I was checking consumer tests of cameras and I see that a compact camera ("superzoom" type) offers embedded GPS.

GPS may be useful for surveying and for WikiLovesMonuments photos, but the camera costs some 50 € more than equivalent ones. Are the coordinates found by such embedded systems precise enough to be used directly?

I saw the POV camera question but I'm not interested in video etc.

This question is marked "community wiki".

asked 21 Apr '15, 08:55

Nemo_bis's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

edited 21 Apr '15, 18:34


This sounds more like an invitation to a discussion (and information that will go out of date rapidly) - maybe a mailing list might be a better place for it?

(21 Apr '15, 09:59) SomeoneElse ♦

I don't think the technology of GPS and cameras is evolving that rapidly. The topic is both too specific for a mailing list (where it would soon get lost in the archives) and too open-ended for a wiki page (where it would be hard to account for personal experiences). I have experience with the alternatives and I've chosen the Q&A site because I think it's the best place.

(21 Apr '15, 18:39) Nemo_bis

These cameras likely use a standard GPS chipset but the results will vary. My experience with one was that the accuracy was comparable to a handheld GPS when it got a fix. But the time to obtain a fix from power on would be up to 15 minutes. Also when taking a series of photos while walking around with the camera GPS enabled, the update rate was unacceptable; a photo might be stamped with the previous location even though there was a movement of several meters.

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answered 21 Apr '15, 12:17

Mike%20N's gravatar image

Mike N
accept rate: 17%

Thanks. Just to check, as "correct" position you were expecting the position where you shot the photo, not the position of the photographed object, right? Sometimes the coordinates are technically correct but don't make any sense because the object was very distant from the camera. Sorry if the question is silly; in my experience in Wikimedia Commons many insert wrong coordinates for this reason. :)

(21 Apr '15, 18:44) Nemo_bis

My experience with two (very similar) cameras is much the same as Mike N: Slow to first fix. Slow update rate. I also noted that they usually only see a relatively small number of satellies (never seen better than 5) - implying a poorer fix than a dedicated GPS that is able to process more satellite signals (my phone rarely sees fewer than 7, often 10 or 12, including Glonass).

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answered 21 Apr '15, 13:33

G3YAC's gravatar image

accept rate: 20%

Thanks. Do you think it's possible that cameras are designed in a way that makes it harder for them to "see" the sky? I mean, phones are often designed to have the antenna have good signal, while I imagine the GPS could be anywhere in the middle of the camera. I wonder if there's a way to check such stuff before purchase.

(21 Apr '15, 18:42) Nemo_bis

Given that this depends

  1. on the camera in question
  2. on your definition of "precise"

it is not possible to give an answer other than: given a good fix and clear skies the coordinates are likely to roughly describe where you took the photograph (not where the object that you photographed is).

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answered 21 Apr '15, 11:43

SimonPoole's gravatar image

SimonPoole ♦
accept rate: 18%

If you have a gps or a smart phone just set the cameras clock to match gps time and your gpx trace can be used to fix the position your jpegs exactly. JOSM and Garmin Basecamp can do this along with several other programs. See http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Photo_mapping

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answered 21 Apr '15, 22:38

andy%20mackey's gravatar image

andy mackey
accept rate: 5%

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question asked: 21 Apr '15, 08:55

question was seen: 3,330 times

last updated: 21 Apr '15, 22:38

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