What A UAV Means to the GIS Professional

gis professionalWhen one thinks of the world of GIS, the image of geologists and map producers often come to mind standing in a huge field of grass, taking pictures of the terrain.  From here, these composite images will be created to create a detailed master map, which can then be stored onto a Cloud-based server, which can then be downloaded in just a matter of seconds.

But, this is the old-school way of conducting GIS-based activities.  There are much more sophisticated methods now in which to take pictures of a remote terrain and to create its associated map.  This is now done using what is known as “Unmanned Aerial Vehicles”, also known as “UAVs” for short.

With a remote-control stick, a geologist or map producer can fly this UAV to the most desolate regions, take ultra-high quality images, and even download these images in real time, all from the comforts of their office.

There are more specific areas for which UAV technology is used and these include:

  • Geospatial applications
  • Construction and Development
  • Research and Conservation
  • Disaster Management

Along with the UAVs, there are also “Personal Aerial Mapping Systems” (also known as “PAMS”) which are designed more for the professional photographer.  In addition to this, “Unmanned Aerial Systems” (also known as “UASs”) are used to take images over lethal and contaminated geographic terrains.

This has been designed to greatly reduce the need to have actual people go out and survey these sites. This is so they do not get unnecessarily exposed to the threat environment.

Depending upon the Smartphone technology you have, one can even download these images quickly onto any iOS and Android-based platforms.  With these breakthroughs and advances being made, it is no wonder that it is expected that the UAV market, in general, is predicted to reach almost $3 Billion by the year 2022.

GeoTel is a telecommunications research and GIS mapping firm that researches and provides telecom datasets for more than 6,000 cities in the United States and worldwide. GeoTel’s expertise includes specialists in economic geography, geospatial engineering, web GIS, and telecommunications GIS Data infrastructure.