This morning I took my camera, a new GPS receiver attached to its hot shoe, up to the Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe, Illinois, one of my favorite spots for photography. My goal was to see how well the GPS works in embedding geographical latitude and longitude, altitude and compass direction data into the digital files of my photographs at the instant I take them.
I stopped on the footbridge between the Botanic Garden's main island and the visitor center and took a quick shot (above) of the frozen channel between lagoons just southeast of the bridge. Then I went home and loaded the photograph file into my computer and called it up with Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3 software.
Quickly I clicked a button that took me over the wi-fi to Google Maps, and the result (considerably enlarged) is shown in the screen-grab illustration below. The green arrow marks the spot where I was standing when I took the shot.
The point, of course, is that weeks, months and even years from now, I will be able to recover from the computer's memory, if not my own, the exact spot where the photograph was taken.
Soon I'll be riding the California Zephyr through winding canyons of the Colorado Rockies and twisting ridges of the Sierra Nevada, shooting madly out the train's windows in the service of gathering photographs for the upcoming e-edition of Zephyr: Tracking a Dream Across America. If all goes well, I'll be able to pinpoint (and describe) the location of every photograph with perfect accuracy rather than relying on my aging brain's ability to recall places and details.
Isn't that absolutely cool?