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Cameras

GPS cameras that know where you are

While popular photo sharing Web site Flickr this week launched a geotagging feature that lets users pinpoint and geographically "tag" where pictures were taken, camera manufacturers have announced devices that add GPS location data to photos.

Flickr Geotagging

While popular photo sharing Web site Flickr this week launched a geotagging feature that lets users pinpoint and geographically "tag" where pictures were taken, camera manufacturers have announced products that add GPS location data to photos.

In the 24 hours following the launch of geotagging on Flickr, a staggering 1.2 million photos had been tagged on the Yahoo-owned site.

As an example, here we've geotagged a photo we took at the launch of the Nokia N91, where Aussie rockers Evermore performed at Sydney Harbour, by dragging it onto a map in the Flickr Organizer. Once a photo has its geographic location tagged as additional data, it's easy to pinpoint it on a map to send to friends, family or groups. You can also save your preference for photos to appear when other users browse a particular area. Guides for geotagging on Flickr can be found here and here.

One downside to the current Flickr implementation is that it uses relatively low-resolution satellite maps and very sparse street data for Australia, especially when compared with Google Maps. While Yahoo Maps found the limited range of Australian suburbs we tested, you still need to spend a while getting your bearings without street names to guide you.

We'll be eager to test how well upcoming cameras with built-in GPS technology integrate with photo sharing sites such as Flickr. Ricoh announced on Tuesday the 8-megapixel 500SE, which has a GPS receiver built-in. Due in October, our guess is that this AU$1,399 camera will only capture the location in which a photo was taken when you're outdoors -- GPS devices generally need line-of-sight to receive a location from GPS satellites.

Sony's taking a different approach by launching a GPS receiver as a camera accessory to be used in conjunction with its Alpha dSLR and new range of Cyber-shots. The AU$229 Sony GPS-CS1, due in September, captures a photographer's position every 15 seconds, then using the supplied GPS Image Tracker software, matches the timestamps in the images with the log from the receiver and adds the location information to photos.

We're expecting these GPS goodies to arrive at CNET.com.au any day now, so stay tuned for the full reviews.