Flying a drone can be a fun little hobby and they can also be used to grab some rather cool footage from up in the skies. Flying a drone isn’t always all fun and games though, especially if you’re using it to fly in certain areas where you’re not supposed to be or you accidentally damage it by running it into something, which, isn’t exactly a far-fetched scenario for new drone owners. Taking a unmanned aerial machine to the skies could be a bit easier though with an app to help users navigate where they are, and where they’re going.
A new app called Hivemapper is aiming to do just that. You can think of it like Google Maps for the air, and specifically for use in pairing with drone piloting, with useful functions beyond displaying a map of the area, such as listing “no-fly zones” and by displaying objects which if not seen, could result in the unfortunate ending of drone flight due to running into it. The app states that it works with most DJI drones like the Phantom 2 Vision+ and Inspire, the only downside is that it isn’t listed that any other drones are supported by the app, so if you aren’t flying one of the rather expensive units from DJI, Hivemapper isn’t going to be an option for you at the moment, that could obviously change though in the future as interest for the app grows.
Using Hivemapper, you’ll have access to a wealth of information like 16,000 different no-fly zones, 20 million building boundaries, and 15 million places of interest. In addition to that the app also has a feature which lets you report and post issues for other flyers. Think of it a little like community-driven GPS Navigation app Waze, except for flying with drones instead of driving on the ground with your vehicle, and it’s not you trying to get somewhere but your drone. With its access to the data of building boundaries and height, Hivemapper can alert users when they’re approaching an obstruction so they can avoid hitting it by flying around, above or below to get around it. If you have a compatible drone and this seems like it would be useful to you, the app is free and you can grab it from the Play Store.