Ricoh America has announced the availability of the SE-3 GPS Compass module for its 500SE GPS camera.
The SE-3 module provides position and direction, or azimuth, information on the LCD screen and embeds this data into images as they are captured.
The information is used by mapping applications such as Google Earth and ArcGIS to create points where the images were captured and 'cones-of-view' that indicate the direction the camera was facing.
"As the pioneer in the field of geo-imaging, Ricoh understands that image direction is a key part of many geographic information system workflows," said Jeff Lengyel, national manager for Ricoh America's Digital Camera Division.
"Prior to the availability of the SE-3 module, images from the 500SE were simply points on a map with no indication of the direction the camera was facing.
"Now we can provide an accurate visual reference of an image's azimuth as well as the field-of-view the camera could see from that position."
The SE3 module uses a three-axis compass developed by Honeywell and a precision SiRF III GPS chipset from GlobalSat.
A device fitted with the SE-3 can also receive distance information from Bluetooth-enabled laser rangefinders.
When these images are processed in mapping applications with Geospatial Expert's PhotoLink, the cone-of-view extends to the target object.
A number of industries, ranging from the military to disaster response to forestry and oil and gas, currently use the 500SE for aerial and ground-based photography.
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