This is so cool! The $130 Eye-Fi memory card for your digital camera tags every picture with the exact location. It also connects to your wireless network and uploads photos automatically. I want one now! More important, as it relates to this blog, I can think of a lot of new ideas and applications that this will make possible.
I’ve looked around a bit. I think the best short summary of what I’m referring to is David Pogue’s Geo-Tagging Your Photos Video on The New York Times site. It’s a good, quick summary.
The vendor’s website is at www.eye.fi. (Interesting suffix for a domain name, by the way, fi … that’s a Finland location. I wonder how well that works for the company. I’ve looked, and it’s not clear at all that it’s a Finnish company.)
In my case, I love maps, and I’ve been playing around with this idea since the GPS came out. I worked with an early version on amiglia.com (disclosure: my son’s site) and then newer ones on Flickr and Picasa, and–more recently–the ties between photos and locations available through Google Earth. None of that was ever easy. Painstakingly setting the GPS locations picture by picture was just not practical.
At amiglia.com, we used the geotag idea to track trips and make slide shows and such that followed us around with photos. The problem, though, was that it was a lot of work to locate each photo on a map.
The underlying technology is also interesting. The card uses a quasi-GPS (as-if GPS?) technique developed by Skyhook, which locates photos based on surrounding available wi-fi sites. Amazing. Will GPS become obsolete? It turns out that the new iPhones will have a combination of GPS and Skyhook technology, so they can also locate the iPhone from indoors.