Nikon Coolpix P6000 GPS Accuracy

I’m normally very lazy about checking the accuracy of the geotags my camera puts into the images. Normally when I look the positions are very accurate.

Lightroom recognises pictures with geotags and provides a handy link to Google Maps so you can look for yourself.

However, sometimes it is way out. In the screenshot below I have thumbnails of two pictures that the camera geotagged automatically.

PicasaWeb Map GPS Test 2009-09-28

The thumbnail of the blue car is very accurately positioned. I was standing on the walkway between Asok Skytrain Station and Sukhumvit Subway Station.

However, the cream Land Rover is about 400m out. I took that picture a few minutes before standing on the walkway connecting Asok Skytrain Station to Exchange Tower. The GPS showed my position as outside the Asok Montri exit from the subway.

I’m sure the roof over the walkway affected the GPS accuracy. Nikon warn users about this in the camera’s manual:

GPS satellites may have a margin of error of several hundred metres depending on the positioning environment.

(Nikon Coolpix P6000 User’s Manual, English, page 62.)

I accept that. Central Bangkok is a very bad environment for a GPS receiver. What I would like to see is some warning in the recorded metadata that the fix may be innaccurate, or maybe better a margin of error. Plotting on a map like this gives users a spurious feeling of accuracy.

I wonder if there have been any court cases where GPS information was used to ‘prove’ that someone was or was not in a certain place at a certain time.

Of course it is also trivial to alter GPS data in the EXIF but unsophisticated judges or juries may not know this. Just like my ‘It’s on Auto!’ tourist – if the computer says so, it must be true.

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3 Responses to “Nikon Coolpix P6000 GPS Accuracy”

  1. Toucanzoo Says:

    I love geo tagging, I do not have a GPS unit for my camera.

    I would love to get one soon. it doubles up as a wireless receiver on the 40D.

  2. Nelso Blog: Testing the GPS in the Nikon Coolpix P6000. Verdict: Good enough « Bkkphotographer's Blog Says:

    […] This is an interesting blog from Prague on the Nikon Coolpix P6000’s GPS accuracy. I wrote about my experiences here. […]

  3. I Can Walk on Water « Bkkphotographer's Blog Says:

    […] I was out in the open (under a hot sun) on a clear day the Nikon Coolpix P6000 had a fairly large GPS error that in this screen shot made it look like I walked into the river. Of course I was on the pier to […]

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