The Skycatch flight app takes care of nearly every task needed to produce a map. But along the way the app may ask for your input on a few items. Instructions and tips are conveniently displayed at the top of the screen to guide users through every step and scenario, which dramatically reduces the experience and training needed. This is really important because business owners don’t need to worry about lengthy training programs, and newer operators can get started immediately. Just buy a DJI drone, download the Skycatch flight app on your iPhone or iPad, and get to work!
Location search and stay-in-area flight routing
Flight app allows you to plan for any location in the world — you don’t have to be co-located. Use the search bar to find your desired location then tap the Pencil button and draw the outline of the flight area. After the initial outline, fine-tune the boundary by dragging boundary points to the desired location. You can create any shape you want, with any concave areas, and the flight app will generate a flight route with the proper overlap that ensures the drone will never leave the flight area.
Furthermore, the routing algorithm runs natively on the iOS device and does not require an internet connection. So if you go to a remote site with no coverage you can still make updates to your flight area and altitude.
During the takeoff sequence the drone’s live camera feed is displayed in the corner of the flight app screen. This is incredibly useful for giving the operator improved situational awareness, and also indicates when photos are being captured. The video feed now features the ability expand to full-screen.
Multiple flight support
Skycatch flight app allows you to plan your data collection area regardless of how many separate flights you end up using to complete it. Upon landing the app gives you a summary of the mission progress and you can choose to continue immediately, in the future, or mark the mission complete right then.
If the mission is not marked complete you can resume it at any point in the future (minutes, hours, days, weeks) and the app will send the drone back to exactly where it left off, with no gaps in data coverage. Just open the mission from the Mission Board and tap Resume. This is very useful for large collection areas or if weather or lighting degrade. You’ll never have to worry about keeping track of the progress or repeating what you’re already accomplished - flight app does that for you.
Convenient organization of missions
Easily keep track of all your mission plans in the Mission Board. For repeat data collections just tap the mission and re-fly it exactly the same way every time. If you need to make adjustments to the flight area of ground resolution based on results of a previous event, you can do that and it saves automatically. Give the missions a custom name, or delete them when you’re done.
In the My Account screen, flight app keeps track of your accomplishments in the My Stats section, with convenient totals for minutes flown, number of flights, acres flown, and photos taken. Tap the share button and you’ll get a polished and professional card to share with your team or as marketing material for your business, via any social network, email, and text.
This is very useful for presentations, marketing, and sales material. Not to mention it’s really fun to brag! Keep a lookout for upcoming contests from Skycatch for the most active pilots (we’ve got some amazing prizes)! Follow MapWithDJI on Twitter and Facebook for announcements!
Automatic drone detection and system checks
Keeping things easy for operators, you can plan missions at any time, and don’t need to have the drone connected. The app defaults to Phantom 3, but you can change that by tapping the Settings icon (looks like a gear in the top right of the map) and selecting your desired drone and camera.You can also select the desired ground resolution and altitude. The app updates the flight profile and routing automatically based on these inputs.
When you’re ready to go fly, just plug your device into the DJI remote controller. Flight app will automatically detect the drone and camera, run a series of system checks, and let you know when everything looks ready for takeoff.
Easy flight monitoring
During flight, flight app displays critical instrument readouts as well as percent of mission complete so the operator always knows what is happening. If at any time you want to end the flight, just tap the Pause button then tap Land in Place or Return to Home. Otherwise, just watch the drone icon complete the routes on screen. Flight app displays an on-screen notification when the drone is returning home.
After your mission is complete, take the SD card from the drone and upload your photos for processing at http://app.skycatch.com. We’ll process them automatically in the cloud and post the processed map for you to analyze and share with your team and clients.
What’s Coming Next
The Skycatch flight app launches with amazing features for commercial mapping use cases and support for DJI Phantom 3 Advanced and Professional, Inspire 1, and the new Phantom 4 drones. We have some great feature updates scheduled for the next several months that will make the flight app even more powerful and open a much larger world of opportunities for collecting the best drone data in the world, such as terrain following.