Olathe, Kan. —Garmin announced its first outdoor handheld GPS devices with built-in cameras so users can geotag a spot by photographing it.
The new Oregon 550 and Oregon 550t touchscreen handheld GPS devices each incorporates a 3.2-megapixel
camera and are the company’s first outdoor GPS units with three-axis compasses that can determine direction even when the user is still and when the device is not level.
The company said the geotagging feature lets you “take a picture of a nice patch of scenery and then it automatically marks the latitude and longitude of where that photo was taken.” Users can then navigate back to the spot by tapping on the photo or, when the device is connected to a PC, they can see that location in relation to a map.
The 500 and 550t have 3-inch color touchscreens, now brighter than Garmin’s previous outdoor models. Both are waterproof with 850MB of internal storage. The 550t adds preloaded 100K topography maps for the entire United States with 3-D elevation perspective. The units weigh 6.8 ounces, and come with AA NiMH batteries for up to 16 hours of life on a single charge. The batteries do not lose energy when not in use.
Maps may be added to convert the units into car navigation models with turn by turn directions (without the voice cues) or to marine navigation units. Accessories are also available for car and bike mounting and use with a heart monitor.
The devices ship in July at $559 for the Oregon 550t and $499 for the Oregon 550 that is preloaded with a worldwide base map in shaded relief.