GPS Unit with a 'Clicker'?

I did search the forum for answers and found a lot fo useful info but unfortunately not the answer I’m looking for. My question is: Do you have any info on a standalone GPS unit on which one can ‘click’ to log a specific location?

I use a lot of different cameras and running location on my phone absolutely chews the battery. With several days at a time out there I cannot afford to run even the net on my phone most of the time, nevermind location. All I want is a unit, as simple as possible, with a decent battery life that records coordinates each time I click a button and can later be checked on my laptop to line up coords with photos. It seems so simple but I’m finding it impossible to search for online. MAybe I’m using the wrong terms?

Bonus points if it also has an option to occasionally ping an online server with stored locations.

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I think all GPS devices can take coordinates or set a point at a specific location. However, I recommend the following solution. You need to log your track in a GPX format file. I think all GPS devices are able to do this (anyway, I am using GPSmap 66sr). Synchronize the time on your GPS and your camera. Log your full track using your GPS - batteries used to be strong enough for at least a few days. When home, download the GPX file and your photos to your computer. Then, add the coordinates from the GPX file to your photos based on the time-stamps of the track and the photos. I am using Photomapper ( to do this but probably there are alternatives. It is like one-click to take the coordinates from the GPX to all of your photos. That’s it.


I also use a 66sr, but I’m sure this would apply to most Garmin handheld GPS units. You can record coordinates with decent accuracy with two button clicks (“mark” and “enter”). The GPS automatically names the coordinates for you. You can set up your own naming scheme, so you could easily match up the names to the observations you want (though I might recommend keeping a log book of your coord/observation numbers or just taking a picture of the point number after each observation to make sure they match up).


I agree that this is the best approach because you don’t have to do anything WHILE you are taking photos. Just turn it on, forget about it while taking photos, then sync later.

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Thank you all very much! This handily answers my question and then some :)

Probably using any GPS tracker to record the track and then synchronizing it with the photos by time is the easiest way to do this.

I am using a rather old Garmin GPSmap 64st. The device is simply fixed on my clothing and records coordinates every 10 seconds. It is possible to set a higher frequency, but I think that is enough. Then I just copy the GPX file from the device with the track and photos from the camera. In ExifToolGui ( I import the coordinates of the nearest track point in the metadata of each photo ([open folder, select photos] → Import/Export → Import GPS data from → Log files (select GPX file) → Execute). If the time set in the camera differs from the time in the navigator, it is necessary to set the time shift of the photo (Modify → DateTime shift) or time zone (TimeZone offset in the import window). After that, the coordinates will be written in the exif-tags of each photo (if it is taken within the track). To avoid an accidental error, I usually take a photo of the time on the navigator screen by the camera at the beginning of the day (yes, I’m a bit paranoid :grinning:).

After that, the photos are ready for uploading to the site - the coordinates will be taken automatically from the metadata.

Of course, there are other ways to both record a track and synchronize a photo. But I’ve been using this method for more than 10 years. At least it allows you to not think much about recording coordinates in the field.


Garmin software like BaseCamp has the feature built-in, if you’re wary about third-party solutions.

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Yes, of course I know about Basecamp. I was just talking about my experience. IMO, exiftool is a simpler, faster and more flexible solution. And it is well known open source software (basically just a set of Perl scripts with or without graphical shell options). But anyway, the choice of tools is a matter of personal preference and habits.

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