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dmwierz
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MapsMadeEasy Posted at 2015-5-16 01:41
We are in the flight testing phase of our development and doing a lot of measurements to make sure ...

Is there a way to be kept apprised of your progress? Yours could be the "killer app" for employing UAS's in our commercial and industrial real estate business.
2015-5-15
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MapsMadeEasy
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dmwierz Posted at 2015-5-16 02:51
Is there a way to be kept apprised of your progress? Yours could be the "killer app" for employing ...

We will certainly make a post here about it.  We aren't planning on being shy about it.

Or you can follow us on Twitter or Facebook...
2015-5-15
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FoxSTI
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MapsMadeEasy Posted at 2015-5-16 02:42
Feel free to email us the image and we will take a look at it with our tools.  I don't know what t ...

"More decimals is not necessarily more precision, but that is a completely different topic.  " now that is confusing. Maybe you can share your toughs on that some time.
2015-5-15
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MapsMadeEasy
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To answer your previous question and I will amend the original post with an update, it appears that the Inspire does have decimal precision on the seconds portion of the EXIF geotag.  We don't know exactly when this showed up in firmware, but it is a welcome addition.

Thanks for bringing it to our attention.

Regarding precision... Look up single and double precision floating point formats on Wikipedia.  Basically, there is a sign, an exponent and a fraction part to the number.  Any time there is a fraction involved, there is a high likelihood that it will not end in a reasonable amount of decimal points of precision. 1/3 is one third or .33333333333333333333333... ad infinium.  Computer scientists came up with a way to represent ALMOST any value between two pretty large numbers with only 32 bits worth of information.  That's pretty good, but there are holes in the absolute precision of the scale.

Also, noise in the measurements.  The GPS receiver will report an whole lot of decimal points due to the way the GPS position is calculated.  It also reports an error number in the PDOP and others.  You can have 20 decimal points in there, but you only really know your position to within X meters.  X is usually 10-20 meters which is only really about 5 decimal places. You can get 6 accurately if you spend some money.  You can get 7 if you spend A LOT of money.  So most of the numbers to the right of your decimal are junk.

And... I don't see a reference so you are either in Miami or India!
2015-5-15
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FoxSTI
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For the level of GPS that these UAV's use and the network they operate on I would think that having some decimals as opposed to none is better and thus "more accurate".
Now if you want to compare it to a Trimble GPS Rover then yes. The inspire, P3, my phone for that matter are all junk.

I converted those GPS units to decimals and I see what you mean, It can either be in the US or India. However, if you those photos into Pix4d for example, they get modeled in the correct place I took them, in the US. (I don't live in india). So its very prosible that property dialog is not showing us a reference or rather eastings and norhings.  I am sorry if I sound ignorant I don't pretend to know this, but I have a little understanding of it - enough to get in trouble as you can see.
2015-5-16
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dmwierz
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So, if I want to experiment, and demonstrate the concept to my bosses, I have to currently fly the routes manually, snapping shots manually, maintaining altitude manually? I guess I could print out the route from the Flight Planner and try to do this.

I work for a rail logistics company, and the value of this service is pretty clear, but I still will need to show how I will use the Phantom 3 Pro and your app in order to get approval.

Thanks.
2015-5-19
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MapsMadeEasy
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dmwierz Posted at 2015-5-19 21:46
So, if I want to experiment, and demonstrate the concept to my bosses, I have to currently fly the r ...

Nah... It's way easier than that.  Make sure you are in GPS mode so it will maintain the altitude you leave it on.  Just for testing purposes you can just go straight out, then right, then straight back, the right and so on.  We do this all the time to do informal quickly stuff.  It is better to have too much overlap than it is to have not enough, so only go 50-75ft right at a time.

Set your camera to take pictures every 3 seconds if you can, but 5 will work. Fly 8 mph at around 125 ft.

DJI will have to release some official publicly working firmware that is iOS compliant before we will be able to publish the app.  And then there is getting it through Apple...
2015-5-19
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eedwards
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MapsMadeEasy Posted at 2015-5-20 07:58
Nah... It's way easier than that.  Make sure you are in GPS mode so it will maintain the altitude  ...

Are there any plans to have an Android version?
2015-5-19
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dmwierz
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MapsMadeEasy Posted at 2015-5-20 07:58
Nah... It's way easier than that.  Make sure you are in GPS mode so it will maintain the altitude  ...

Here's a dumb question: how can you set the intervalometer on the Phantom 3 Pro? I cant find the setting anywhere to shoot every x seconds...
2015-5-19
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MapsMadeEasy
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eedwards Posted at 2015-5-20 08:29
Are there any plans to have an Android version?

We do not plan to offer an Android version.
2015-5-20
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MapsMadeEasy
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dmwierz Posted at 2015-5-20 12:05
Here's a dumb question: how can you set the intervalometer on the Phantom 3 Pro? I cant find the s ...

It is weirdly hidden.  Push and hold the camera trigger button.  It brings up a menu to set the intervalometer.
2015-5-20
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dmwierz
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Found it. Thanks!
2015-5-20
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dmwierz
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Mme, unless I'm mistaken, the quickest the P3P will take photo's is every 5 seconds, no?  That doesn't sound often enough unless you're flying really slow, and in that case, you'll be limited by battery life on how large of a property you can cover.

Help?
2015-5-22
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MapsMadeEasy
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dmwierz Posted at 2015-5-23 08:13
Mme, unless I'm mistaken, the quickest the P3P will take photo's is every 5 seconds, no?  That doesn ...

Yeah...  We don't really know why it is limited there.  Even the SDK limits the interval imaging to 5s.  Our app will have a workaround, but for free flying you will have to go slow enough to get the proper overlap with that interval.
2015-5-25
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dmwierz
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That's a deal breaker for me. The properties we look at, and the projects we work on, are 100 acres and larger, and would take > 1 battery to photograph at 8 mph. Your app can't come fast enough. How does one become a beta tester?
2015-5-26
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simplydp
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If your projects are 100 acres+ you need a fixed wing, not a multirotor.
2015-5-26
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Hooks
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When my Ebees are down, I use the multirotors  to get some pretty large areas.  Up to about 250 acres.  Just manualy snap the photos until the ground station arrives.
2015-5-26
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MapsMadeEasy
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Well... We might have to take back all the nice things we said about using the Phantom 3 for photogrammetry.  The latest firmware update has made it so the camera does not fill in the focal length portion of the EXIF tags.  Every professional camera fills this in because there are a lot of uses for it.  Hopefully DJI will get this straightened out in the next update.  We will be posting an update that has a workaround, but for anyone who was relying on the focal length being in the EXIF tags, they might have to wait a while, not upgrade their P3 or downgrade if they have already upgraded.
2015-5-29
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Hooks
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I'll have to check this out, thanks for the heads up.

Probably just a harmless screw  up on DJI, I know they are actively trying to make the P3 friendlier to the photogrammetric process.
2015-5-29
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MapsMadeEasy
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Hooks Posted at 2015-5-30 07:37
I'll have to check this out, thanks for the heads up.

Probably just a harmless screw  up on DJI, I  ...

We had made a change to our site that makes it so it will accommodate the P3's lack of focal length tags.  Lots of processes don't use the focal length tag since it can't be trusted but we record it and use the tag value as a starting point for some iterative processes.  At least it is fixed so we know that if it is a P3, it will be 3.61 mm.
2015-5-30
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MapsMadeEasy Posted at 2015-5-31 01:16
We had made a change to our site that makes it so it will accommodate the P3's lack of focal lengt ...

Hello,

I believe the JPEG EXIF missing focal length issue has been fixed in the latest firmware update

Isaac
2015-6-24
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dmwierz
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MapsMadeEasy, any update on this? I am literally at a point of pitching these features to Exec management in my company, but right now your app looks like vaporware. Thanks.
2015-6-26
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MapsMadeEasy
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dmwierz Posted at 2015-6-26 22:11
MapsMadeEasy, any update on this? I am literally at a point of pitching these features to Exec mana ...

The app works great! We will be posting videos next week.  DJI has to grant us "Activations" before we can release it to the public.  We get to put it on 20 devices without DJI's activation...  Feel free to write them an email expressing your excitement towards out app.

I think they aren't granting them because there are still some issues with their SDK that they probably don't want things released with.  They haven't communicated anything to the development community and as far as we know, no one has released an app that uses their 2.0 SDK.
2015-6-26
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dmwierz
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MapsMadeEasy Posted at 2015-6-27 10:23
The app works great! We will be posting videos next week.  DJI has to grant us "Activations" befor ...

MME, got an email for the right person at DJI?
2015-6-27
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MapsMadeEasy
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dmwierz Posted at 2015-6-28 02:07
MME, got an email for the right person at DJI?

dev@dji.com
2015-6-27
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dmwierz
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Done. Thanks.
2015-6-28
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MapsMadeEasy
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You did it! It looks like DJI has granted our Activations so now we just have to get through Apple.

Check this our for more details:
www.dronesmadeeasy.com/map_pilot_app
2015-6-29
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CorentinZ
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MapsMadeEasy Posted at 2015-6-30 12:46
You did it! It looks like DJI has granted our Activations so now we just have to get through Apple ...

Great news.
I am looking forward to be able to try your app and service and would definitely be a testeur if you need some.

Thanks,
2015-6-30
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dmwierz
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Holy cow! This is the second time I got this kind of response from DJI. The first time was getting them to remove a local airport that had been turned into a park 12 years ago from the no-fly list in the firmware.

So, what does one do now to begin testing your app and service? Do I need to buy a Marco Polo tracker from you? I've been considering this anyway. Your linked page says you will only be working with people who have purchased the drone and Marco Polo from you, which is a bit restrictive, as people like me didn't even know about Drones Made Easy or even Maps Made Easy until AFTER purchase.
In addition, some of us have, in good faith, helped you through the DJI approval process and have also promoted your products.
2015-6-30
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dmwierz
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Further to my last post, your site says "The public Phantom 3 Professional firmware doesn't support any ground station functionality and will not work with this app until DJI releases public firmware that contains that support."...starting to lose my enthusiasm rather quickly.
So, if I understand correctly, even if the MME app makes it through Apple, it still won't work with the Phatom 3?
2015-6-30
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MapsMadeEasy
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dmwierz Posted at 2015-7-1 05:04
Holy cow! This is the second time I got this kind of response from DJI. The first time was getting t ...

Between your email, the 20 or so we sent and the fact that we are co-sponsoring their event at ComicCon here in San Diego next week, something shook loose over there...

We are looking for people who already have experience doing mapping work so they are familiar with the process and understand the challenges.  We developed this app to enable our customers to be able to collect better data.

If you are interested in becoming a beta tester, I would suggest becoming familiar with the process by playing with our flight planner, flying some freehand missions, and processing the data.  We will only be allowing beta testers into the program that have purchased a Marco Polo from us so we are sure they are properly equipped.

This is why: A South of the Border Adventure in Technology, Loss, Destruction, and Redemption
2015-7-1
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MapsMadeEasy
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dmwierz Posted at 2015-7-1 07:35
Further to my last post, your site says "The public Phantom 3 Professional firmware doesn't support  ...

Yep... Still no Ground Station support in the public firmware as of version 1.2.6 released on 6/15/2015.  I would imagine it won't be long until they add it since the functionality exists in dev firmware.
2015-7-1
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dmwierz
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"If you are interested in becoming a beta tester, I would suggest becoming familiar with the process by playing with our flight planner, flying some freehand missions, and processing the data.  We will only be allowing beta testers into the program that have purchased a Marco Polo from us so we are sure they are properly equipped."

Check, check, check and uh-oh...I get that you need some way of qualifying beta testers, and I sorta understand the need for a tracking device, but requiring prospective testers purchase this $219 product from you before they are even considered for your program, well, can't say I've ever heard of a company requiring something like this...and I've been a beta tester countless times in myriad industries over the past 20 years.
Smells a bit fishy, if you know what I mean...almost "pay to play". Not exactly in the spirit of beta testing, but hey, I'm old school.

"We are looking for people who already have experience doing mapping work so they are familiar with the process and understand the challenges.  We developed this app to enable our customers to be able to collect better data."

OK, I suppose I'll look for alternative solutions for our photogrammetry and 3D modeling needs. Too bad, as I represent dozens of industrial, railroad and commercial projects and teams. My organization is a relative newcomer to employing UAV's to manage and monitor projects and infrastructure investments, and as such, we're also a newcomer to digital maps and surveys, but we're learning fast and have relatively deep pockets. Would have been useful to be able to demo the concepts to my C team.

Good luck to you and your crew, and I'll keep a watch on your progress.




2015-7-1
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MapsMadeEasy
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dmwierz Posted at 2015-7-2 04:07
"If you are interested in becoming a beta tester, I would suggest becoming familiar with the process ...

While it is certainly a valid complaint, we developed this app solely to help our Drones Made Easy and Maps Made Easy customers collect better data.  We will not likely ever give the full version of this app away for free to anyone but our customers.

Drones Made Easy is a unique company in that we are a Tier 1 DJI Dealer but also happen to have a very experienced software development team at our disposal to create cool stuff and do custom work for our customers.  Between our top notch customer service, in-shop repair capabilities, custom design capabilities and our unique software products, we are without a doubt the most technically knowledgeable dealer in the world.

We are anything but fishy.  We are simply testing a slightly different business model than everyone else hawking DJI gear out there. The products are all the same. The prices are all the same. With Drones Made Easy you get extras that aren't available elsewhere. It's that simple.
2015-7-1
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MapsMadeEasy Posted at 2015-7-2 11:18
While it is certainly a valid complaint, we developed this app solely to help our Drones Made Easy ...

Hello,

I am  also a little bit confused about the way you expert to have beta testing people.
I assume that developing this (great) app is a way for you to expand your customer base; I mean, I imagine that you would not produce a brand new service for only the customer that bought the Marco Polo, no, you are trying to get new customers thanks to this new service to expand your business and grow hour revenus.
Wouldn't it be a more realistic way to gain new people to open the beta testing phase to any enthusiastic Inspire 1/Phantom3 owners and (hopefully) futur client ?

As far as I am concern, I am not of photogrammetry pro; I am a film director who got excited about your system and who would propose a complementary service to his clients using and paying your drone mapping tech.

I wish you all the best and I hope being able someday to try your app.
Have a nice day.

(sorry for my english)
2015-7-2
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dmwierz
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MapsMadeEasy Posted at 2015-7-2 11:18
While it is certainly a valid complaint, we developed this app solely to help our Drones Made Easy ...

No, I get it; I just didn't think this is the direction you were headed. It seemed MME was going to be a product you were marketing to all/any prospective photogrammetry or 3D modeling users, and not just to be used as a line extension and service for your existing or new customers.

FWIW, I think you're not seeing the forest for the trees, as the potential market for the MME service across all vertical industries is certainly far larger than limiting it to Drones Made Easy customers, but it's your forest and your trees.

As I said before, good luck to you, and I'll keep tabs as you roll out your product.
2015-7-2
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Hooks
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Checking out the new video for the drones made easy pilot app...  Looks bloody awesome!  Exactly what I have been waiting for.  

I will certainly buy a Marco Polo unit if it means getting access to this much needed app.

Questions I have is related to the limits that will be implemented.  How large of an area will the app let you assign waypoints to?  Also, height limits?

Will the app cache elevation data and use it to help plan flights that will not intersect with hilly terrain?  Emotion does this fairly well for the Ebee UAVs but because they are fixed wing it is always a linear path from waypoint to waypoint, it just ensures that that the path does not intersect with the terrain.

  I will buy your programmers a pizza party  if they come up with a way for the linear path to actually follow the cross section of the terrain below it.  This is most likely a feature you are already working on but it will be my only ask once I get my hands on your app.

OK, one last thing,  If I purchase a Marco Polo unit, does it guarantee me a spot in the beta?  

Thanks
2015-7-2
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MapsMadeEasy
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Hooks Posted at 2015-7-3 05:53
Checking out the new video for the drones made easy pilot app...  Looks bloody awesome!  Exactly wha ...

Thanks for the compliments.  Currently the only thing limiting the area is a range check that every spot in the defined boundary can be reached in a single battery from the home point.  We account for ascent and descent time, waypoint dwell times, time to starting the point, time from the end point and altitude dependent speed.  In the case of a multi battery flight plan, the return time to swap out the battery is accounted for as well.

All that being said, it is only and estimate.  We fly until the drone says it needs to head home.  After swapping out the battery at the launch point, it goes right back to where it left off and continues on.

The GSD detail/altitude slider is currently limited to a range from 25 m to 200 m.  We are still trying to figure out good bounds to put on that.  Most photogrammetry softwares don't actually work very well when you are flying too low, especially in the presence of vegetation. 400 ft (122m) is a legal limit in the US.  We will likely make it higher but you have to opt in to it.

For the Pro version of the app that caches basemaps for offline operation we will likely also store the elevation profile along the path to use as a check.  We have already had an incident with this...

The feature you describe is certainly in the works and will only be available when the mobile device has internet connectivity to contact our elevation lookup service.  We have had mixed results with terrain following for mapping purposes so it has been less of a priority.

Between your mapping background and offers of a pizza party we will add you to the beta as long as you are properly equipped.  You will need to sign up for Maps Made Easy and process the imagery there so we can get feedback on the outputs.

All beta entry requests should be sent to the email account at the bottom of the Maps Made Easy site. Entrants should include equipment type, proof of mapping experience, Drones Made Easy order number or Maps Made Easy username and a good attitude.


2015-7-2
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Hooks
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MapsMadeEasy Posted at 2015-7-3 07:04
Thanks for the compliments.  Currently the only thing limiting the area is a range check that ever ...

Thanks for the reply,

I'll sign up and order the marco polo up as soon as my replacement gear gets back to me in about a week.  

keep up the good work.
2015-7-2
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Mark97564
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Why is maps made easy even in this forum telling us about his stuff?  Seems to just be wasting everyone's time, if this is how he is trying to get new customers it's not going to work..  You should try to find a better angle cuz no one is going to buy a $210 tracking devise from you and be your customer just to try an app out that could suck..  Good luck with that man, I know I sure won't be
2015-7-2
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