Tuesday, July 26, 2016

DRONES DRONES DRONES - For or Against?

Amazon Prime Air (Telegraph)
DHL Drone (CNN.com)

A topic straight from the news, with the UK Government giving permission to Amazon to trial the Amazon Prime Air drones for delivery in the UK. 

Having recently attended an event by the AGI at the Atkins offices in Bristol, I talked to Charlton Bland of Atkins Geomatics & UAV Surveying, who surprisingly made the case for drones' other positive usages. He highlighted the professional qualifications from the UK Civil Aviation Authority needed for a pilot before being able to fly, reducing the safety concerns. Are you aware that a number of companies have been given the permission to fly as close as 5 meters from motorways in certain areas? So its not only Amazon and delivery companies that are being given this freedom by the Government. This is an attempt to create innovation, reduce carbon emissions and making this mobility technology safer for all our benefit.

In terms of other uses, drones allow companies such as Atkins to create 3D models quicker for sites up to 5km2 using imagery data, cutting the time needed to survey sites and reducing H&S risks. Another example, is the use of drones by farmers to spray pesticides on vast areas in order to improve crop health. Drones have  lower flying cost compared to airplanes when used on small to medium sites.

So what does this increase of 'drone fever' mean? I would suggest watching this TedX from 2014, but from my own opinion, this will only create more job opportunities and careers for GIS professionals due to the increasing need of the drones to know their surroundings and scanning for specific points and landmarks. As a result, here will be a new need for data management and route analysis of 'drone highways' for example, needed for urban areas in order to reduce the risk of a drone failure. I hope this has been useful. Please comment with your views about drones.

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