Tuesday, 28 November 2006

Want to use a Sony GPS-CS1 on your Mac?

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I recently bought a Sony GPS-CS1 - and if you're reading this, I guess you have too (or are thinking about it). It's a clever little piece of kit, that records a GPS location every 15 seconds, that you can use to geotag any photos you've taken. I like to travel, and I like to take my camera with me, so it's ideal.

Except that I'm also a Mac owner, and the GPS-CS1 doesn't work on a Mac. OK, the supplied Sony software is advertised as Windows-only, but the unit doesn't even mount on a Mac. On a PC it mounts as a removable drive (there's a memory stick inside, apparently) and you can copy the files from it. If you have access to a PC and a Mac, you can copy the files to your Mac, and then you can use various Mac software to process the files, tag your photos, import them into iPhoto, and export to Google Earth. I'll give you some links for all that later.

It would be nice though not to have to rely on my work PC for this. I'd like to be able to connect the GPS-CS1 directly to the Mac. From the number of hits I got when I mentioned this on my personal blog, I think lots of other Mac users would too. Not every Mac owner has easy access to a PC. Not every Mac owner who's interested in a GPS-CS1 has bought one yet.

So this is an attempt to see how much demand is really out there, and present it to Sony. Or even to inspire someone else to write their own Mac driver, if we can get together enough info on the GPS-CS1 to help them.

If you want to see Mac support for the Sony GPS-CS1, please leave a comment here. And especially if you are a potential GPS-CS1 buyer waiting for Mac support, let us know.

So here are the useful links I promised:

Once you manage to get the GPS-CS1 files on your Mac, you can convert them to GPX files to make them more useful. Use gpsbabel for this, and look at this article to see how to do this.

Recommended for geotagging your photos with your newly created GPX files - GPSPhotoLinker.

To export your geotagged photos from iPhoto to Google Earth - use iPhotoToGoogleEarth.

Again, anyone who's discovered or written some useful Mac geotagging software, feel free to plug it here.

Finally, if you've managed to get any useful technical info for Mac programmers who might be working on a driver, post it here too. To start you off, here's the info that appears in System Profiler when the GPS-CS1 is plugged into the Mac.


Sony DI Accessory:

Version: 1.00
Bus Power (mA): 500
Speed: Up to 12 Mb/sec
Manufacturer: Sony Corporation
Product ID: 0×0298
Vendor ID: 0×054c