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GPSPano2VRRicoh Theta VRicoh Theta Z1

Theta Z1, the same bug with GPS precision?9806

Wingman private msg quote post Address this user
I was hopping Ricoh would learn their lesson with their previous models and nail all the problems with GPS data recorded into panoramas but it seems they have done nothing to fix it.

I got Z1 delivered this morning and the first thing I wanted to check if panoramas taken with it have the same precision with location as it is coming from the phone it's connected to.

I wanted to know it because it is a huge pain with their V model. Unfortunately nothing seems to be changed.

I have taken 5 panoramas over a 15 meters long path. When I put them on a map using Pano2VR all 5 are placed into one spot mounting on top of each other. The spot where they have been placed on a map is about 7 meters away from the first panorama spot.
That's kind of ok, GPS can have that error but it does not explain why the other 4 come with exactly the same location recorded as the first one.

May be I am wrong blaming both Theta V and Z1 for the same problem with GPS precision. There are some complaints on the Internet about this problem in their V model but it is just few. Considering they have probably sold V in 1000s if not 10000s numbers people should have gone viral about it and there should be a lot of complaints.

From the other hand it is very unlikely for me to be so lucky and get both models as faulty originally.

I cannot blame my phone, GPS in it works just fine and I do not think it is a problem with Pano2VR, otherwise people with different cameras would have exactly the same problem.

Not sure what to do now. I have a small setup with RTK that I have built for location precision measured in cm but it requires logging my location data and applying it to panoramas later.

I like the quality of panoramas coming from z1 but imagine doing 100-300-500 panos and then spending hours placing them on a map correctly.

Can anyone with both V and Z1 share their experience with location recorded wrong/right?

Both my cameras have the latest firmware installed.
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Wingman private msg quote post Address this user
Since both V and Z1 are using the same Ricoh app for capture I think this problem is most likely coming from the app, not for a camera. That explains why Z1 comes with exactly the same problem as their V model.

Using Street View app removes the problem but I cannot make Street View app to work with Theta Time shifting plugin and it is just no so cool to use it without this great plugin.

Does anybody know any third party app that can work with Theta cameras and using their plugins?
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leonherbert private msg quote post Address this user
@Wingman The theta does not have built in gps, it uses location information from where your phone is located at the time the photograph was taken.

It is not possible to get a GPS fix from the camera. It stores the location of the phone connected to the camera at the time the photo is taken. Were you hiding behind the same object for all 5 shots with the phone? Also if you do not have an accurate fix from your phone at the time of taking the photographs the gps coordinates will be less precise and will land on top of each other.
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Wingman private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by leonherbert
@Wingman The theta does not have built in gps, it uses location information from where your phone is located at the time the photograph was taken.

It is not possible to get a GPS fix from the camera. It stores the location of the phone connected to the camera at the time the photo is taken.



Thanks, I am aware that both V and Z1 do not have GPS on board and take location from a phone built in GPS.

Quote:
Originally Posted by leonherbert
Were you hiding behind the same object for all 5 shots with the phone?


For the yesterday test I was not hiding at all. I was standing next to my camera.

If I do a real tour for a client/community I use Ricoh Time Shifting plugin that allows to set a delay between the front lens shot and the back lens shot. So it gives me an opportunity to stay at the back while the front lens is capturing and move to the front for the back lens shot.

I created a topic about it a few days ago at
https://forum.we-get-around.com/topic/9631/page/1/theta-vand-z1-fantastic-plugin-saves-you-time--takes-you-out-of-a-pano/#10

Quote:
Originally Posted by leonherbert

Also if you do not have an accurate fix from your phone at the time of taking the photographs the gps coordinates will be less precise and will land on top of each other.


That may be a reason but it does not explain why Street View app does not have this problem while its connected to V or Z1. It records a correct location in each pano coming from V or Z1.

I tried it with StreetView app yesterday on the same path and almost at the same time. All panos captured through StreetView app have come with a correct location.

I would not mind using StreetView app but it does not care about Time Shifting plugin set to ON.


With StreetView app I am getting the right location recorded but I am losing that great plugin feature that allows me to take panoramas without hiding.


Just based on all these experiments and considering that both my V and Z1 come with the same problem I can say for sure that it is a problem with Theta app. It seems location data is stored in a wrong variable type and it cannot save all decimal numbers of a location so it is rounding them.

It is possible that all Ricoh needs to do is to change a variable type. Yesterday I sent them a request to check it but I do not believe they are going to jump on it and do it. It is very unlikely I am the first user to report it.
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leonherbert private msg quote post Address this user
@Wingman the only suggestion is to ask Ricoh to attach the coordinates from the first image to the merged image.

Does the theta store both the individual images as well? Is it an option. If so you can check the accuracy of the individual image. You can attach those coordinates to the merged image. There is software that can allow you to strip the gps coordinates from images, I can't recall what it is, it is a script that you run. I think the Insta360 pro website mentions it.

I would ask for a software update of theta in a nice way, telling the wonderful virtues of being able to create google street view tours using the time lapse app.
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