Tag Archives: Motorola Droid

Motorola Droid: Verizon Data Roaming

by Chris Guld

We use our Droid cell phones for Internet browsing, email, Facebook, Google Earth, and many other data applications.  We *Love* it!  So we were quite distressed this summer when, in Bowling Green Kentucky, they did not work.  Voice service was fine, but there was simply NO data service.

Kentucky is not a Verizon State

We called Verizon and were told, very apologetically that, indeed there was no data service in Bowling Green, Kentucky (and much of Kentucky.)  Luckily there was Wi-Fi in the RV park where we stayed.

From Bowling Green, we went on to Cave City and had the same experience.  In conversations we heard that “Kentucky is not a Verizon state!”

But wait!  We met people who had Verizon data cards and they were online just fine.  What the …?

We soon moved on from southern Kentucky, and our data service returned to normal thru most of our travels this summer, but that discrepancy kept haunting me.  If data cards could get service, there’s *got* to be a setting somewhere on the Droid to allow access to data service.

Data Roaming Setting worked in Washington

The next time we experienced the lack of 3G connection was in Mary Hill, Washington.  I talked to someone else in the campground who was using a Verizon Mi-Fi very happily, yet I had no Internet connection on my Droid.  I hunted thru all the settings until I happened upon the ‘Data Roaming’ setting.  Oh – that sounds promising!


Turning it on produced a scary “You may incur significant roaming charges” message.  But I tried it anyway, deciding I would quickly turn it off and check my bill at the end of the month to see if there were charges.  It worked!  I was browsing the web, checking email and posting to Facebook.  I turned off Data Roaming, and was back to no 3G service.

I didn’t use Data Roaming again for the rest of the month.  My bill showed no extra charges.  I researched the issue and found discussions that the data cards have the Data Roaming setting always On.  All comments I read indicated that roaming charges will only apply if you’re not in the United States.

Data Roaming Setting worked in Kentucky

I still couldn’t be sure this was the answer to our Bowling Green issue unless I could test it.  So, I was thrilled when our route took us thru Bowling Green again yesterday.  Sure enough, No 3G service turned into full 3G service by turning on the Data Roaming feature.

Here’s a video showing you how:


Automatically Geotag Pictures with Droid

by Chris Guld, www.GeeksOnTour.com

First, just what is geotagging?  It’s attaching the latitude and longitude coordinates to a picture, a .jpg file, so it can be placed on a map in the location where it was taken.  When a photo is geotagged, these coordinates are part of the ‘metadata’ embedded in the file itself, just like the date and time where it was taken.

Picasa displays Geotagged pictures in ‘Places’

In the screenshot of Picasa below, you can tell which pictures have been geotagged by the little red balloon icon in the lower right of the picture.  If you open up the ‘Places’ pane, you will see the markers on the map.  Click on a marker, and you’ll see the picture.


We all take for granted that the date and time of a photo is stored with the photo.  Someday (soon) we will also take for granted that the place of a photo is also automatically stored with the picture.


Manual Geotagging

In previous articles I’ve written about how you can manually geotag a photo. They’ve, made it pretty easy, but it’s still something that takes a bit of time and thought.  For me, I’m just too lazy to make the effort.  But, if it can be done automatically, now that’s a different story!  I’d love to be able to see all my travel pictures pinned to the spot on the map where they were taken.  And now I can, as long as I take the picture with my Droid cell phone.

How Droid does Geotagging

I have the Motorola Droid cellphone from Verizon.  Other devices have this capability, but Droid is what I know.  You see, in addition to being a phone, and a camera, the Droid is also a GPS receiver.  It knows exactly where it is, so it can stamp the pictures taken with that information if you turn the setting on.

You’ll find the setting on the camera app.  Touch the menu option: image then ‘Settings’ and finally ‘Store Location’ and touch ‘Yes.’  From now on, when you take a picture with the Droid, it will include the location.  When you import that onto your computer and view it with Picasa, you will see the little red balloon and, if you open the Places pane, you’ll see the picture in place.  Here’s a little video:

I’ve even been known to snap a photo at a location when I’m not really taking it for the picture, I’m just taking it for the location.  I can later use that picture on the map to navigate back to the same spot.

Other methods to Auto-Geotag

The Droid isn’t the only device that will auto-geotag photos.  Other cell phone/cameras have a similar capability and you can also buy SD cards to Geotag. If you use any of these methods, please leave a comment and tell us about it.