Location Synchronization

Location Synch

Plan at home. Synch for the road.

Many photographers enjoy planning their next photo shoot at home, using desktop PCs and larger monitors to carefully research their locations. TPE has always offered a desktop version ideally suited to this task. But in today’s world, its important to be able to carry all that information with you on your mobile devices with the minimum of effort.

Location Synch provides a quick and easy means to keep all your photo locations available across all your devices – desktop, laptop, tablet and mobile.

Plan your locations using the TPE web app on your desktop machine or laptop, then synch them to your phone and tablet for when you’re on the road.

Benefits

  • Make the same locations available across multiple devices
  • Back-up your saved locations to your account in the cloud
  • Avoid the need for manual import/export and management of different versions and duplicates
  • Saved locations include timezone and elevation data for accurate sun/moon data when offline

Availability

  • TPE Desktop Web App
  • TPE 3.2 for iOS

Android support is coming later in the year.

Location Synch on iPhone

How it works

On the Locations page of the Desktop web app, or within the iOS app, sign up for a free Crookneck Photo Apps account. Once signed up, you’ll need to verify your email address by clicking the link in the email we send you.

Then, after signing in to your new account, synchronize your saved locations by clicking the Synchronize button. If you have TPE locations saved across multiple computers or devices, you’ll need to sign in to your account and synchronize from each one.

The first time you synchronize your locations, the locations are associated with your account and a cloud symbol is displayed alongside each location. (A legend at the top of the locations list in the web app indicates the meaning of the different cloud colours.)

When synchronizing, it is important to remember that only the most recently edited copy of a saved location is retained. The time and sequence of synchronizations do not matter: it is the time of the edits that counts. The most recent change always wins.

Example:

  • You have a location, London, synched to both a desktop and laptop
  • You edit the desktop London location at 12:10 by moving the pin and updating the location
  • You edit the laptop London location at 12:20 by adding some notes (the red pin is still at the original location)
  • You synch the laptop
  • You synch the desktop
  • Even though you synched the desktop after the laptop, the synch will retain the laptop version because its edits are the more recent
  • The desktop edits are discarded.

Location Sychronization

FAQ

What is Location Synch?

The new service is called Location Synchronization. To use it, you’ll need to sign up for a free Crookneck Photo Apps account. Location Synch allows you to synchronize your TPE locations across multiple desktops, laptops and from one browser to another.

Location Synch is optional: if you do not want to synchronize your locations, you don’t have to use it.

Why use Location Synch?

After using TPE for a while you may have quite a few saved locations. The new TPE web app saves your locations in your browser’s local storage. Clearing cookies from your cache may delete your saved locations.

After spending time setting and saving your locations, it would be a shame to inadvertently lose them by clearing cookies. We built Location Synch to help you store your locations securely.

What is a Crookneck Photo Apps Account?

Crookneck Consulting LLC is the maker of The Photographer’s Ephemeris and The Photographer’s Transit, planning apps for outdoor photographers. You need an account to use Location Synch, so we can associate your saved locations with you.

We expect to add other features in the future that will use a Crookneck Photo Apps account (which is why we didn’t just call it a ‘location synch account’…).

Setting up a Crookneck Photo Apps user account is the work of moments and means that your saved locations are securely backed up and stored.

Can I delete my account?

Yes. Sign in to your account and click the email address shown next to ‘Signed in as…’. Re-enter your password and click the red Delete my account button to delete your account. Your saved locations and account profile are deleted, but your saved locations are not removed from the local machine.

What does it cost?

Desktop: Nothing. It’s free to sign up to a Crookneck Photo Apps account. Your account allows you to synch up to 1,000 locations for free in the Desktop Web App using Location Synch.

Mobile: a free 90-day trial is available, after which a subscription is available for a small charge.

Why isn’t it free?

In order to provide cross platform support for Desktop, iOS and Android (coming), we had to build our own platform. Apple’s iCloud does not support non-Apple devices. Dropbox recently deprecated their Datastore API.

There are regular monthly costs associated with operating the platform (which we pay to the likes of Heroku, MongoLab, RedisCloud, DNSimple and others). We need to cover these costs, plus the development and maintenance effort, to ensure we can keep this service sustainable.

Why can’t I synch more than 1,000 locations using the free Desktop web app?

There is a monthly cost to providing the service and to storing data. We have a limit of 1000 to avoid unreasonable use of the service that might result in unexpectedly high operating costs or poor performance for other users.

What happens if I have more than 1,000 saved locations?

The 1,000 location limit is increased to 10,000 if you have a subscription to the mobile Location Synch feature.

What happens to my information when I sign up for a Crookneck Photo Apps account?

The account profile information you supply to us is stored in our database. Your password is encrypted and cannot be viewed by us. Locations you synchronize are stored in our database. All communications between your browser and the Location Synchronization Service are encrypted using HTTPS. Please read the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy for more details.

What is the Service Level for Location Synch?

We do not offer any guaranteed service level, such as availability, time to restoration, or response times. However, we have every incentive to provide a reliable service that performs well.

I accidentally cleared my browser cache. How do I retrieve my saved locations?

Just go to the Locations page, log into your Crookneck Photo Apps account and hit Synchronize!

I have the Android version of TPE. Can I synch my locations?

Not quite – we expect to have Location Synch for Android available later in the year.

A note on Locations: Cleaning vs Deleting

Clean saved locations

This orange button can be found in the Settings page in the TPE web app beta.

Clean saved locations removes all saved locations from the local machine, but any synchronized locations remain safe in your account.

This function also resets (clears) the record of the time you last synchronized and therefore allows for a clean re-sync.

Use case example:

  • You have 43 saved locations that have been previously synched to your account
  • You import a KML file with 200 locations that you decide you don’t want
  • Rather than going down the list deleting individual locations, you use Clean saved locations to delete all locations from the local machine
  • Clicking the synchronize button now re-synchronizes your account: the 43 saved locations are restored to your browser.

Delete saved locations

This red button can be found in the settings menu in the TPE web app.

BEWARE! After clicking this, all saved locations are deleted from your local machine and when you next synchronize, are also removed from your Crookneck Photo Apps Account.

Use case example:

  • You have locations for a completed project synchronized on both desktop and laptop
  • You Delete saved locations on the desktop and click synchronize
  • All locations are deleted from the desktop and from your account
  • You synchronize the laptop: all locations are deleted from the laptop

Remember to regularly back up your locations as KML files: export your locations as a KML file and save it somewhere safe. If you accidentally delete locations from your machine and your account you can import the KML files to restore them and re-synch to your account.