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Pokémon Go integrated within Google Maps timeline

As we’ve recently reported the connection between Niantic Labs – the company behind Pokémon Go and Google is quite close. John Hanke the CEO of Niantic was one of the founders of Keyhole, the company Google acquired to start Google Earth, and for many years he was in charge of Google Maps. Niantic has been launched as an internal Google startup in 2010 and its first apps were developed under Google brand.

Although last year Niantic spin off as an independent project, Google still supports it. Reddit user GoldLeader272 noticed an unexpected integration of Pokémon Go to Google Maps Timeline feature. When logging your activity you can indicate that you’ve covered a certain distance ‘catching Pokémon’.

pokemon-go-google-maps-timeline-geoawesomeness

Google Maps Timeline previously known as Google Location History is a service that automatically tracks your every move and gives you a step-by-step map of where you’ve been and how were you travelling. Although it used to be very controversial, adding The Timeline as a feature to the world’s most popular mapping app proved that users are ready to accept the fact that their every move is being tracked.

Adding thisPokémon feature to Google Timeline might be the answer to the request of some users who would like to get some sort of location tracking directly from Pokémon app.

Stay tuned for updates!

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PrecisionMapper app will turn your drone into a powerful mapping machine

If you are planning to buy a new drone, include drone-based mapping services to your company’s portfolio or you’re simply a drone mapping geek this is something for you. For the last couple of weeks I’ve been testing a new app by a drone hardware and software provider PrecisionHawk. DataMapper InFight is an easy but powerful app that will turn your DJI drone into professional mapping machine.

If you are thinking about working with this technology, the first thing you’ll need is a drone and a mobile device (the app is available for both iOS and Android). DataMapper app supports all of the most popular DJI drone models Phantom 3 and 4, Inspire and Matrice. The good thing is that most likely you would anyway buy, or already have, one of these as they are the most popular drones currently sold worldwide.

From the first sight, you’ll notice that the interface is easy to use and well designed. The app will guide you through the whole process. Once you know what is the area to be mapped, you need to prepare a flight plan. The app allows you to select the area to be captured on the top of the satellite image.

DataMapper Inflight App Review 1 Geoawesomeness

You can simply draw it on your smartphone or tablet. Then you need to define the altitude of your flight.

Simple as it is. Now you can simply go to the field and start your flight.

When you have all your images collected, you can view them via the app. What I like about the solution is that you don’t need an access to the internet to do it. You can view the images directly in the field.

The next step is data processing. DataMapper does it in the cloud as it’s too much processing for your mobile device to handle. In order to do that you need to select your surveys and upload them to DataMapper cloud. The overall process might a take sometime but the only alternative is having a powerful processing machine locally. Additionally, cloud-based solution offers one more benefit. You can easily share your data with anyone (e.g. with a customer) and you can access the data from all around the world.

DataMapper Inflight App Review 3 Geoawesomeness

The results are great! In a few minutes you are getting orthomosaic, 3D model, DSM, KML and point clouds. Awesome! Look at the results on my test flight:

DataMapper Inflight App Review 2 Geoawesomeness

DataMapper Inflight App Review 5 Geoawesomeness

DataMapper Inflight App Review 4 Geoawesomeness

Conclusions

DataMapper is a great tool for everyone who does drone-powered mapping or offers drone mapping services. I believe it would work perfectly also for training centers and universities. It’s simple and easy to use but powerful so drone experts will also appreciate it to reduce costs of their daily work.

The only thing that I miss comparing to other software like Pix4D is a detailed report of the results at the end of the process.

When I started my drone mapping business a few year ago, there were no such things like drone mapping and processing apps. Using UAV for civil purposes was far from being easy and intuitive. DataMapper app will surely allow me and many other people to save a lot of time and make our lives easier.

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