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Geotags for iPhone is a good start

Mel Martin

Geotags [App Store link] is a free map-based application for the iPhone. Its purpose is to keep a geographic diary of sorts, letting you mark maps with tagged information you'll want to explore again.

You can geotag your car so you can find it again, or a favorite hunting location, or a cave. I tested the app by recording some favorite spots in a nearby state park that were good photographic locations.

It's a bit like Places in iPhoto, but it is portable. You can add photos to geotags, or an audio clip (2 minutes max recording time for each clip) that describes it, and of course some written notes.

Once you have built up a database of tags, it can all be exported to Google Earth for sharing with friends, or just to use yourself.

I found the app is a really good start, but it feels more like a beta than a finished, polished program.

The icons chosen for different functions are a bit arcane, and this is not an app you can use as soon as you download it. Expect to spend some time in the help file, which, happily, is built in. Geotags uses Google maps for data, and it pulls the maps into the Geotags interface.

There doesn't seem any way to sync the tags to your computer, so if you lose the iPhone, or buy a new one, you have to start again. I don't think this is a limitation of the Apple SDK, and it would be a good idea for the developers to support standard sync through iTunes. If you really start using this app, losing everything would be pretty dreadful. Update note: Our astute readers say while there are kludges, there is no easy way within the SDK to sync the data.

I don't like to complain too much about Geotags, because it is free and pretty much works as advertised. On the other hand, it seems a few versions short of a really useful product. The concept of the wheel interface, with icons that are hard to understand, needs a thorough revising. I also noticed that the maps and features were constantly refreshing, which can really get old fast. It stops the app dead while that is going on, and frankly, I don't know why it is constantly doing it.

There isn't too much on the market exactly like this program, so give it a try at no cost, and hang around for some updates. The developers have improved the application since it was released late in December and they seem open to suggestions in their community forums.

With a little cleaning up, especially of the visual aspects, I think Geotags will eventually be a winner. I found some good uses for it the first day out, and I think many others will too.

Here are some screen shots:

Gallery: Geotags Screen shots | 3 Photos

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