Software Improvement Suggestion

Making flight planning in remote areas easier:

(Mavic Pro with nVideo Shield K 2 Tablet)

When setting up a flight plan, if you are unable to give DD a place name or other reference it can find on the map, it wants to default to your current position. This is logical. But if your nearest Wi-Fi connection is slow, and in an Internet cafe miles from where you want to survey, then you must drag the default flight pattern over a considerable distance. So I had to make several clumsy attempts changing the zoom level of my map display back and forth while I dragged the pattern and then losing track of where I was and where I wanted (open countryside without roads or other guiding features). Possible, but not easy.

My Suggestion: consider building in some option so that in such a situation you can choose where you want to centre the default pattern on the map, and then merely tap on the screen to place it there - rather than trying to move it across from some off-screen original position. Simple - job done.

If you have this facility already, and I just haven’t noticed it, my apologies!

+1 there, gets my vote.

You can cache the base tiles by toggling the “make available offline” option for that plan. Then, any time you’re in that area in the future you should have base tiles whether or not you have internet connection.

I might be misreading Allerdown’s question, however the search button does exactly what he is asking for.
I have used that every time I have planned a flight other than on my first look at DD.

It is a very powerful search facility that works on locations throughout the world.
On my first use of DD I likewise dragged the flight plan for ever and then realised there must be a better way.
I input the flight address in the search pressed search and there was my flight area instantly.

Hi Daniel:

I would agree that the search button often works brilliantly. But not always! One of the locations I eventually mapped after setting the centre point tediously as described in the original post, came back after DD image processing described by DD as “Windmill Cottage” at Unnamed Road, Biggar ML12, UK

Even if I knew that string of characters would define where I wanted to map, if I put that lot into the search box in the first place the nearest I got was the centre of the UK, about 300 miles from where I wanted. Even if I’d put in “Biggar, UK”, the name of the nearest town, I’d still be several miles off the intended location.

Hence my request. - Mike -

The problem with “make available offline” is the black masking of the map as soon as you zoom in enough to make it if any real use.

There is some problem with the mapping/app!

That is because there are no tiles for that area provided by Mapbox, which are tiles that we are legally allowed to cache. We are not allowed to cache google or bing map tiles.

That’s not correct.
The image is there but as soon one zooms in to attempt to properly plan the flight path or adjust on site as requested by the client the imagery blacks out - it’s a real pain

It blacks out because there is a google tile underneath and a mapbox tile on top, as I explained in my post above.

Ok thanks Chase

You actually didn’t explain anything at all.
You may understand your tech jargon but others don’t!

I planned the flight path on my office PC.
I can zoom in as much as I like and all is good.
I select the make the mapping available offline.

When I am in the field and attempt to zoom in the google imagery that was available on the office PC skips from visible to blacked out.

This is what I and others are experiencing.


There is a plan to move desktop over to google maps, but at the moment we have to figure out how we’d cache images. It’s likely that users would instead just cache tiles using their google maps app on their phone. This would allow them to show up in DD without having to overlay mapbox tiles on top.

On the desktop at the moment it’s using Bing tiles so we have 3 different services. Hopefully in the near future it’ll be just 1.


I have seen this problem on other software. It’s understandable that DD cannot justify the cost to provide cached google maps to everyone. Why not let the user obtain their own google api key and provide that to DD so that the app can cache google maps and the individual user is likely to never get anywhere close to the limit google has set for free access. Win-win. Or is there a problem with this approach too?

Google doesn’t allow storing of tiles for any purpose without a very expensive enterprise deal.

Okay. I didn’t realize that. Thank you!