Tag: gps

GPS Location in Photos

by on Oct.12, 2010, under Technology

Shafer Corn Maze, October 2010 - Viewed in Picasa

I’ve turned on “Store Location” in the camera settings of my Android phone.  It seems like a neat idea: be able to keep track which restaurant a friend’s birthday was at, or that great place we sat for fireworks last Fourth of July.

I guess it didn’t initially occur to me the privacy implications of sharing these pictures on some social media websites.  I tested out the availability of the location information on photos shared on Facebook and Twitter (via TwitPic).  These services both have some kind of resizing action performed on them which strips out this (and other) metadata from the file.  Tumblr however is one I’ve discovered which doesn’t do anything to the photo.

On the one hand this is good: you get to have your high-res photos unaltered on your Tumblr blog, and possibly you could update your theme to use this data some how.  For the average user however, this could be an easy way for someone to find out where you live.

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XV6900 Upgrade to Windows Mobile 6.1 (plus GPS)

by on Jan.24, 2009, under Technology

I have the Verizon Wireless XV6900 (also called HTC Touch or HTC Vogue).  It’s a compact, full touch screen phone running Windows Mobile 6.  A couple of months ago I started hearing about Windows Mobile 6.1.  Newer Verizon phones were being released with it and Spirit (among others) were offering firmware updates for their verison of the same HTC phone.  What about me?

One of the reasons I chose to purchase the phone was because it has integrated GPS.  Shortly after getting the phone, I found out that Verizon disables it because they want people to use–and pay for–their VZ Navigator service.  I found a few forums were users were talking about how to bypass this with hacked firmware versions, however it seemed like a lot of the posts included things like “the GPS is working great! …but now I’m not getting TXT messages and the phone is freezing randomly!”  Updating the firmware of any device scares the crap out of me; if anything goes wrong, you can always end up bricking it.

Last week I finally found the official Windows Mobile 6.1 upgrade.  I knew it was official because on the Verizon Wireless XV6900 support page there’s a Downloads section which has a link to PCD–who I guess is responsible for hosting the update.  I updated the firmware successfully.  Thanks to, I learned about a fix for the GPS.  The post says it’s for the XV6800 (and it is) but this same update also works on the XV6900 flawlessly.

In the process I found out about a great and free little program for Windows Mobile called GPSToday from GeoTerrestrial.  Since enabling the GPS, I’ve tried a few “social networking”-esk location sharing programs/websites (Ipoki being the best looking one), but wasn’t really impressed with any of  them.  They look promising, just not yet.  I also was drawn into a lengthy thread concerning the XV6900 that’s actually from November 2008, when the “official” firmware was “leaked”.

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