How drones fit into the future of mapping

I grew up flying in small airplanes with my dad, building and flying model aircrafts, listening to air traffic radios, and all-in-all becoming a serious aviation nerd. So when drones started coming on the scene a few years ago, I was immediately ready to fork over the dough to start offering professional drone services. But there was a problem...

Up until recently, the Federal Aviation Administration made it extremely hard to legally fly drones for pay. That meant we had no way to use drones to help our clients.

Bummer.

But that changed at the end of August when the FAA released Part 107 — a new set of regulations that enables anyone to study up, take the Part 107 exam, and receive an official remote pilot certificate.

In the last month, both my dad and I have received our remote pilot ratings and we have purchased our first drone, a DJI Phantom 4... nerds unite!

 

No filter this morning!! Grabbing a little golden hour footage before a sales pitch! Great day no matter what :)

A video posted by Nicholas Gunner (@nicholas_gunner) on

So far, we've used the drone primarily to capture aerial video footage for a series of upcoming projects. But that's just the beginning of how we plan to use this technology.

 

We feel that maps and drones are going to walk hand-in-hand into the future. These little robots can serve as powerful remote sensors by collecting a variety of data, inspecting utilities/infrastructure, and producing super high-defintion aerial map tiles. Orbitist will be testing all of these features in time, and we'll be integrating them directly into our mapping products.

Oh yeah... and there's also drone racing. That, we'll be doing on our own time ;)