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September 15, 2006


The current version of RoboGEO (v4.4) will import the log files directly, but you need to rename them using a ".nmea" file extension, i.e. rename WG20060913210637.log to WG20060913210637.nmea. The next version will recognize "log" files as being NMEA.

Tim Helton

My experience is that this wonderfull device works as a USB key when plugged to a PC with linux. There's no compatibility problem. Then, you can process nmea log files with gpsbabel and do whatever you want with the gpx files.

I just would love to be able to choose the time intervall between two position records ... but i'm not an electronic hacker ...

Man, that's a shame about the Mac compatibility: I've got a Mac, and I'd love something like this.

Oh, and I believe the number in the filename is indeed the date/time, in ISO 8601 format, but with the punctuation and spaces removed.

e.g. WG20060913210637
= 2006-09-13 21:06:37
= 9:06:37 pm, Wednesday 13th September 2006.

Mac compatibility is definitely a missing feature - I discovered it the hard way when I plugged it into my PowerBook. I think they must be doing some weird USB driver stuff; it's most unfortunate. I get a lot of hits from people looking to see if it works with the Mac.

I would be curious to see how this would work under 'on-off' conditions -- switch it for an hour or so when I reach a location to register the locale, then switch it off to conserve batteries. The application I am interested in is for a 3 week trip in the bush.

As long as the GPS can get a fix (which it will indicate through the LED display), I don't see why there would be any issues.

How did you create the bus ride path overlay on Google maps? Did you manually create a KML file for Google Earth, or can you recommend a tool/procedure for converting the Sony log file to KML.
Thanks for the review.

GPS Visualizer has very powerful capabilities to do all kinds of manipulations on GPS tracks, including turning them into files to display in Google Earth. As a bonus, it's free.


Is it possible to use any GPS unit (like a Garmin) along with the software like "GPS Image Tracker" in order to add EXIF data on the pic?

I tried to go to the RoboGEO site to purchase, but no luck for two days. I'm only getting a blank page in response. Anyone else having problems reaching the site?

Can someone upload a log file?

It's basically a standard NMEA log file, with a custom Sony header. I'll grab a snippet and post it, if no one else beats me to it.

Here's what the log file looks like


Do anyone know why Sony so much data save? The GPGSV is not realy needed, without them the CS1 can be save double data. Do anyone like to see all the data in Google Earth, takte a look at my page (click on my name). I add some English for an easy start, but if you like i can make a complete english version.

I can't figure out why your path in google earth is so erratic. I was in a car moving around 50km/h and the GPS-CS1 tracked my path almost perfectly with no sharp deviations which surprised me.

The key is "in a downtown setting with midrise skyscrapers". My experience is that all GPS units lose exact path tracking in such environments.

Does the GPS-CS1 record time as GPS time or UTC? Need to know in order to sync my camera time with the CS1.

I have problems to get a GPS fix using the Sony GPS-CS1 datalogger. Sometimes when i turn it on, it keeps searching (the led display keeps double flashing) for a long time without success.

This is very annoying. Today a took a walk downtown with the datalogger turned on, taking lots of photos with my Canon 350D. Later when i returned home and connected the CS1 using my USB adapter, there was simple no new logfile at all. The GPS couldn't fix during the whole tour...waste of time.

I live in Malmö, Sweden. A rather small town without any "midrise scrapers" that should jam the GPS in any way. Does anyone else have expired the same problem when using the CS1?

I try different positions of the CS-1. If he lie horizontal the results more worse. In vertical position, with the handle up, the results are ok. I ever have the CS-1 in a bag on top of my backpack and it works good there. After ~10 meters walking the recording of data starts.

Why is the Image Tracker software asking for a time zone? I am back from a trip through multiple time zones. Am I supposed to enter my current (home) time zone or the time zones where the pictures where taken? The unit should have the local time zones, shouldn't it?

Does anyone know how to get the correct GPS time? So that my sony camera time would be in sync with the GPS CS1 unit?

GPS time is basically UTC ("zulu"). If you don't want to have to handle your camera's local time difference from UTC for location sync, just set the camera to UTC time. (Or if you're really picky, UTC+14 seconds, which is the exact GPS time.)

But of course if you set your camera to UTC, you lose the information about the actual time the photo was taken.


Canada's National Research Council provides both static and dynamic web clocks

For the static clock, click Refresh to get the latest UTC time



Note: I *assume* the GPS-CS1 is recording GPS time, it's using standard NMEA sentences. I very much doubt Sony would have converted it to exact UTC.

I'm just trying to get the GPS image tracker program to work with a GPS log file which I created using GPSbable to convert my GPS track file from oziexplorer (.plt file) to nmea sentences. I don't get it working can anyone help me out on this.

The first few lines look like this and do seem normal to me.


the program accepts the new log file, but pictures taken at exactly same moments as some of the track points are not getting any gps info.

pleae help, I like the picture motion browser to work also with the GPS info from my Garmin Etrex Vista.

Do you need to physically install the GPS Image Tracker software onto the computer or can you run the program from a USB thumb drive or similar? For example, if you wanted to geocode your photos while you were at an Internet Café. I'm looking at this device for use while travelling when I won't have my own computer with me.

I think GPS Image Tracker will run from a USB key - I will try it. If not, there are lots of other options to try e.g. RoboGEO - you don't have to use the Sony software, any software that reads Sony's NMEA logs and matches timestamps will work.

I'm thinking of buying this unit because we are going to Alaska for 2 weeks and would like to have this capability. I found the article very interesting. I have a couple of questions: Do you know if it will work in Alaska? The time sinc issue is fuzzy to me, do I set my camera at home time and go or do I change the time in the camera for the time zone I'm in? I appreciate any replies.

GPS will work anywhere in the world you have a clear view of the sky, so Alaska should be fine.

I recommend just setting your camera to local time (Alaska), then you will know when you took your photos. To sync with the GPS data, it's a simple matter of entering the time offset - and if you're wrong it's usually pretty evident when you look at a map, so you can just correct the offset and recode the photos.

All you really need to know, as long as you're taking photos in only one time zone, is the offset of that timezone from Greenwich / UTC time.

It is terrific to see my photos positioned on a map while online but my ultimate goal is to produce a slide-show using the appropriate software like Power Point, ProShow Gold or even Pinnacle. How do I export or capture what I am looking at while online, to an image suitable for importing to one of the above applications. (I prefer not to use PrintScreen.)


I'm working on a web-application to "fix" gpslogs. So far it's able to move and delete points. Check it out!

Great review, thanks.
Do you know if this device is waterproof or at least spash-proof to some extent (or at least appears to be water protected)? I can't find any information. My plan is to use in on the boat. Thanks.

It's not waterproof. Just put it in a small Ziploc bag or water tight plastic container.

Is there a better way to coordinate camera time with GPS time? I would prefer to have the camera set as near as possible to the unit. Within seconds? If I set the camera to the time displayed on a separate 'regular' gps unit, will that work? For my app, accuracy is critical...

Thank you so much for this very informative article. I just saw this device in an appliance store with a lot of Sony cameras here in Thailand and have been trying to find as much info as I can. Your article is the best I have found and answered most of my questions. Again, thank you so much!

If you travel through several countries / timezones i think the best way to go is the NOT change to local time in each timezone. Otherwize you have to import pictures country by country, could be a mess if you have lots of them. I traveled through six countries in 8 weeks an snapped over 3500 photos togehter with an Sony CS1. You could read more about this experience here:

Does anyone know if the GPS-CS1KA gets better accuracy than the GPS-CS1?

Hey I just got the GPS-CS1KA (ordered through Amazon-->$118) after reading this site. Thanks Richard! I'm in the Philadelphia area, and I had it the GPS unit running while walking around the city. The GPS unit often has a hard time locating signal, especially near tall buildings. When the GPS unit loses signal it would interpolate from the previous and current known points, so some of the city results are pretty skewed or just inaccurate. It did a great job of interpolating the travel points when I ducked underground to take the subway.

As Richard mentioned in his post (see above) there's a +/- 50 feet of accuracy, but for the most part... it's understandably accurate. The default "log" file from the GPS unit cannot be used by Google Earth, but the "log" file can be converted (for FREE) to Google Earth's format using this site: http://www.gpsvisualizer.com/convert.

Does anyone know how to convert more than 6 log files using GPS Visualizer? I have way more than 6 log files for 1 trip and I can't figure out how to put tham all into 1 kml file. If not, is there an easy way to do it?


Just use the command line gpsbabel:

gpsbabel -i nmea -f ..\gps\WG20070513121356.log -f ..\gps\WG20070514132706.log -f ..\gps\WG20070515002106.log -f ..\gps\WG20070515051008.log -f ..\gps\WG20070515234137.log -f ..\gps\WG20070516143606.log -f ..\gps\WG20070516234831.log -f ..\gps\WG20070518003035.log -f ..\gps\WG20070518014957.log -f ..\gps\WG20070518054708.log -f ..\gps\WG20070518124140.log -f ..\gps\WG20070518224233.log -f ..\gps\WG20070519004330.log -f ..\gps\WG20070519061409.log -f ..\gps\WG20070519092413.log -x track,pack -o gpx -F merged.gpx

I have been using the sony GPS for 6 months now, it will record very well on open terrain. But for medium and high rise build up area it might not track at all. I came back from HongKong last week and in the city there was nothing log while I was taking a ferry to Lama Island, it could record the path from the ferry terminal all the way to including a tracking path along the island's walking path.

I am attempting to map my pictures. What program or web site? Where do I find instructions for completing this project. Thx


Hi, thanks for a great discussion of these products. I'm heading to Africa for five weeks and am not planning on taking a laptop (I'll probably take a portable hard drive and use internet cafes to download photos and hopefully GPS data). A few questions: (1) after four weeks, does the stored data delete?, is there a way around this? (2) will the data be accurately stored on my portable harddrive used in an internet cafe or will I lose the info? Thanks, Kathryn

1) the memory will fill up (at which point an LED will light to let you know) but it WILL NOT delete stored data when full. You have to manually reset the device if you want to clear it. So no worries about data loss.
2) You can easily drag and drop the contents of the Sony CS1 to a memory key or portable hard drive; the Sony files are just like regular text files. So e.g. if you filled the CS1, you could go to a cafe and move all the files off to a portable drive, then either delete them from the CS1 using the computer (just like you would delete files on any external storage) or do a manual reset/erase of the CS1.

I can confirm that the Sony doesn't mount on a Mac PPC 10.4.10 system either. Works OK on an Intel 10.4.10 Mac, as well as on Vista. Didn't try XP, but wouldn't expect any problems.

I'm the developer of ImageIngester, which is a photo ingester (same category as the better-known Downloader Pro) that can automatically geotag photos it ingests.

... ImageIngester has both free and [pay] versions, and the GPS features will be in the free version.

--Marc Rochkind

Works find on my MacBook Pro with OS X 10.4.10. Mounts as a USB drive click on the GPS folder and open the .log file.


Does anyone know where I can get Picture Motion Browser software. I realise the new GPS kit comes with the software, however, I have the first version of the GPS which only supports Sony cameras.
I would like to hear anyone's feedback.

I had one of these, but lost it the other day walking down The Strip in Las Vegas. It was clipped to the outside of my camera bag with the included carabiner, and somewhere along the way it unclipped itself and fell off. I wasn't doing anything overly active or strenuous, just walking.

So this is my caution to you to not rely soley on that carabiner. When I get my next one, I plan on using some small diameter rock climbing cord to attach it to a locking carabiner.

Other than the shoddy attachment hardware, I love this thing.

Yes!!!! There is a way to get the info out of the CS1 WITHOUT using a PC!

I bought thid think called a USB Link Bridge that transfers data from the CS1 to a USB stick and then you just plug the stick into ya iMac, MacBook, etc etc! and it works!! It also works with digital cameras, other flash sticks, portable hard drives etc etc.

The link is : http://www.acrox.com.tw/productdetial.asp?id=171

I paid SIN$69 (approx. US$47)

No more mucking around with a PC! Yes!!!!!

I just ordered a GPS-CS1 because of the good feedback from this article. I am going to Rome soon and had hoped to set my time to the Roman local time. Can this unit be sync-ed? I will test it here in AZ by presetting the date/time. I assume it is GMT+1.
Thank you for any response.

I think you will find that, like most GPS loggers, the GPS-CS1 stays
on GPS time, it's a universal time that has no timezones.
Your options are either to set your camera to GPS time as well, or to
use a UTC/GMT offset in the software that matches the times with your
photos. There's more information in my posting "about time".


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