You’ll have no doubt noticed a bit of a GPS trend today here on Gadling, and in line with that, I’m going to introduce you to the Mobile Action I-GotU GT-120 mobile GPS logger.
This tiny device looks quite unimpressive, but actually houses several handy GPS functions in one product.
The GT-120 can function as a USB GPS receiver, providing your location to a variety of GPS enabled applications. The device also stores several days of your location tracks, allowing you to read your position and overlay it on a Google map in the included tracking software. When importing your tracks, the application can even match the time and location with your photos, adding geotag information to your shots.
The i-GotU comes with a USB cable and a silicone jacket, and the receiver is waterproof. To operate the unit, you are provided with just one button, and 2 LED lights. There is no user interaction other than turning it on or off. All the settings, including its tracking interval are controlled through the software.
The USB cable connects the device to your PC, and charges it. Battery life during my test was good for several days. Inside the device is 16MB of flash memory, which is enough for 65,000 tracking points. I found the GPS signal sensitivity to be pretty good – but it did take a good clear view of the sky for its initial fix. Once it grabbed the signal, I was able to hang it from a clip onto my camera bag, and the tracks during the day appeared to be constant, with no loss of signal.
The software is easy to use, and simple questions guide you through the process of importing the data and syncing with your photos.
Trips are imported quickly and can be named, describing what you were doing when you were using the device. From within the software, you can also sync your PC clock with the GPS clock, and display the most accurate time, allowing you to set your camera clock to the current time. Using an accurate camera clock will increase the accuracy of the geotag information written to your photos.
The desktop software extends beyond your PC – once imported, you can share your map, tracks and photos with the world using the @trip site, provided by Mobile Action for free. The site is way more than just a place to store your tracks – it actually functions as a full trip blog allowing you to leave a full visual story of your trip. See this example for how great trips look.
Despite a couple of minor issues with the device (Windows 7 drivers were not available when I stated testing it), I’m very impressed with this little tracker. It also takes a little getting used to the 2 LED lights, and figuring out what they mean.
The ability to function as a regular USB GPS receiver, a tracker/logger and a geotag adapter means your investment gets you three different devices for the same price. The company behind the GT-120 also offers a Bluetooth enabled version, the GT-200. This device adds the ability to connect to the receiver using Bluetooth.
The GT-120 tracker is available though a US retailer for just $69.85, with free shipping. The hardware is similar to some other products on the market, but the combination of the excellent desktop and web based software make it a real winner. I had a lot of fun reviewing my tracks from a couple of days, and matching my photos to my exact location. If you use a geotag enabled photo sharing site (like Smugmug), you’ll be able to instantly link to a map of the photo location.