Do you have a difficult time to get inspiration for going on a phot walk or hike away in nature to take some pictures? Are you low on ideas of what to photograph? Do you have a GPS receiver suiteable for trekking/hiking (most car navigation systems are not, you want a smaller handheld device)?
Then this is an interesting hobby that you might want to check out! It’s called Geocaching and I will explain a little about what it is.
Basically geocaching is a treasure hunt. What happens here is that someone hides a ”treasure” for you to find. There is usually not anything valuable in it, it is just the location actually that’s the whole point of it. These treasures are referred to as geocaches and when they are hidden they are also published with GPS coordinates on this homepage.
Hunters go to the home page and find some caches nearby where they live – or where they wish to go hunting, then they download the coordinates, descriptions and perhaps also the hints – called ”spoilers” (they may spoil the fun of searching). Equipped with a GPS receiver, the coordinates, a pen they set out to try to locate the cache.
This is going to be a rather lengthy post again but bear with me. It will also be a bit technical so I will have to explain some of the basic technical points before we start on the really nifty things here. But in the end you will learn how to use your GPS receiver to track your movments when shooting outdoor, you will learn how to download this information and use it to geocode your pictures so that when they are uploaded on sites such as Flickr your photographs will automatically appear on the map in the correct location.
The resons for geotagging
It is a way of organising your photographs that is pretty new actually. Never before has it been so easy to know where a certain photograph was taken and it is a great way of finding other people’s photographs from a certain location.
It also means that if you use your GPSr when you are on holiday you know exactly on which spot you were when you took that picture and it is a great way of sharing information about good photographic spots, not to mention that it sort of becomes a photographic diary, tracking your movements around with your camera and GPSr.
There many be also personal reasons for geotagging, for me it started because I am a map freak. I love maps in all sorts of ways and I spend half a fortune on them. These days I mostly use electronic maps because they are more versatile but when I go hiking I always have a paper map as a backup – you never know when electronic will fail you.
There are two kinds of photographers, those who has experienced equipment failure and those who will.