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apple iPhone mapping Photography smartphone

Earthscape Errors

Daliesque MacBook Pro

Daliesque MacBook Pro

 

I have been playing with earthscape for a while now and I still think it is pretty cool app, but needs some work, and a couple of days ago I talked about these errors, but didn’t have any details. Well I made a trip up to DC and had some issues with the accuracy, as well as some in the office this morning…

Here is an example of a picture that is right on, standing still in a Starbucks parking lot…

This picture was taken real close to the location on the map, but not uploaded for a while (Maybe an hour), because of crappy coverage, I had several EDGE bars, but data was not moving to the earthscape servers.

Sitting at a signal light 4 3G bars of coverage, I get this

Here is an example of the moving vehicle issue. This picture was taken while going over the Rappahannock river, but the earthscape app puts me a mile down the road…

Then we have this picture which was taken about 30 feet from this picture and neither are correct.

This picture and this picture were taken at the exact same place, yet are miles apart.

It seems to me that unlike the way the iPhone Camera app works by GPS tagging the picture when it is taken, the earthscape app doesn’t do that and as far as I can tell the picture isn’t GPS tagged until the “Use Photo” button is pushed. The question is then why doesn’t earthscape tag the picture as soon as it is taken, because they don’t I checked, unless they decided to .

Just to clarify I do understand how GPS works, and limitations when under cover etc…, but the same device in the same environment should have the same error regardless of application.

4 replies on “Earthscape Errors”

Hi!

I’ve seen your photos, but just discovered your blog — glad to have found it. Your observations are entirely correct, and consistent with my own as well. The source of the location errors you’ve seen basically boil down to a couple of factors:

1) The Apple provided interface for 3rd part apps doesn’t give developers quite as much control over it’s behavior as we might like, and

2) We introduced a much longer delay between taking a photo and recording it’s position than we should have into the program.

The former effects all programs, and is what it is. The latter, however, is something we can (and have) fixed — in the next version of our software (should hit the App Store in a couple of weeks or less) you will find the delay to be much (much) shorter. In case you are curious, in version 1.2 of Earthscape we reduced the size of the image in order to make photo uploads faster — but this extra process slowed down our capturing the location, which in a moving vehicle could wind up placing it at some distance away from where the photo was taken.

Best Wishes,

–Tom Churchill
CEO, Earthscape

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