Dynamic Remotely Operated Navigation Equipment (DRONE) is coming out to be an emerging technology in today’s world. Few years back it was only used by military for reconnaissance, but today it is used by hospitals or for traffic monitoring.
So gradually and slowly it will enter into the private sector eventually for monetary business benefits. Also, there are many controversies over their meaning according to scientist and military. But our question is whether it is capable of becoming the backbone of GIS or its future?
Everybody knows the power of GIS (if not, go through the GIS category on this site) in today’s world, if we blend it with DRONE techno can we get fruitful output? I will say yes…
Let us walk through point by point and check what possibilities we have in the current scenario:
i) It can change the whole industry of survey and also the technology which was used by surveyors through the last decade, i.e. using total stations and GPS receivers.
ii) It can be operated in any weather condition i.e. in light-medium rainfall, snow and there is not an issue of cloud cover as well but obviously we don’t expect to fly the poor drones in extremely unforgiving weather conditions.
iii) It will provide high resolution imagery (in cm) which will possibly be better than today’s satellite images and also the redundancy of the images will be reduced as they would be more frequently collected and updated. With this we can inspect the construction sites, agricultural sites, oil and gas especially in pipeline fitting.
iv) Its manufacturing time and maintenance cost is not much and can be used from 30 min to several hours in one stretch according to the specifications.
v) It can also prove to be of help for the stakeholders to make effective decisions in terms of data processing i.e. orthomosaic mapping, elevation modelling etc.
vi) It can not only be used to inspect the earth’s surface but also the atmosphere like for example analyzing the activity of hurricanes. You can read more about this here . Moreover some drones can carry a number of sensors also which further paves the way for endless possibilities.
Hence I can say that DRONE technology provides the new root for vendors to boost-up the market i.e. collecting data by LiDAR technology which was very costly earlier and also make a link to unite some different technologies to some extent. Now a days India railway is also using GIS to protect land.
So to conclude, stating that DRONE technology is a growing offspring and will prove to be a game changer, in the GIS world with a lot of potential, would not be an overstatement.