[Matthew] sent us his group’s final project, where they built a nice GPS logging system. Not only can it simply log the GPS coordinates on a predetermined interval, it can also be triggered to make an entry by a wireless device. In this example, they use a camera. This allows them to then upload all the GPS information and pictures to places like Google Earth.
They are using an ATmega644, with an LCD, SD card, and GPS unit. They had to do a little hacking on their camera to add the wireless transmitter, which triggers the logger. You can see not only the cost break down and source code for the project, but also a map with lots of geotagged photos. This is the kind of thing we can almost see as a standard item in the future.
Lifehacker’s [Gina Trapani] has one of Flickr’s photo bikes and wrote up how it works. As you ride, the bike automatically takes photographs, geotags them, and uploads them to Flickr. The handlebar unit contains a Nokia N95 cellphone. The rear is a solar powered charging unit. It has a custom python script that starts the photo taking sequence when it detects the bike is in motion using the phone’s accelerometer.
Most of the engineering seems to be for usability’s sake. We’re guessing they probably wanted to disguise that they’re bolting a $600 cellphone to a bike as well. Out of the box the Nokia N95 already does almost everything required. It has a 5 megapixel camera with an interval timer that can vary from 10 seconds to 30 minutes. It supports Flickr uploading, but with software like ShoZu you can streamline the geotagging and make all uploads automatic. Just build a solid mount for your N95 and you’ve pretty much got it, and when you park your bike you can take the phone with you.