JOBO AG has announced the new JOBO photoGPS -- a small and lightweight Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver that fits directly on any digital camera's hot shoe, just as if it were a regular flash unit, without the need for extra cables. This new device allows automatic geo-tagging -- country, city, street -- entered into the image's Exif file.

Each time the camera takes a picture JOBO's photoGPS will capture GPS time and location information and store this in its own internal memory. After the picture is taken photoGPS goes in a deep sleep mode, consuming almost no energy. It is the camera's flash synchronization mechanism that quickly awakens photoGPS. Under normal working conditions GPS data is captured only a few seconds after shutter release. If a second picture is taken within 15 minutes, GPS capture is instantaneous.

JOBO's photoGPS comes with a PC and MAC compatible DVD that contains both the software and the database needed to post-process the information captured by the unit. Post-processing is highly automated: Users download the captured GPS data via the built-in USB interface and enter the directory name of the folder where the corresponding pictures are stored. The user's computer can then compare the EXIF time recorded by the camera and the GPS time recorded by photoGPS. When a match is found, the software updates the Longitude and Latitude EXIF fields. Having Longitude and Latitude coordinates is ideal if a photographer wants to trace a specific photo's location with Google Earth or any comparable program.

The software can also convert the GPS coordinates into more readable and searchable information. For each location the software automatically retrieves: Country name, Region and District, City, Postal code, Street name and the Point Of Interest (POI) which is closest to the captured location. POI can be important tourist attractions, beaches, mountain peaks, frontiers, museums, opera or theatre houses, concert halls, sport stadiums, parks, embassies and so on. Several image browsers exist that can search and sort files according to user selected EXIF fields. So, for example, users can instruct their image browser to retrieve all their photos taken on "Plati Yialos" beach, "Mykonos", "Greece" in 2006, and 3 seconds later all corresponding photos have been located.

photoGPS is expected to be available summer 2007 for a retail price of $149.