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Map on Spark

srcrain

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May 30, 2017
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Since the remote and phone connect through a wifi connection put out by the remote, does that mean that the phone will not have an internet connection (cell or wifi) when connected? Given that, does the Spark allow you to view a map or just the radar? And do you have to cache the map on your phone before you fly in a new location? How does that work?

It is a bit strange that they don't allow the phone and remote to be hard wired so you don't lose your internet connection when they are connected.

Am I thinking about this wrong?
 

aviscomi

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I totally agree that its dumb not to hardwire the phone/tablet to the RC, but if that were allowed there would be no where to plug in the goggles.
 

msinger

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It is a bit strange that they don't allow the phone and remote to be hard wired so you don't lose your internet connection when they are connected.
This is not documented, but I found I was able to connect my iPhone to the remote controller using a Phantom OTG cable. When doing so though, it limited the range like I was flying via Wi-Fi.
 

aviscomi

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This is not documented, but I found I was able to connect my iPhone to the remote controller using a Phantom OTG cable. When doing so though, it limited the range like I was flying via Wi-Fi.
Ugh, the limited range negates the benefit.
 

srcrain

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I totally agree that its dumb not to hardwire the phone/tablet to the RC, but if that were allowed there would be no where to plug in the goggles.
Maybe they could put two USB plugs on the remote (note the sarcasm)? Just a thought.
[
 

Malakai

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You can turn on map caching in the settings, just start the app and fullscreen the map, then go to the area you will be flying. This will cache that area. Then when you fly with no connection to the internet the map will still show.
 

Robert Farnow

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For iOS users if you turn on wifi assist you can keep the internet connection open while using the spark's wifi. Go to Settings/CellularData, scroll all the way to the bottom and you'll see data assist. WARNING, keeping this setting going can cause you to use cellular data even while at home on wifi.
 

aviscomi

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  • Wi-Fi Assist won't automatically switch to cellular if you're data roaming.
  • Wi-Fi Assist only works when you have apps running in the foreground and doesn't activate with background downloading of content.
  • Wi-Fi Assist doesn’t activate with some third-party apps that stream audio or video, or download attachments, like an email app, as they might use large amounts of data.
 

Dronason

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Switzerland
So if I'm not near wifi hot spot there can be no map on the app? I use an iPad mini wo cellular connection
You need to cache your map in advance for the area you want to fly. On iPad (I have one by exception) it seems to be tricky to get it working each time.
Up to now I was using my phone as hotspot to define the map just before flying in the Go4 app main Spark screen, but flying often at same location, it becomes less necessary.

Post #39 in this one: Tablet for RC Controller
and this thread: No image in the map box?
are talking of caching, there could be more.
 

Durash

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U can in the start Screen downloading offline maps for ur locations.
 

Dronason

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U can in the start Screen downloading offline maps for ur locations.
Not for IOS device, only for android version.
 

OCNYBob

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You need to cache your map in advance for the area you want to fly. On iPad (I have one by exception) it seems to be tricky to get it working each time.
Up to now I was using my phone as hotspot to define the map just before flying in the Go4 app main Spark screen, but flying often at same location, it becomes less necessary.

Post #39 in this one: Tablet for RC Controller
and this thread: No image in the map box?
are talking of caching, there could be more.
Can't cache a map on an IOS device it seems
 

Pappy

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I'm on Android, so for iOS users you're saying you can't download offline maps?

Start go 4 app, tap hamburger icon (three lines top right corner of "enter device" screen), tap "offline maps", select which map(s) to download.
 

Durash

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I have an idea. In the Google maps app u can download offline maps. Try to download there. I hope dji go app using this map too.
 

Dronason

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I'm on Android, so for iOS users you're saying you can't download offline maps?

Start go 4 app, tap hamburger icon (three lines top right corner of "enter device" screen), tap "offline maps", select which map(s) to download.
This menu entry don't exist on Go4 app for IOS.
 

Dronason

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iPad mini4 wifi only, so no GPS in it. Try at home.
Idea is to check what make a map appear on the map display with no internet connection.
  • Tried to download off-line maps for Google Maps
  • Airplane mode on.
  • Google Maps shows the off-line mode downloaded, fine.
  • Start Go4 app.
  • Enter Device.
  • Map is dark grey and I have the icon of last Spark position (at home).
  • Try to zoom in/out -> stays grey.
  • Try to press several time the compas -> stays grey.
  • Tried each maps type -> stays grey.
Conclusion it fail by using off-line google maps, it don't seems to share its maps with Go4.
On my IPad there is also a TomTom maps app (don't see any off-line stuff in it) but they seems not related to the one Go4 uses.

See if we can see some cached maps:
  • Go4 app
  • Back to main menu, go to flight records.
  • Display the first one (was far from my home).
  • Map is also grey.
  • Try to replay it, map remain grey.
  • Tried with several (not near my home), no map.
  • Now select a flight record near my home and display it.
  • Now I see a part of cached (~3km x 3km) my around my home, start point was out of this cached map. So there is something cached.
  • Exit flight record and enter device again.
  • Map is still grey but there is no more grid and Spark position.
  • Turn on the Spark and connect RC using OTG, so iPad remains in airplane mode
  • Spark is connected (video) but still map is grey.
  • Get GPS home point updated.
  • Map still grey whatever icons pressed, zoomed...
  • :(
  • I exited completely Go4 and restarted it.
  • Bingo the Spark icon is on the map and if I zoom a little, the cached map appear.
So now, the question is what can be simplified in these steps.
  • I kept the Spark and RC connected as I don't think it matter.
  • Exit Go4 app and restarted the iPad.
  • Connect RC to iPad, launch Go4.
  • Spark icon is here, DJI NFZ are here, but NO MAP, it is grey.
  • PRESSED the compas icon several time and it comes (thanks @msinger for the tip).
Let's try one more time, everything off, iPad was in airplane mode before turned off.
  • Spark ON, RC ON, they are linked.
  • Start iPad.
  • First try without GPS lock on Spark.
  • Connect OTG cable to iPad.
  • Grey map, I have a Spark icon, no NFZ disks.
  • Zoomed in-out, pressed 2-3 times the compass at each zoom level and BINGO, cached area is displayed.
So this is repeatable. It is only non-intuitive as it is really trial and error. The first press on compas before any zooming, didn't bring anything. Only the combination of both worked; my guess.

Last test without the Spark turned on, only the iPad.
  • Power-up iPad, still in airplane mode.
  • Start Go4 app, Enter Device.
  • Grey map, no Grid, no Spark icon, no NFZ disks.
  • Try zoom/compass buttons, no luck.
  • Exit to main, go to flight records. Seems only 1 flight record near my home show a cached map.
  • Back into the Device.
  • Now there is Grid and a Spark icon, no NFZ disk.
  • Playing again with the zoom/compass button and finally the cached map is back.

My observations:
  • Off-line maps are a pain on ios. Maybe having the cell version with GPS could help ???
  • The last or current home point must be displayed on the map with a grid shown. Displaying a flight record near expected position seems to restore it.
  • It is not needed that the Spark got GPS sync.
  • It is not needed to be connected to the Spark.
  • You can get cached map when off-line only for the area where the Spark position is shown on the map. Not checked if you can cache in advance.
  • The map area should have been already displayed previously (internet needed), maybe there is some duration for such cached map. The use of flight records map could help if there is no Spark home point icon on the map.
  • If you can see (if they are enabled) NFZ disk, then Go4 want to display a map.
  • Pressing the compas several times display the map if previous conditions are met (maybe there are more).
  • Seems that the cached map in Go4 is related to last Spark position and not to all the place you have been.
  • NFZ disk appear only when Spark report GPS position.
  • If map is loaded with internet before a flight at a given location, will it be cached for a flight some days after at same location?
  • Can Go4 handle more than one map like that ?
  • How to cache map in advance for a given location.

Next steps will be:

Sorry, long post but it is really trial/error and try to get a logic out of that, my 5c
 

The Editor

Well-Known Member
Join
May 29, 2017
Messages
406
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56
iPad mini4 wifi only, so no GPS in it. Try at home.
Idea is to check what make a map appear on the map display with no internet connection.
  • Tried to download off-line maps for Google Maps
  • Airplane mode on.
  • Google Maps shows the off-line mode downloaded, fine.
  • Start Go4 app.
  • Enter Device.
  • Map is dark grey and I have the icon of last Spark position (at home).
  • Try to zoom in/out -> stays grey.
  • Try to press several time the compas -> stays grey.
  • Tried each maps type -> stays grey.
Conclusion it fail by using off-line google maps, it don't seems to share its maps with Go4.
On my IPad there is also a TomTom maps app (don't see any off-line stuff in it) but they seems not related to the one Go4 uses.

See if we can see some cached maps:
  • Go4 app
  • Back to main menu, go to flight records.
  • Display the first one (was far from my home).
  • Map is also grey.
  • Try to replay it, map remain grey.
  • Tried with several (not near my home), no map.
  • Now select a flight record near my home and display it.
  • Now I see a part of cached (~3km x 3km) my around my home, start point was out of this cached map. So there is something cached.
  • Exit flight record and enter device again.
  • Map is still grey but there is no more grid and Spark position.
  • Turn on the Spark and connect RC using OTG, so iPad remains in airplane mode
  • Spark is connected (video) but still map is grey.
  • Get GPS home point updated.
  • Map still grey whatever icons pressed, zoomed...
  • :(
  • I exited completely Go4 and restarted it.
  • Bingo the Spark icon is on the map and if I zoom a little, the cached map appear.
So now, the question is what can be simplified in these steps.
  • I kept the Spark and RC connected as I don't think it matter.
  • Exit Go4 app and restarted the iPad.
  • Connect RC to iPad, launch Go4.
  • Spark icon is here, DJI NFZ are here, but NO MAP, it is grey.
  • PRESSED the compas icon several time and it comes (thanks @msinger for the tip).
Let's try one more time, everything off, iPad was in airplane mode before turned off.
  • Spark ON, RC ON, they are linked.
  • Start iPad.
  • First try without GPS lock on Spark.
  • Connect OTG cable to iPad.
  • Grey map, I have a Spark icon, no NFZ disks.
  • Zoomed in-out, pressed 2-3 times the compass at each zoom level and BINGO, cached area is displayed.
So this is repeatable. It is only non-intuitive as it is really trial and error. The first press on compas before any zooming, didn't bring anything. Only the combination of both worked; my guess.

Last test without the Spark turned on, only the iPad.
  • Power-up iPad, still in airplane mode.
  • Start Go4 app, Enter Device.
  • Grey map, no Grid, no Spark icon, no NFZ disks.
  • Try zoom/compass buttons, no luck.
  • Exit to main, go to flight records. Seems only 1 flight record near my home show a cached map.
  • Back into the Device.
  • Now there is Grid and a Spark icon, no NFZ disk.
  • Playing again with the zoom/compass button and finally the cached map is back.

My observations:
  • Off-line maps are a pain on ios. Maybe having the cell version with GPS could help ???
  • The last or current home point must be displayed on the map with a grid shown. Displaying a flight record near expected position seems to restore it.
  • It is not needed that the Spark got GPS sync.
  • It is not needed to be connected to the Spark.
  • You can get cached map when off-line only for the area where the Spark position is shown on the map. Not checked if you can cache in advance.
  • The map area should have been already displayed previously (internet needed), maybe there is some duration for such cached map. The use of flight records map could help if there is no Spark home point icon on the map.
  • If you can see (if they are enabled) NFZ disk, then Go4 want to display a map.
  • Pressing the compas several times display the map if previous conditions are met (maybe there are more).
  • Seems that the cached map in Go4 is related to last Spark position and not to all the place you have been.
  • NFZ disk appear only when Spark report GPS position.
  • If map is loaded with internet before a flight at a given location, will it be cached for a flight some days after at same location?
  • Can Go4 handle more than one map like that ?
  • How to cache map in advance for a given location.

Next steps will be:

Sorry, long post but it is really trial/error and try to get a logic out of that, my 5c
You do realize that DJI haven't used Google maps for about a year due to licensing issues (cost) don't you?
'Here' maps have been used pretty much since release of Go4.
It's pointless trying to get Google to work with the Go app.
 

Dronason

Well-Known Member
Premium Pilot
Join
Jun 28, 2017
Messages
1,136
Loc
Switzerland
You do realize that DJI haven't used Google maps for about a year due to licensing issues (cost) don't you?
'Here' maps have been used pretty much since release of Go4.
It's pointless trying to get Google to work with the Go app.
Yes, that's brillant clear. But for me it is first time I use Go4 app and a IOS device, so between rumor and a real test, I prefer to check and report.
 

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