Review: AMOD AGL3080 GPS Data Logger

I have to confess – I love that sites like Flickr and programs like iPhoto allow me to preserve the locations where photos were taken (aka geotagging).

I had been using several hacks to geotag photos in iPhoto because my Nikon doesn't support GPS locations. But… the days of sniffing the dirt are over.

Say hello to my little friend: the AMOD AGL3080 GPS Data Logger.

I picked up the AMOD AGL3080 GPS Data Logger on the recommendation of several folks on Flickr. I got mine on Amazon because they offered the best price. (And you know how I feel about Amazon's free shipping!)

To export the GPS files, simply plug the AMOD AGL3080 GPS Data Logger into your Mac or PC. The device shows up as a USB drive – just like a thumb drive or similar USB storage.

The AMOD logs position, altitude, heading, speed, and acquired satellites, as well as hdop & vdop, as frequently as the user specifies and saves it to its 128mb of flash memory. There are six configurable data settings and refresh rates, ranging from once per second all the way to once every ten seconds. A unique log file is created every time you restart the AMOD, so it's pretty simple to keep track of your log files in Finder/Windows Explorer (the log files encode the date in the file name).

One "hidden" feature is that you download updates to the AMOD's firmware. This doesn't impact the unit day-by-day, but it does mean that users aren't "locked in" to one feature set. Hypothetically speaking, additional functionality can be added to the unit via software updates.

The AMOD runs on three AAA batteries, but does *not* recharge via the USB. Personally, I could care less if it recharges via USB because I prefer to use my Eneloop AAA rechargeable batteries or buy batteries off the shelf as needed.

Important note – the AMOD does *not* lose data when you remove/replace batteries. Once data is written to the flash, it is there until you delete it, just like any USB drive.

If you're using it for hiking, geocaching, etc, there's a waypoint button on the side of unit, making it easy for you to instantly tag a location.

Favorite Features

  • AAA batteries – Lasts 30+ hours on one charge with my Eneloop AAA rechargeable batteries
  • Works like a USB drive – totally compatible on Windows, Mac, Linux
  • Configurable refresh & detail – easily change the frequency & quantity of data written to the log file
  • SiRF III – extremely accurate logging, at least as accurate as my Garmin

Depending on how I am going to use the data, I either use GPS Babel (free) to convert the file into whatever format I need – for example, Google Keyhole format for Google Maps/Google Earth.

Side note: GPS Babel (free) is the ultimate rosetta stone for dealing with GPS formats. Check it out regardless of what hardware you're using.

Or, if I'm going to use the AMOD to geotag photos from my Nikon camera for iPhoto 09, I have a complete geotagging workflow I use that utilizes HoudahGeo.

Others have suggested combining GPS Babel with GPS Photolinker (free – Mac) to geotag photos. This method works well, too, but I prefer my HoudahGeo workflow for geotagging with the AMOD because HoudahGeo is much more tightly integrated to iPhoto and Aperture.

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2 thoughts on “Review: AMOD AGL3080 GPS Data Logger”

  1. Great writeup!! Looks like a very versatile device with many uses! Thanks for the free shipping reminder.

  2. this device is really the one who are considering to buy a photo tracker as well. I bought mine at bedoxinc.com . They offer a free mount with this unit.

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