Just before the Olympics started, I was given a new GPS gadget to play with, called the i-gotU GT-600 USB GPS Travel & Sports Logger. Since I was planning on doing a lot of travelling around during the games, this seemed like a perfect way to test it out.
So what is it?
It’s basically a GPS receiver with onboard memory that tracks your current location via GPS and writes out some data to the device. You can then later download this data and do all kinds of cool things with it like plot your travels on a map, geotag any photos you took while on walkabout with the map data and export the geo data to other applications like Google Earth where you can make movies from your travels.
I just had it clipped onto my backpack for most of the games. Its onboard battery ran for days without recharging all the while it was downloading my location data.
The main thing I liked about this device over my other GPS photo gadgets is that it was always on, capturing data. My Nikon GP-1 needed a few minutes to acquire its satellite lock once I powered on my camera. It also has a motion detector so it goes into standby mode when you don’t move to conserve battery power.
What I didn’t like is the software support…unfortunately it only supports Windows XP and the 32 bit version of Windows 7 at the moment. No Mac support either. I have the 64 bit version of Windows installed on my MacBook Pro but had to use XP (under VMWare) to access the device and software. The good thing is the manufacturer is updating the software pretty regularly and once you do export the gps data, you can use it on anything. I’ve been playing around with my Whitehorse trip data file in Google Earth on my Mac. I haven’t had a chance to explore other gps apps that can accept the *.GPX data files. Also, while the geotagging option for photos is nice, I shoot RAW so I would have had to convert them down to jpegs then sync them with the software before being able to upload them somewhere like Flickr – a few too many steps for my workflow but I know lots of photogs that like the idea of being able to geotag without an expensive addon like the GP-1 (or they have a non-Nikon camera).
Overall I’m pretty happy with the device. I’ll be taking it with me to Austin later this week to track my SXSW attendance too.
UPDATE: Looks like a software update now allows the device to work with 64-bit Windows 7 and an open source tool called iGotu2gpx for direct access to the *.GPX files on a Mac or Linux machine (thanks Eric in the comments!)