Announcing *EVEN MORE* updates to Drone Scene - Complete with Satellite, NT, Crown Estate layers and more! 😱

A few short weeks ago we announced a major update to our Drone Scene web site.

With that update came live, real-time, data layers from Altitude Angel - the same people who supply NATS and DJI with airspace data.

To date, we are still the only drone club in the world to licence real-time GuardianUTM data directly from Altitude Angel.

Well, no sooner had we launched that update than work began on the next set of upgrades :grimacing:

tl;dr :thinking:

Then please do check it out right now:

The first thing you’ll notice when looking at the new Drone Scene is the addition of some extra base maps.

In the past we’ve only ever used a regular “road map”. Which was great (who doesn’t love Open Street Map, right?) but a road map on its own isn’t always brilliant. Therefore, sitting alongside the road map you’ll now also find a Satellite base map, a Hybrid (road+satellite) base map and a Dark Mode base map too :bowing_man:t2:

The satellite base map is ideal for locating objects and places which may not be visible on just a road map:

Another major addition for this update is a live overlay of National Trust land boundaries.

Why live? :thinking:

NT land boundaries don’t change very often so we did experiment at first with using a static KML file as an overlay. But due to the sheer amount of time it took to load (it was a complex file, 9MB in all) it provided a very poor user experience. One that we didn’t want to put our name against.

The other reason is that when using static data layers we need to remember to update them from time to time :blush:

As National Trust offer open access to their data via a series of APIs we thought we’d take advantage of it. The end result is a set of layers which load much faster as it’s only loading the data for the visible map area that you can see. Much better.

We also purposefully designed the NT data as an overlay, rather than as a base map.

This means you can pick and choose a base map first (eg. Satellite), then turn on the NT layer over the top and then turn on multiple Airspace layers too :smiley:

The end result:

Not stopping there (as we were on bit of a roll at this point) we also decided to add a Crown Estate Foreshore and Estuary layer too.

As some of you may know, these guys are actually quite supportive of our hobby:

https://www.thecrownestate.co.uk/en-gb/what-we-do/on-the-seabed/coastal/metal-detecting-and-drone-flying/

With the Foreshore and Estuary layer turned on, coupled with the Satellite base map, you’ll end up with a rock solid view of exactly where you can legally fly your drone.

Along side these major updates we’ve also performed some smaller tweaks and changes. For the curious and technically minded:

Release notes (click to expand)
  • Added support for Vimeo thumbnails
    Due to their weird and wondering URL formats, in the past Drone Scene has only been able to provide thumbnails for pictures and YouTube videos

  • Added support for Kuula thumbnails
    Sharing locations with 360° panos will now include a thumbnail of the pano

  • Moved to a descriptive URL format for Locations
    Location links traditionally looked like: https://dronescene.co.uk/?place=543
    They are now descriptive: https://dronescene.co.uk/where-to-fly-drone/anglezarke-reservoir-north-west/543
    All old / historic links will still work

  • Created dynamic OpenGraph / Onebox content
    Sharing locations from Drone Scene on to other platforms (Facebook, Twitter, et al) will now provide content-based previews of that exact location

  • Changed the OpenGraph / Onebox format of shared URLs
    A shared URL onebox used to look exactly like a link to the homepage

  • No longer pre-select a land owner permission
    Some people were submitting locations to fly without changing the land owner permission drop down list from its default setting

  • Fixed text wrapping / alignment issue on mobile
    The text was pinned to the right hand side of the screen instead of wrapping neatly around an image preview

  • Fixed the “Adding Location - Please Wait…” dialog box
    Only usually visible when uploading large images

  • Changed the default zoom level when viewing a location marker
    It used to zoom in way too close
    Also added a small ‘flying-zoom’ animation to the location

  • Added support for Apple Home Screen bookmark icon
    A proper Drone Scene icon now appears on your iOS device if you add Drone Scene to your home screen

  • Moved all map controls to the right hand side
    – As when in full screen mode the iOS ‘exit’ button was blocking the map controls

  • Fixed alignment of icons inside map buttons (weather, share, etc) on mobile
    They were off to the right hand side on smaller screens

  • Changed hover colour on links
    Thanks @johnbirt for reporting this issue

  • Added additional Basemaps
    Satellite
    Hybrid (Road + Satellite)
    Dark Mode

  • Added a Crown Estate Foreshore and Estuary overlay
    https://www.thecrownestate.co.uk/en-gb/what-we-do/on-the-seabed/coastal/metal-detecting-and-drone-flying/

  • Added two National Trust overlays
    Always Open
    Limited Access
    Thanks @kvetner for this feature request

The /about page has also been updated to provide much more detail about each of the new layers so please check that out if you’re looking for more information about what each layer does and doesn’t contain.

As always, we hope you enjoy these new features and please do keep adding your locations to the map!

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Brilliant @PingSpike! Just tested it on my mobile, very responsive.

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Most excellent.

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Fantastic what we need.

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Excellent. Thank you for all the hard work.

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I really must say an enormous Thank You for what you guys are doing with this site.
It’s amazing what you’ve achieved so far and is a fantastic resource for us flyers
:clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:
Keep up the great work
Steve :slightly_smiling_face:

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Fantastic additions to an already really valuable resource - many thanks for all the hard efforts :+1: :+1: :+1: :+1: :+1:

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If anyone has any feature requests for future versions, let us know and we’ll see what’s possible :+1:t2:

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