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Georeferenced charts, “taxi mode” & advanced document library


In a nutshell…

This release is probably bringing the largest upgrade since we launched version 2 last September.

It includes georeferenced charts (for those countries where airport chart are freely available).
The georeferenced charts can be displayed various ways (check below for the details).

As a byproduct, we are as well introducing a new “taxi mode”.
When in “taxi mode”, you are presented with a high definition georeferenced airport chart in a simplified user interface that maximises map space. You can focus on taxiways, hotspots and holding points.

Last but not least, the new advanced document library gives you access to more aeronautical document like Sup. AIP and AIC (and more in some countries).
It boasts advanced features like subscription to “shelves” (group of documents), automatic synchronisation and “freshness” status.

The georeferenced airport charts

Georeferenced airport charts allow to display charts from airport documents on top of the map as you fly.

Note: georeferenced airport charts are available with an Ultimate subscription plan.

BEWARE, georeferenced airport charts are here to help you understanding the detailed airfield environment, the VFR pattern, reporting points, etc..

Depending on data availability for your country, you can have up to three georeferenced charts per airport:
– the approach chart (APP) will show you a regional view of the airport.
– the landing chart (LAND) will show you a quite detailed view of the airport, possibly with VFR patterns, areas to be avoided, obstacles, etc.
– the taxi chart (TAXI) is generally available only on large airports and is made from the GMC chart. It will help you taxying on the airport and should represent taxiways, holding points, hot spots if there are any.

Flight Assistant will display one or more georeferenced charts based on your current zoom level (there is no point showing the APP chart when you are fully zoomed on ai airport and there is no point showing the TAXI chart when you are zoomed out on the area and it would be 1cm wide).

You must load georeferenced charts from the home page of the application (or status page on a phone).
They are loaded as one file per country based on your AIP subscription.

Displaying airport charts automatically

Once loaded, airport charts can be displayed different ways:
– automatically: the charts that do intersect with the current view are displayed based on the zoom level;
– manually: charts are not shown unless you actually activate them;
– from navigation only: only those charts from airports that belong to your current flight plan will be show when intersecting with the current view.

If you are using a low spec device (low memory especially), we’d recommend switching to manual.

When navigating in areas where there are a lot of airports, we’d recommend switching to to “navigation only” mode.

You can tune the way the georeferenced charts are displayed from the moving map setting in the moving map page.

As stated above, the zoom level as well impacts the display of charts (in automatic and navigation mode).

You can select the zoom ranges for each type of map from the “Layers” page in the moving map.

The default values should be OK, but there can be variations based on device’s screen density.
Chose the settings that suits your device and usage.


Manually displaying airport charts

Whether airport charts are displayed automatically or not, you can still “override” the default display.

Each chart can be:
– blocked (red): it will not be displayed
– automatic (white): it will be display based on zoom level
– forced (green): it will always be displayed

You can change the mode of each chart either tapping on the airport or via the airport chart selector that can be displayed on the map when you move it.

Note: the airport chart selector is not displayed by default and must be enabled in the moving map settings.

Cycle thru the three modes by tapping on the button of each chart.

The example above shows a fairly extreme example where all charts bar the ones of LFBO are blocked and the APP chart for LFBO is blocked while the LAND chart is forced and the TAXI chart is automatic.

This will result in the LAND chart being visible all the time and the TAXI chart being over-impressed on the LAND chart for lowest zoom levels.

From the moving map layers page you can as well completely disable the display of the georeferenced chars.


The “taxi mode”

The “taxi mode” is a special display mode that aims at making airport navigation easier.

When in taxi mode, you have access to a high definition airport chart, displayed with much higher zoom levels in a simplified user interface where the map space is maximised.

On top of that, you can rotate the map (using two fingers) in order to be able to read text that might be angled.
There is as well an automatic rotation feature that will try to default the map rotation so that text is horizontal (in some cases, the GMC charts are not published North up to save room on the page).

The taxi mode is only available:
– when you are not flying (checking speed and altitude)
– when on an airport
– when this airport has a suitable chart.

The taxi mode can be enabled either manually (tap the “TAXI” button that will display if this mode is available) or automatically (as soon as conditions are met).

The default mode is automatic, this means that when you get a GPS signal on your departure airport or when you have landed on your destination airport, the taxi mode will engage automatically.

Regardless if the taxi mode was engaged automatically or manually, it will be disengaged automatically as soon as you are starting the take off run.

The various settings of the “taxi mode” can be found on the moving map preferences page.


The advanced document library

The advanced document library actually provides three main features:
– it gives you access to more documents on top of the existing airport documents
– it includes a subscription mechanism that will ensure that all documents you care about are automatically downloaded onto your device as soon as they are made available
– it stores the “read” status of each document in your account so that you know for each document if you read it already or not.

The advanced document library is available with our Ultimate subscription plan.

The document library is a represented as hierarchical shelves that can contain documents or other shelves or both. This is just like your computer folders.

1: Breadcrumb to the current shelf
2: Use these buttons to switch between grid and list mode and change sort order
3: Toggle visibility off all documents or subscribed items only
4: Subscribe button
5: Download button
6: Status bar
7: Special “multi document”


Navigating the library and reading documents

To navigate down the document library, “tap” the shelf you want to navigate into.

The breadcrumb shows the current shelf and its path.

You can navigate up either using the back button (will bring you to the current shelf parent’s) or you can directly tap an item in the breadcrumb to navigate up to it.

To read a document, just tap it.

There are “special” documents that will lead to either all airport documents for a given country or the NOTAMs for a given fir.
The other documents will open in your default PDF reader.


Downloading documents and subscribing to shelves

Items that can be downloaded will show a download button.

If you tap the download button of a library, all the content within the library (all enclosed documents of all enclosed libraries) will be downloaded.

Subscribing to a shelf has two effects:
– it can be used to filter the visible content of the library
– when automatic synchronisation is enabled (general application settings), the new documents within subscribed shelves (and descendants) are downloaded as soon as they become available.


Controlling the display of the library

As well as filtering subscribed items only you can switch between grid and list display and change the order of the items.

Note: you can only enable the subscribed items filtering if there are subscribed items in your current shelf hierarchy.

For each visible item (bar “special” documents) a coloured bar displays the status of the item:
– red: the item is new and must be downloaded (or contains documents that are new and must be downloaded if it is a shelf)
– orange: the item has been downloaded but was never read (or contains… if it is a shelf)
– spring green: the item is present on your device and you read it
– dark green: the item is not present on your device but you read it in the past (on this device or another device).

Note: your shelf subscriptions and the read/unread status of each document is stored in your Flight Assistant account in the cloud.

Note: your shelf subscriptions and the read/unread status of each document is stored in your Flight Assistant account in the cloud.

To enable the automatic download of subscribed documents (documents in subscribed shelves), go to the general application settings on the home page.


Other minor changes

We have changed the way aeronautical data is loaded and displayed on the map.

With previous versions, there was a first level of filtering when loading the aeronautical data and the display could be filtered as well (but only within the loaded data).

This led to confusion.

From this version, the aeronautical data is downloaded in full on your device and you can filter what is displayed on the map from the “Overlays” page on the moving map (after unfolding the action bar).

We have as well adopted the new Android permission mechanism, but this should go unnoticed for the majority of users.