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Qstarz BT-Q1000P Platinum Travel Recorder - GPS Reciever, Geotagger & GPS Track Log - First Impressions And Video Review

This Tiny Gadget Can Turn Your Phone Or Pocket PC Into A GPS Sat Nav - And Create GPS Track Logs To Geotag Your Photos And Use In Google Earth!

Travel Recorder With CameraThis is a piece of kit that should be in every Photographers bag, finally we have a reliable and simple way to Geotag our photographs, that is, insert the lat / long of where the picture was taken, into the Exif Data of the jpeg.

With this gadget we can also easily create a track log, then make a .kmz file, which means that you can share your photos in Google Earth - email the file to your friends and they can follow your trip and see your photos along the way. The Qstarz BT-Q1000P Travel Recorder is brilliant.

Let's take a step back. What is the BT-Q1000P? It's a rechargeable, Bluetooth GPS receiver capable of logging up to 200,000 records, and running for up to 32 hours on one charge. You can pair the Travel Recorder with your Bluetooth enabled Phone, Pocket PC or Laptop to turn it into a GPS Sat Nav with the appropriate software. You can download the GPS log with the supplied lead and Geotag your Photos for use in Picasa Online, Flickr, or any of the other Photo Sharing Sites that recognise Geotag's in Exif data. You can view your track, and photos, in Google Earth locally on your own PC. You can create a KMZ file which then can be emailed to friends and family, or posted on websites, and they view it on their PC's in Google Earth, complete with Track, Pictures and Comments. You can upload Geotagged images directly to Flickr with the supplied software.


I tell you what; why not just watch the video:

To download and view the kmz file I created in the video, click here, (you'll need to get Google Earth. it's free, if you haven't already).

What I really, really like about the Qstarz VT-Q1000P Platinum Travel Recorder is how small it is, how accurate and sensitive it is, and how easy the software is to use. The only thing you have to do with your camera is make sure you've set the clock to accurate local time - then tell the software which time-zone you're in, and everything, so far, has worked seamlessly and without a hitch.

When you first get the device, charge it up using the supplied mains charger, install the Software, then attach it to your PC with the included mini-usb lead. Qstarz provide two versions of their software, 3 and 4, I've just used the more user friendly version 4, but ver. 3 has a few more complicated options. (I don't think they refer to version 4 in the paper manual, but it's on the disc, complete with instructions).

Once connected you can customise how you want the GPS device to log your track - every 10 seconds, minute, or perhaps by distance. The easiest thing is to simply select the presets for walking, jogging in car driving. Disconnect the unit, and you're ready to go.

The GPS receiver is very sensitive - I was getting a reading inside my house, on the ground floor, so when out and about you can do what I do, which is just keep it in my coat pocket, safe and waterproof. Qstarz supply a rather nifty pouch to protect the unit, and this has a belt loop and a karabiner clip on it. For car use the unit could just sit on the dashboard, on the underside it has a non-slip pad.

Anyway, out and about taking photographs you forget the Travel Recorder is in your pocket, it's so light. As I said before you could pair it up with a Mobile Phone or Pocket PC and the right Software to have a GPS Satellite Navigator - and the unit would still create the GPS track log.

Once you've got home, just upload you Pictures to your PC as you normally would, edit them if you want (but if you're using Photoshop or another image editing tool, don't "Save For Web", it will strip the Exif data out that we need), then fire up the Travel Recorder Software. Attach the Travel Recorder and download the log. You can then add the file where your pictures are located. The software will then compare the time when the photo's were taken, with the time of the positions in the log, then place your pics on the map. You can then click to Geotag them, and upload them straight to Flickr. You can also click to view them and the track in Google Earth.

The best bit is creating .KMZ files. This is a record of your track with your pictures embedded in, so you can email it to people or post it on websites. You can customise the file with notes and choose the size of the pictures, which will obviously affect the final file size. A kmz file with about 10 large (600 pixels wide) pics will be about 2.5 mb, which is great, but you can get it a lot smaller if you reduce the sixe of the pictures. (This is an option in the software.)

It's also great to see a manufacturer including everything you need in the box - pouch, car lead, home charger, mini usb, instructions and software. The only extra you might want is some GPS software for your phone, laptop or Pocket PC.

What more can I say? It costs about £80 in the UK , and $100 in the States, it does what it should and does it well. Recommended!

You can buy the BTQ-1000P in the UK from SuperGPS.co.uk - 70.50 (March '08)

Comments / Questions:

What program are you using before Google Earth and where can I get it (I own the bt-q1000). Also, when I pull up my tracks on Google Earth, I have 1000\'s of \"pins\" marking the path and cannot find the places where I hit the button to mark a spot without much work. How would I go about correcting this? Thanks!

You can download it from the Qstarz site, but you'll need the serial number that came with your original disc. Sounds like one of the settings to me, but I'm not sure.

Two questions:-
1) I have a Pentax K10D SLR on which I take photos in DNG Raw mode. Would I be able to fix locations on Google Earth after I have fixed the photos in Photoshop and converted to JPEG?
 2) I use a Mac. Is the software/hardware "Mac compatable"? Chris.

1) As long as the exif data is kept intact - so don't "save for web".

2) No, not Mac compatible, so the above is a moot point anyway.

I bought one on Ebay after reading this test and I must say that this is just what i needed. Unfortunately I got it after I made my Europe trip on my motorcycle this summer. I have always had a problem remembering what routs that I have taken but no more. The reception of the device is outstanding, I have had it in my inner pocket in my leather suit and laying inside the top box that I have mounted om my motorcycle.
My only problem is that I can't get it to work with my Asus EeePC under linux.

Thanks for a great review
Mikael (Sweden).


I can see settings for driving, biking and jogging. Are there recommended settings for walking? I have the BT-Q1000. Saki.

I use the jogging setting, but you could use a custom setting, for example to log every 10 seconds or 2 metres.

Great review and good to see a vid.

I'm considering this but wondering if this can be used for longer periods away from a PC.  I'm going to be on holiday travelling for around 14 days without access to a PC - can I do like you've done in your vid but for a longer period of time? Martyn.

As long as you remember to turn it off between photo sessions.

Well, I'm impressed with the Qstarz hardware, but so far I'm not impressed with the software. I've both versions 4.1 and 4.2 of the Qstarz PC Utility, and note the following problems:

(1) neither version works properly with uploading to Flickr (I get a "Server no response" error message). Other utilities that I use that make use of the Flickr API are working correctly, so the fault is with the Qstarz software.

(2) Writing back the GPS information to JPEG image files corrupts the EXIF data of those files. I'm using a Canon 450D, and the EXIF fields for "image type", "Firmware version" and "Camera owner" get filled with gibberish. Until these problems are fixed, I don't think I'll touch Qstarz's software to do these operations with the proverbial ten foot bargepole. Since I am forced to use the software to talk to the device (it doesn't appear in Windows as a mass storage device unlike some other makes of tracker), the only thing I will use it for is to download tracks in GPX format and use other software for the rest of the workflow. I've reported the problems to Qstarz - I'll wait to see if they get fixed... Geoff.

I haven't had those problems at all - but please get back to me when Qstarz respond.

I'm wanting to use a gps device to record altitudes at a rate of about 1 second automatically. Can you tell me if the Qstarz BT-Q1000P will meet my requirements? Peter.

I've checked the setup software, and you can change the log interval, but it's really geared towards distance, not height, so it may be worth connecting qstarz to clarify.

Is it possible to purchase the software CD program seperate as I already have a iTrek Z1 data logger bluetooth navigation receiver that uses the same receiver. What is the name of this software, and is it sold by itself? Gary.

You can get the software here. It may not work though, in the manual it says its locked to the Qstarz product.

This is definitely a very impressive data logger.
Much easier than I expected to draw my own traveling path. Handy to arrange the photos too.
It's chic, compact and portable. Totally love it! Candy.

It is a great little device. Do you have one or are you thinking about buying?

I got one already!! going to carry it with me in the coming Thailand trip. Candy.

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