In a double whammy of announcements, Sony has also released details of an innovative new product that hopes to put your photos, quite literally, on the map.

In a double whammy of announcements, Sony has also released details of an innovative new product that hopes to put your photos, quite literally, on the map.

The manufacturer?s new GPS-CS1 GPS unit enables still images shot with latest Cyber-shot digital cameras, Handycam camcorders or the a100 DSLR to be enhanced with satellite-based positional information. Using Sony Picture Motion Browser software, images can be displayed at exactly the place they were taken in an online map.

The GPS-CS1 is a portable GPS (Global Positioning System) unit from Sony that records time and date information along with actual position wherever GPS satellite coverage is available. Using supplied GPS Image Tracker software, this position data can be ?matched? with time and date information corresponding with each JPEG camera image. Enhanced with location data, images can then be viewed using Sony Picture Motion Browser software that includes an online ?Map View? function. Map format and scale are adjustable ? outline or satellite, global or local ? according to user preferences.

The compact recording unit weighs just 55g and measures 87 x 36 x 36mm. A power-efficient design also claims to allow up to 10 hours continuous use with a single, alkaline cell. There is no connection between the user?s Sony camera and the GPS-CS1, which can be placed face-up inside a bag, or attached to the user?s rucksack or belt clip with a supplied attachment. In normal use, the GPS-CS1 records location data every 15 seconds. Positional accuracy varies depending on satellite status, but can be as high as 2m in optimal conditions. When a photo is taken between two log points, the bundled GPS Image Tracker software will estimate actual location based on logs recorded before and after the photo is taken. Similar estimation is used when a photo is taken where no satellite signal available ? such as when briefly underground or indoors.

The GPS-CS1 can hold 31MB of data, equivalent to approximately one month of tracking and recording for 12 hours a day. Recorded data can then be downloaded from the GPS-CS1 via the supplied USB cable to a PC running Sony GPS Image Tracker software.

The GPS-CS1 GPS Unit will be available throughout Europe from the end of August.