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Just wondering what everyone else uses? I am supposed to be receiving my new Phantom 3 today and I think DJI provides a mapping application, but was wondering if anyone has any insight into the accuracy of all the ones that are out there. Here is a good article that lists many options in case anyone else is looking around. AirMap for Drones looks to be a promising provider. With so much emphasis on regulations now, I'm guessing all these players will be fighting to become the "most accurate".

http://www.directionsmag.com/entry/no-fly-maps-now-available-to-uav-pilots/454101

Also, are there some that you know of that we should definitely STAY AWAY from?

Edited by FlyByDroning
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Good question.  I'm also interested in what other people are using.  I use two apps - B4UFly, which is from the FAA and which is not included in the article above, and Hover.  Neither of them is completely satisfactory. B4UFly is notoriously inaccurate but has improved somewhat recently.  It used to ignore the municipal airport, a controlled field, in Morristown, NJ, an area where I do a lot of work.  It also reports every corporate and hospital heliports as well as uncontrolled private fields and even balloonports.  It is just not practical to try to contact all of those uncontrolled fields.  For example, If I were to fly out of my back yard, I'd be within 5 miles of 3 airfields.  Two are corporate heliports (Merck & Exxon), and the third is something identified as "Peters".  I've called both the heliports, or tried to.  They have no idea what I'm talking about.  I can't find Peters, and the app's directory isn't any help.  I suspect some guy has a landing field in his back yard.  B4UFly is poorly designed and hard to use.  I keep it and use it because it's the FAA's app, and if the stuff ever hits the fan, I think being able to say that I looked it up on the FAA app may offer some protection.

Hover is somewhat better but still a long way from what you could call good. Hover only reports active airports and ignores the corporate stuff.  It also makes an effort to give you a phone number for the tower.  Nice when it works.  To go back to the Morristown example. Hover provides a phone number which is actually the town hall - not the airport.  Still, Hover's interface is better, and it doesn't freeze up as much.  I use it only for mapping.  It has a flight log capability, but I've read that they share that data with third parties.  I keep my logs to myself.

I spent a day recently shooting solar installations for one of my clients.  14 properties in about a 10 hour day.  I checked each location on both Hover & B4UFly, and to my surprise I found no inconsistencies.  Surprised the hell out of me.

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On 7/1/2016 at 8:44 AM, FlyByDroning said:

Just wondering what everyone else uses? I am supposed to be receiving my new Phantom 3 today and I think DJI provides a mapping application, but was wondering if anyone has any insight into the accuracy of all the ones that are out there. Here is a good article that lists many options in case anyone else is looking around. AirMap for Drones looks to be a promising provider. With so much emphasis on regulations now, I'm guessing all these players will be fighting to become the "most accurate".

http://www.directionsmag.com/entry/no-fly-maps-now-available-to-uav-pilots/454101

Also, are there some that you know of that we should definitely STAY AWAY from?

May I suggest, in preparation for your FAA Remote pilot Certificate test, you get a sectional chart of your flying area and learn how to read it. Free here and more info here. and here. Just my 2 cents...

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It's expensive but I use Foreflight Mobile. It has everything that you could ever need. Sectionals for the entire country, GPS location, AFD information for the entire country, weather, etc. That being said, I am also a commercial pilot so I can without question justify the annual fee. It might be overkill for drone operators. 

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