Jobo -- which last month filed an insolvency petition with the Cologne District Court -- first unveiled its photoGPS device at the Photo Marketing Association's Spring 2007 tradeshow. A little over a year and a half later, the product finally reached the market.
The Jobo photoGPS is a hotshoe-mounted device based on a reference design called Kato, which was developed by Dutch company Geotate BV. (Since the photoGPS' debut, Geotate was acquired by Switzerland's u-blox AG in early 2009). As images are captured, the photoGPS stores unprocessed GPS data in its internal memory for later processing. By not processing the GPS data at capture time, the photoGPS device negates the need for warmup time while a GPS fix is obtained, meaning that battery life can be maximized. When the photos are offloaded to a PC, Jobo's photoGPS software uses historical GPS ephemeris and almanac data to determine the capture location for each photograph, and performs a reverse geocoding lookup so that each image can be tagged not only with a latitude and longitude, but with meaningful place names or points of interest.
The original Jobo photoGPS had enough built-in memory to store geotagging information for up to 1,000 images in this manner. The two new models raise this limit significantly, with the photoGPS 2 being able to store info for 2,000 images, and the photoGPS 4 for as many as 4,000 shots. Beyond the memory increase, the new photoGPS models seem to be identical to their predecessor in terms of hardware.
Two further changes relate to the entire photoGPS line, courtesy of updates to the geotagging software bundled with the devices. Jobo states that it is now using additional data sources to more accurately determine location information, especially for images captured in Japan. It has also benefited from an update to the underlying OpenStreetMap service on which photoGPS relies for reverse geocoding, which has improved coverage. According to Jobo, there are now an additional 23% more roads, 42% more municipalities, and 27% more landmarks available for reverse geocoding.
The new photoGPS models should be available at the end of April in Germany, priced at €99 (US$123) for the photoGPS 2, and €129 (US$174) for the photoGPS 4. (US equivalent prices ignore exchange rate fluctuations, taxes and duties.)