On August 2, 2006, Sony (sony.com) announced the launch of a new product that enables its digital camcorders and cameras to plot the location where every image is taken. The external, stand-alone GPS device, called GPS-CS1, is a compact 87 x 36 x 36 mm (about 3.4 x 1.4 x 1.4 inches), weighs only 55 g (2 ounces), and is designed so its center of gravity will keep the GPS antenna pointed skyward whenever possible. The device is easy to use: just have it on when shooting. It will automatically record the geographical coordinates along with a date and time stamp. Later, when you connect your camera to a computer to transfer your photos, simply connect the SPS-CS1 at the same time with the supplied USB cable.

Sony’s Picture Motion Browser software then integrates the information, tagging each image with an exact time and location. You can also make a geographically based photo album with online maps downloaded from a site such as Google Maps. The Japanese version is bundled with the mapping software.

GPS-CS1 can hold up to 31 MB of data. That’s about 12 hours a day of geo-positioning for a month. The device is compatible with all recent models of the Sony Cyber-shot and the DSLR-A100. It will be available in both Europe and Japan in August 2006.