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January 31, 2008

Pharos Trips & Pics

Here’s a great combo application that has so many possible uses that it is only limited by your imagination. Have you ever wished that you could identify some of those pictures you took years ago and never got around to labeling?

With Pharos Trips & Pics, you can snap away to your heart’s content and the device creates a GPS log and time stamp of your photos so that with supplied software you can pinpoint each shot on Google Maps or Microsoft Streets and Trips.

I certainly wish I had this incredible tool was I doing archaeological surveys in jungles, deserts, and mountains around the world. Now I will be content to log photos on my trips and share them with friends and family.

There are many commercial applications possible too that relate to fleet management, law enforcement, surveying, legal work, real estate, conservation, wildlife management, and all kinds of outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, and camping.

The package comes with both hardware and software. You get a CD with the program to install on your computer that integrates the GPS and photo data with a mapping source to plot a trip and pinpoint the location of photos snapped along the way. You also get a iPGS500 receiver, a USB cable, a battery dock, and a charger.

A typical scenario would be that you would charge the battery dock. Connect the receiver to the USB dongle, insert it into your computer to activate it for a trip. Synchronize your camera’s clock with the receiver while connected to the computer. Then remove the receiver from the dongle and insert into the battery pack, which lasts 24 hours between charges. Allow the GPS unit to lock onto the satellites and begin your trip. Every time you take a photo, push the button on the side of the battery pack to record the time and location of the event.

When you get home, connect the receiver to the computer using the dongle again and run the software program to tag the photos so that you can locate them on a map program and share them with others.
What a great little tool, and I do mean little, for the receiver is about an inch square. Coupled with the battery pack, the package measures 1 7/8 x 2 ¾ inches and weighs only slightly over two ounces, so it doesn’t represent much of an extra burden. But don’t let its size deceive you, for it may be small, but it is also a powerful device with myriad uses. I would be fascinated to hear from some of you and the uses to which you put this tool to work.

Of course, you can use this device as a standard GPS receiver if you wish as well.

Sorry, but it won’t be available until next month sometime. Be looking for an announcement. Then you can go to www.pharosgps.com and check it out. I’m not sure how much it will cost, but I’m betting in the hundred dollar range.

Posted by conradb212 at January 31, 2008 08:52 PM