort out the whole geotagging deal when we got home.

Now that I finally have the time to get this sorted out, I see the time zone from the photos and the one I set on the camera don't match up (oops). 

After checking the metadata on the photo times in Aperture, and doing the math correctly, the time zone conversion in HoudahGeo doesn't seem to come out right. The app gives me the option to set the time zone of the camera before it loads hundreds of photos to be geocoded, and by futzing up and down, after restarting the app and picking the photos each time, I'm able to get the photos to match the time on the CSV files. However, when I get all of the appropriate files  imported, I don't see the app adding any lat./lon./alt. data in the columns next to the photos. 

Is there yet another adjustment that needs to be considered in this Time Zone issue? I mean, the time listed in the upper right of the app window gives me the options of either America/Chicago, or GMT. Should that be set differently?

I'm at a loss here having spent probably $100 on hardware and software together just to be able to geotag, and it's just not working.

Anyone have an idea what the issue is?
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houdah
Hi!

Rest assured, the whole procedure is much simpler than you think it is.

You need not worry about the time zone used by the track log. HoudahGeo knows that track logs are written using GMT.

When you import images into HoudahGeo, it will ask you which time zone the camera was set to at the moment the photos were taken. HoudahGeo assumes one single camera time zone per project. If you switched the camera time halfway through the trip, you need to create separate projects.

The menu in the top right corner determines the time zone used for display. It usually offers you a choice of computer time zone, camera time zone and GMT. It does not affect the actual processing. 

Having a consistent time zone for display helps you verify your settings. Looking at the track log inspector, you will be able to see if the photos in your project fall within the time span covered by your track logs.

Best,
Pierre Bernard
Houdah Software s.à r.l.

Houdah Software s. à r. l.
https://www.houdah.com

HoudahGeo: One-stop photo geocoding
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danviento
Are you certain HoudahGeo expects logs to be in GMT? As I said, the GPS Logger I was using gave the option to set the time zone, along with a few other options, which are then saved into a formatting file onto the mini-SD card. 

I'm pulling these images from my Aperture library since I imported them there months ago. That's the main reason I bought your program - having the ability to edit metadata after import is a must. I only seem to be offered the computer time zone and GMT; camera time zone is an option I'm offered from an auto-drop-down menu when I choose images to import. This is where I had to use the guess&check method to get the noted times to matchup with the times in the CSV file.

So, which set of numbers should I be trying to shift here? Is it the actual "time zone" of the camera photos? Keep in mind, I tried to set the camera to local times, figuring the GPS logs would be getting the time from the satellite. 

Or is there some function of HoudahGeo that allows me to shift the times in the CSV files? I tried using this method with the "Time Album" java software that VisionTac offers for download, but it doesn't help with editting actual CSV files. 

Or, should I be changing the computer time zone via System Preferences? I could have 3 floating variables here, and working with the former two didn't seem to work last night. I'll have to wait to try again until I get home tonight (some advice- don't backup your Aperture library to a NAS drive over wireless unless you've got some serious time to wait).

I have one more question: How smart is HoudahGeo?
I ask because I had my logger set to mark points every 10 meters, thinking it would save power (of course it didn't)  so there are many photos that won't have lat/lon/alt points that coincide precisely with the time of the GPS logged point. Is your app smart enough to make up a point between two logged points if the time of the photo happens to be between the times of recorded points? Does it pick the nearest one? If it uses neither of these methods and has to have an exact matching time, I can see how none of the photos I  checked would have shown lat/lon/alt information in the respective columns. 
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houdah
Hi!

GPS devices get GMT time from the satellite. Usually that is what they write to their log files. I have seen no device doing otherwise. Actually the GPX standard dictates the use of GPS timestamps. CSV on the other hand is vendor-dependant, so one vendor may have chosen to used a differing time zone. Yet that seems unlikely.

HoudahGeo needs to know about the camera time zone because the camera records timestamps without time zone information. Time zone information is however needed to make sense of those timestamps.

The computer's time zone has no influence on geocoding. Nor does the setting in the top right corner of the HoudahGeo project window.

If you wish you may email me a sample photo as well as the matching track log file. I will also need to know what time it was when you took the photo.

HoudahGeo interpolates between the two closest track points. It does not require an exact match.

Best,
Pierre Bernard
Houdah Software s.à r.l.



Houdah Software s. à r. l.
https://www.houdah.com

HoudahGeo: One-stop photo geocoding
HoudahSpot: Advanced file search utility
Tembo: Easy and effective file search
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danviento
With my time-zone in houdah geo set to "America/Chicago" (CDT) and selecting images from my aperture library, I have set the "Camera Time Zone" to every available option from GMT-12 to GMT to GMT+12 and non of the selected images receive lat/lon/alt in their respective columns in HoudahGeo. 

Setting the app to GMT-5 lists times in HoudahGeo that correspond to  the times in metadata of my Aperture Library. As with all other camera time zone corrections, it does not attach any gps data. 

When I tell HoudahGeo to geocode say my 410 images from venice, the app will bring up a progress bar that shows no progress for a minute or two, and then seem to finish. Perhaps the app is failing to initialize in some way?

I'm attaching two JPEGs from the trip for you to work with.
_MG_6107.jpg Aperture library metadata has a time of 3:50:11PM (CDT)
_MG_6128.jpg Aperture library metadata has a time of 4:16:27PM (CDT)

The CSV files should cover all of the 2 days in Venice while I was taking photos.

Sorry for the delay in communication, but I wanted to exhaust my options before making you do additional work.
Click image for larger version - Name: _MG_6107.jpg, Views: 13, Size: 311.79 KB Click image for larger version - Name: _MG_6128.jpg, Views: 11, Size: 418.90 KB
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houdah
Hi!

Your first photo has a timestamp of 3:50PM. That is however obviously not in the CDT time zone. If it were, this would mean the photo has been taken at 10:50 PM in Venice. It however looks like bright daylight.

Thus I assume the camera was set to the "Europe/Rome" time zone.

Your track logs don't match a format supported by HoudahGeo. Thus they load empty and no track logs are listed in the track log inspector. The supported CSV format is documented here.

Thus your CSV file should look something like this:

[CODE]DATE,TIME,LATITUDE,LONGITUDE,ALT,SPEED
2009/08/02,14:35:59,45.440078,012.323685,126
Houdah Software s. à r. l.
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danviento
I was afraid it'd end up being a problem like this. I went to the GPSbabel site you linked to and their official take is,

"The the V-900 stores logs on a microSD card in a custom csv format. This format contains NULL chracters and fixed length fields, and therefore can not be handled by the normal csv module in GPSBabel."

Great. No help there. However, Visiontac uses some Java-based software that allows me to export to KMZ files. This seems to work quite well. Is there anyway I can use GPSBabel to import these kmz files and export to a version that HoudahGeo can read? 

What settings would you suggest in GPS Babel to make a working conversion? 

You already have the outputted CSV files, here's my exact GPS data logger model:
and here's the software it utilized to output usable KMZ files:

When I open the kmz files, they seem to track well and let me move forward and back. I'd like you to run it through, if you could please, since you'd know better if the kmz files would also be missing necessary data to work with GPSBabel and HoudahGeo.

Sorry to be a pain and all, but if this doesn't work, the software is pretty much useless to me.

Btw, it seems like all of the pertinent info is in these files (see attached Numbers screenshot), so is it the formatting that is the problem here, or what?
Click image for larger version - Name: CSV_in_Numbers.jpg, Views: 25, Size: 449.71 KB
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houdah
Hi!

Unfortunately, KML and KMZ files lack time information which is necessary for geocoding.

You will need to manually modify the log files in a text editor (TextMate, TextWrangler, BBEdit,…) like I did. Alternatively, you may use a spreadsheet program to perform the modifications and apply appropriate formatting to dates and times.

Best,
Pierre Bernard
Houdah Software s.à r.l.

Houdah Software s. à r. l.
https://www.houdah.com

HoudahGeo: One-stop photo geocoding
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danviento
I understand that normal kmz files lack the time code, but either via a plugin or change in the usual kmz filetype, I'm able to view the time on each waypoint. In fact, without loading any software besides google earth, the kmz files that Visiontac's software outputs can even animate traveling the path, showing the time as it moves. It basically highlights points or a range of points along the path as it goes.

Are you sure this different type of kmz file won't work out with GPSbabel? I've attached one that's already been processed.


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houdah
Hi!

The thing is that there is no standard place in KML/KMZ to store timestamps. Usually they are stored in the HTML portion. HTML however is meant for display, not for parsing. Each manufacturer choses his own markup and styling of those timestamps. So there is no standard procedure for retrieving the data.

Knowing the format of the KML that is output by the software you are using, you may of course write a script to extract the data. But then again, it should be much easier to write a script to preprocess your CSV files.

With CSV you also have the option of manually patching the files up.

Best,
Pierre Bernard
Houdah Software s.à r.l.

Houdah Software s. à r. l.
https://www.houdah.com

HoudahGeo: One-stop photo geocoding
HoudahSpot: Advanced file search utility
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houdah
Hi!

That said, I believe I read some place that GPSBabel 1.3.7 does attempt to get more data back out of KML. You might want to give it a try.

Best,
Pierre Bernard
Houdah Software s.à r.l.

Houdah Software s. à r. l.
https://www.houdah.com

HoudahGeo: One-stop photo geocoding
HoudahSpot: Advanced file search utility
Tembo: Easy and effective file search
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danviento
I downloaded the beta and tried using the KMZ file I've attached in this thread under the following settings:

Input Filetype: Google Earth (Keyhole) Markup Language
Output Filetype: Comma Separated Values

Input Filetype: Google Earth (Keyhole) Markup Language
Output Filetype: GPX, XML

Input Filetype: Google Maps XML
Output Filetype: Comma Separated Values

Input Filetype: Google Maps XML
Output Filetype: GPX, XML

All of these produced the following message;

"Error running gpsbabel: Process exited unsuccessfully with code 1," code one referring to, "XML Reader: Parse error at 1: not well-formed (invalid token)."

Visiontac seems to embed their own symbols and and path animation in their file. I don't have any options to change the output from their end. 

Can you think of any other automated methods of getting these logs to read?  
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houdah
Hi!

For automating, I would look at Perl or at sed/awk

Scripting a spreadsheet application might be a viable option too.

If you have a web server, Yahoo Pipes might be of some help too.

Best,
Pierre Bernard
Houdah Software s.à r.l.

Houdah Software s. à r. l.
https://www.houdah.com

HoudahGeo: One-stop photo geocoding
HoudahSpot: Advanced file search utility
Tembo: Easy and effective file search
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lamprecht
I cannot get HoudahGeo to correctly geolocate my photos. May camera and my GPS units were time synched to within one or two seconds. The camera and GPS unit were set to mountain time in USA. My first photos were taken arount 9:30 AM local time. The GPS track did not locate any of the photos until about 2:30 PM. For some reason, HoudahGeo is not correcting the GPS times to the local times of the camera. The first seven hours of my photos get no geotag, and the remainder geolocations are wrong because of the seven hour difference. What can I do to get HoudahGeo to make this correction? If it can't do this, what good is the program for geolocating photos?
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houdah
Hi!

So far all GPS recorders I have come by record timestamps in the GMT time zone. The GPX specification actually imposes this convention.

Consequently, HoudahGeo always assumes GMT time zone for GPS track logs.

What GPS device are you using?
What's the format of the track log files?
Have you verified the timestamps within the log files?

Best,
Pierre Bernard
Houdah Software s.à r.l.

Houdah Software s. à r. l.
https://www.houdah.com

HoudahGeo: One-stop photo geocoding
HoudahSpot: Advanced file search utility
Tembo: Easy and effective file search
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lamprecht
Looks like all GPX files are not the same. I was using Adze to create my gpx file with no time correction. When I used MapSource on a PC to create my gpx file it worked fine geolocating. When I downloaded direct from my GPS unit it worked just fine geolocating. When I time corrected the Adze created gpx file by 6 hours it worked fine geolocating. There must be a setting in Adze I need to change or always correct the timestamps by 6 hours. Strange
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houdah
Hi!

I had not heard about Adze before. I will read up on it.

The GPX specification however clearly states that timestamps should be written using GMT time zone. You should verify that the timestamps in your GPX files are correct in that regard. If they are, modifying the timestamps manually might cover up a problem rather than fix it. If they are not, some piece of software goofed up.

Best,
Pierre Bernard
Houdah Software s.à r.l.

Houdah Software s. à r. l.
https://www.houdah.com

HoudahGeo: One-stop photo geocoding
HoudahSpot: Advanced file search utility
Tembo: Easy and effective file search
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danviento
I don't know how I missed it, but my actual GPS logger was listed under the GPSBabel 1.3.7 Beta filetype list. I forgot the brand is also called "Columbus" - official name of "Columbus/Visiontac V900 (.csv)"

When selecting files to export to GXP XML, my files are grayed-out until I allow all files to be selectable. I don't know why, but after doing so, my files are selectable. This conversion is successful and my files are geocoded correctly, though some of the altitudes seem to be way off given I'm in venice in these examples and I'm often puts 100s of feet above the water.

I'd suggest a solution or special note be made to v900 users who pick your software for geotagging their photos. Perhaps you can make a release later that can handle these oddball CSV files since GPS Babel seems to have found the trick. Just a thought, since yours seems to be the only software that reads CSV files and can add metadata directly to master images in Aperture libraries. 
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houdah
Hi!

HoudahGeo actually uses GPSBabel in the background to convert CSV files to GPX files. 

Once GPSBabel 1.3.7 is released, HoudahGeo will be updated to make use of that version.

Best,
Pierre Bernard
Houdah Software s.à r.l.

Houdah Software s. à r. l.
https://www.houdah.com

HoudahGeo: One-stop photo geocoding
HoudahSpot: Advanced file search utility
Tembo: Easy and effective file search
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lamprecht
Here's a few more details on my geolocating problems mentioned above. These details may help someone else in solving a problem.
First I used the program Adze to download the tracks from my GPS and save as a gpx file. I use Adze so I can clean up the gpx file and only include the times surrounding my photos. One of the points had this time value:

<time>2009-10-03T21:22:59+000</time>

This did not geolocate my pictures. Next I used MapSource on a PC to save my gpx file. That same point had the following time value:

<time>2009-10-03T15:22:59Z</time>

I assume the Z stands for zulu time. This gpx file worked perfectly in geolocating my pics. Since I want to use my Mac for the entire work flow, I used Adze again and applied a - 6 hour correction to the gpx file. The time value now looked like this:

<time>2009-10-03T15:22:59+000</time>.

The Z is gone, but the times are now identical to the MapSource generated gpx file and the geolocations were spot on.

Last I stayed within Houdah and downloaded the track directly from the GPS unit (Garmin Oregon 400t). Geolocating was flawless. Bottom line, use the track log from the GPS directly because it may take a few estimates on how much of a correction to apply within Adze. Adze is a great little program, but it "corrects" your gpx file away from zulu time. A big No NO





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