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Offline usage

I have just returned from testing Pix4D Capture at some remote locations in the Amazon rainforest.

Separate to the issue of offline maps, Pix4D Capture did randomly want to connect to verify the account.

Initially, it worked fine, and then started to request a username and password, which would not work without a connection, and hence the app was inaccessible.

Once we travelled to where there was internet availability, logged in, and returned, it was working ok for a while, but then randomly requested a username and password again, again blocking access to the app.

It’s quite frustrating to travel to a remote location for mapping and then finding the app is not working because of the internet requirement!

 

Hi Gregor,

I have forwarded your suggestion for saving locally the background of the Map View in the map (not only cache it).

As for the log in problem, it is indeed strange the the app spontaneously log out time to time and we totally understand the frustration to look for a place having Internet to log in again.

Normally you can skip the log in screen 5 times which is convenient when you do not have Internet connection.
Just click the Skip button on the login screen.

Otherwise could you tell us the following:

  • Which drone are you flying and which version of Pix4Dcapture are you using?
  • Which firmware do you have installed on your drone (we always recommend the latest DJI firmware)?
  • Could you tell more about your phone, its model and the Android/iOS version?
  • Please also send the log file: pix4dmapper.log. If you are using Android, it is normally located in the image folder next to the missions folders. If you are using iOS, it is located in the Log file folder next to the Missions folder when you connect your device to your computer using iTunes.

To send the file and these details, please use support@pix4d.com.
We are looking forward to hearing from you.

Regards,

Hello,

Offline planning and then having the option to load saved missions would be an extremely useful addition to the capture app.  We’ve been using the DJI Go app and flying the Inspire in free flight mode with video with excellent results, but for the purpose of having geolocated reconstructions and the p4dfile allowing the capture app to work without cellular connection and load saved flight plans would be great.   

Hi Margaret,

Regarding the background map, it is possible to cache them before going to the field when you have internet connection in the office.
In that sense, offline planning of mission is already possible.

Here are our recommendations to make it effective:

  • Define the size of the grid you wish to fly and move it to the background of the location of interest.
  • Move all around the grid in order to load the surrounding tiles.
  • Repeat it at different levels zoom. For high level of zoom make sure to cover the area below the grid.
  • Wait a bit to between each move to make sure the tiles are loaded properly.

We are aware that in some places, tiles are missing depending on the zoom level. It can be possible to zoom but no tile is displayed or the zoom level is blocked. Unfortunately, only the map provider is responsible for that. Switching from the satellite to the map view might partially solve the problem of the missing background information when adjusting your grid in Pix4Dcapture. It is indeed more up to date than the satellite view.

So far it is not planned to change the provider, but our developers are working on finding a solution that would allow the users to import/save some local maps so that you can easily perform missions when the data are completely outdated or when you are offline for instance.

Regards,

I am trying to plan a mission while connected to Wifi that I will fly when out of internet/cellular range.  The location I want to fly at is a long distance from where I have my internet connection so trying to move the grid manually to that location is nearly impossible as you have to be zoomed in so close to have the option to move the grid.  If I do not plan my mission beforehand, only cache the maps, am I able in the field (without internet/cellular connection) to create my grid at the location I want to fly?  What would be my process, assuming I have signed in to Pix4D beforehand, to fully create and fly a grid mission when out of connection range?

We still have the same problem where we cannot import missions that are planned in a location where there is internet.  We’re going to a really remote location in the Amazon next week and the only reliable solution we’ve found so far is to bring a satellite data modem in order to be able to plan and fly the missions properly.  Hopefully there will be an implementation in the future where one can plan and save missions and then “open” them even if there isn’t a background map and upload those in cases where there is no internet. 

It will make using the Capture App nearly impossible for me if there is no way to plan and fly your missions while offline, that is unfortunate.  It would be great to cache the maps for your area and then pan to the area you want to map while zoomed way out, zoom in to your area and draw a box manually around your area and then resize it as normal.

Margaret, have you had any success using the Capture App offline to fly missions?  All of my work will be in offline situations.

We use the iOS version and it’s not yet possible there. I’m not sure if maybe it’s already available on the Android version though.   I agree, it would be great if this feature would be available in the near future.  For our upcoming trip to the Amazon we had to rent a satellite data modem for this purpose.  It’s an unfortunate extra expense, and while the maps don’t actually load with it (only works on cellular), it does show you real time where the drone is in relation to you so you can do a pretty close guesstimate of the grids you want to fly and then upload the mission.  Without it the only option we found is to fly the missions entirely manually in video mode (not ideal).

If I were to use a GPS enabled device like an Iphone 5s that is compatible with the Phantom 4 outside of cellular range, would the GPS capability allow the grid to update to my current GPS location?  For example,  I have no cellular coverage and I travel 100 kms from my community, would having just the GPS in the cell phone show where I’m to in Pix4dCapture and move the flight grid to my GPS coordinates, thus eliminating the need to manually move the grid to my new location if I have no GPS?  Is that clear?

Hello,

Apologies for our late reply in this thread. The previous explanations were not clear enough so an article was created with the step-by-step procedure on how to plan and fly a mission without Internet on the field: https://support.pix4d.com/hc/en-us/articles/115002056523

Hope this will be helpful.
Cheers,