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Best App for planning surveys with all the features
4781 11 2017-7-26
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Peterc90
lvl.1
Australia
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Hello From AUS we are looking into which app we wish to use for survey planning etc.  We will be using Pix4d for processing the images and outputs. We are running ios. Running Phantom 4 Pro and mavic Pro ( smaller surveys/3d images/ volume measurment)  So far i have looked into the following Apps  
  • Drone Deploy
  • Dji GS Pro
  • Maps made easy
  • PIX4d
  • Litchi
Im looking for the the following features.  
  • Upload from KML ( use google earth to plan areas or from client to confirm locations)
  • Multiple battery option for bigger area surveys
  • Plan and create using PC / browser then upload to app
  • Terrain Aware feature for uneven terrain and constant GSD
  • Share flight plans to other pilots
  • full stats on how many batteries, photos, GSD calculator. etc
terrain aware feature is a big one as we are surveying in the Aus outback where there are lots of hills and creeks and also surveying big open cut mines.  is this list too complex to ask for?  All these features are available using multiple apps but none together that i know of.  Are there any apps that i should also look into?
Any features that i should also keep an eye out for?

kind Regards Pete

2017-7-26
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Rodger8
Captain
Flight distance : 15812070 ft
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United States
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From experience, Drone Deploy is very expensive and has a few problems in loading. Maps Made Easy has Zero support, issues with not being able to start, and finding and using the tools.
2017-7-26
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Peterc90
lvl.1
Australia
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Rodger8 Posted at 2017-7-26 02:07
From experience, Drone Deploy is very expensive and has a few problems in loading. Maps Made Easy has Zero support, issues with not being able to start, and finding and using the tools.

Doesn't sound promising lol
2017-7-26
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Cedric Pieterse
lvl.3
Flight distance : 1225827 ft
Sweden
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I have tried various apps to try and get good results, but none has really satisfied me. I fly manually. In this way I can control my GSD much better.
On my professional system, that is made for surveying, I can do all, and more of what you want to do, but it is a $40 000 system.
You can get reasonable results with a P4, but then you have to fly manually. I have been trying to get in to contact with app makers to optimize the capabilities of the P4, but no luck thus far.
I wish some will come back to me, because you can get a good survey system for relatively cheap money if we can get a suitable app...
2017-7-26
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Labroides
Captain
Flight distance : 9991457 ft
Australia
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G'day Pete ... I use DroneDeploy and find the latest version to be very reliable and easy to use.
I just flew two 30-40 acre sites today and generated some good orthophotos and contour plots myself using Photoscan which will also do volume calculations.
DroneDeploy would tick most of your boxes.
I think Litchi can do terrain aware flights and it's  great for waypoint flythrough videos but it won't be any use doing surveys.

2017-7-26
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Goof
lvl.2
Flight distance : 666483 ft
Australia
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Look into these guys: https://www.ugcs.com/. Expensive, but will do laptop GS, as well as sync to various devices + terrain aware flying, however YMMV in remote australia....

Personally I use maps made easy for small 80-120ha flights. Works OK for as far as I need it for. Has a customisable battery swap calculator, so if you're using P4Pro batteries or want shorter flights you can adjust how long you want to spend on each battery. Personally I just turn that off though and bring the drone back when it needs a battery, the resume flight feature gets a bit buggy if you don't manually stop the mission and resume...
2017-7-26
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Rodger8
Captain
Flight distance : 15812070 ft
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United States
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Peterc90 Posted at 2017-7-26 02:27
Doesn't sound promising  lol

I know , and no one seems to care.
2017-7-27
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Rodger8
Captain
Flight distance : 15812070 ft
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United States
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Goof Posted at 2017-7-26 03:19
Look into these guys: https://www.ugcs.com/. Expensive, but will do laptop GS, as well as sync to various devices + terrain aware flying, however YMMV in remote australia....

Personally I use maps made easy for small 80-120ha flights. Works OK for as far as I need it for. Has a customisable battery swap calculator, so if you're using P4Pro batteries or want shorter flights you can adjust how long you want to spend on each battery. Personally I just turn that off though and bring the drone back when it needs a battery, the resume flight feature gets a bit buggy if you don't manually stop the mission and resume...

Do you get the not enough battery message when the battery is fully charged?
2017-7-27
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Antonio76
Captain
Flight distance : 144403 ft
Denmark
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Rodger8 Posted at 2017-7-27 03:17
I know , and no one seems to care.

Beauty lies in the eye of the beholder...
2017-7-27
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Goof
lvl.2
Flight distance : 666483 ft
Australia
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Rodger8 Posted at 2017-7-27 03:23
Do you get the not enough battery message when the battery is fully charged?

All batteries were fully charged at the time of the mission. It seems the whole routine with detecting low battery, stopping the mission, stopping any interval capture that may be running, landing, detecting that the battery has been changed etc is very flaky, and I'm being generous with my wording...

It tends to take pictures all the way across the field on the way back, then keeps taking them on the ground until you stop the aircraft. Then once I had a new battery in, it resumed the flight, but then wouldn't restart the interval capture. Or it'd resume in the wrong spot.

If I set disabled the auto battery change out, and simply stopped the mission myself and RTH when it's time for a battery change, I had none of these issues, and the app performed very well in every other aspect.

It's really not hard to look at the estimated runtime for the mission and work from there. "Oh, 45 min mission, with 15-20 mins per battery I'll need 2-3 batteries, weather permitting".
2017-7-27
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Rodger8
Captain
Flight distance : 15812070 ft
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United States
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Goof Posted at 2017-7-27 05:43
All batteries were fully charged at the time of the mission. It seems the whole routine with detecting low battery, stopping the mission, stopping any interval capture that may be running, landing, detecting that the battery has been changed etc is very flaky, and I'm being generous with my wording...

It tends to take pictures all the way across the field on the way back, then keeps taking them on the ground until you stop the aircraft. Then once I had a new battery in, it resumed the flight, but then wouldn't restart the interval capture. Or it'd resume in the wrong spot.

One of the problems that I have is that when I have a fully charged battery and try to load the mission it will not load and I receive the message "Not enough battery for mission". I have to fly the Phantom in the GO program first then start all over again and it will fly.
If you are dong it manually how do you know where to restart the mission once you have a battery change?
2017-7-28
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Goof
lvl.2
Flight distance : 666483 ft
Australia
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It automatically resumes at the point I stopped the mission prior. I just have to be mindful to tap the mission stop button in the top right before I touch the controller to bring it back or hit RTH.

Be sure you're moving the battery timer all the way to the right, it disables the battery check.
2017-7-28
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