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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Second Look Part II: Eye-Fi Explore Video 4GB - Wireless and Geotagging

After I posted my update on the Eye-Fi Explore Video 4GB over the weekend, I was able to get in contact with the folks at Eye-Fi and work more closely with them on the main issue I experienced (link here) with the uploading of the files.

First off, would like to start by saying that the root cause had nothing to do with my suspicion that rolling over the "rolls" of pictures were contributing to the lack of geotags on a number of pictures.

After working with Eye-Fi, it was purely coincidental that it seemed to align with the upload time spanning over the days. After looking through the upload log, it was clearly not the case -- the tagging was working exactly as expected.

And while my uploads spanned over the end of the day it was not until 12:31am that the pictures started showing geotags, as shown in the partial log below.

10303337 IMG_3613.JPG 2009-05-27 00:28:42 2009-05-27 00:29:25 NULL NULL NULL
10303342 IMG_3614.JPG 2009-05-27 00:29:14 2009-05-27 00:30:16 NULL NULL NULL
10303353 IMG_3615.JPG 2009-05-27 00:29:54 2009-05-27 00:30:43 NULL NULL NULL
10303360 IMG_3616.JPG 2009-05-27 00:30:35 2009-05-27 00:31:04 NULL NULL NULL
10303363 IMG_3617.JPG 2009-05-27 00:30:54 2009-05-27 00:31:40 38.8970299 -77.0253372 Washington
10303369 IMG_3618.JPG 2009-05-27 00:31:30 2009-05-27 00:32:17 38.8970299 -77.0253372 Washington
10303374 IMG_3619.JPG 2009-05-27 00:32:06 2009-05-27 00:32:41 38.8973389 -77.0251160 Washington
10303380 IMG_3620.JPG 2009-05-27 00:32:31 2009-05-27 00:33:12 38.8973389 -77.0251160 Washington
10303388 IMG_3621.JPG 2009-05-27 00:33:01 2009-05-27 00:33:36 38.8973503 -77.0250702 Washington
10303397 IMG_3622.JPG 2009-05-27 00:33:28 2009-05-27 00:34:17 38.8973465 -77.0250854 Washington
10303407 IMG_3623.JPG 2009-05-27 00:34:02 2009-05-27 00:34:38 38.8973465 -77.0250854 Washington

This is good news on a couple of fronts...first, I really appreciate the effort in getting the by the team at Eye-Fi in digging into the details and answering my questions. The second piece of good news is that there was not any bugs in the system and all was working fine.

But, as I mentioned in my conversations with Eye-Fi, it's a mixed blessing to find both of those things. I still logically cannot explain why pictures taken from the same location on different days did not acquire a WiFi signal and why there the first 150 or so pictures did not pick any up and then it started working for the rest of them. Despite my inability to explain, in may be entirely coincidental and the fact remains that the data is the data and you cannot argue with facts. Maybe it had to do with the Lincoln house where it first started picking up signals. :-)

The bottom line is that my Eye-Fi Explore card was not in the range of a WiFi signal when those pictures were taken regardless of the reason and thus the pictures themselves could not be tagged. Something that cannot be blamed of course on the Eye-Fi card, but could have to do with a number of factors.

That's always the case, even if Skyhook Wireless shows great coverage for the area, like the below shot. No wireless connectivity, means no geotagging.

Skyhook Wireless Coverage at the Washington Monument in Washington, DC:
Skyhook Wireless Coverage for Washinton, DC

Which brings me to the expectations I have for the card. I was expecting given the general downtown nature of my visit to Washington, DC -- with the exception of the Arlington National Cemetery -- that the majority of my pictures would end of with tags. Since that was not the case, I need to do some more testing on additional trips to see what occurs.

The good news is that I have upcoming weekends in San Francisco, followed by Las Vegas. We'll see what percentage of geotagging success I see there so I can update my experiences. Hopefully, Washington, DC was just an aberration.