Humanitarian Drone Mapping

The pace of change and innovation in digital mapping and the unmanned systems is breathtaking.

This from Googlemaps Mania (one of my favourite non defence blogs) showcases a few examples

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There are obvious parallels with rapid mapping and environmental assessment in support of military operations, especially using small cheap unmanned aerial vehicles to generate imagery that can be converted into maps.




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August 6, 2014 3:40 pm

As I have been saying for some time a lot of top secret intelligence and survey stuff will be overtaken within a year of its launch by what you can buy at Maplins or Argos.

perhaps it’s time (at least in relation to tactical drones and general surveillance) to stop spend real money and buy off the shelf.

August 7, 2014 6:37 am

Must to reinforce my point the Guardian is reporting that you can now buy a cheap kit to turn your mobile into a drone.

August 7, 2014 6:52 am

IXION – what provisions then to limit the local scumbag using their twenty quid remote piloted flying camera to case the neighbourhood for juicy thieving opportunities, or the lust-ridden youth using one to stare into girl’s bedrooms, or the paedo-ring using their’s to gaze longingly at the local school playground? Is this a case where technology deliberately designed to gain greater access, to be more intrusive, has outstripped the legal system?

I hope the likes of Maplin soon have £20 vertical launch anti-drone missiles on sale – the new must-have alternative to a garden water feature.

August 7, 2014 8:32 am

There several drones which link directly to your smart phone which records the data stream and works as the controller. This one (and) others can be programmed to fly to a predetermined point via its in built GPS system to save you the Hassel of flying it there yourself.
It will also fly it self back to its take off position on command.
Re Chris’s comments on this techs misuse , I suggest a 12 gauge and bird shot.
Better yet an EM kit sold on the next shelf that disrupts the flight controls

August 7, 2014 8:45 am
This links directly to your smart phone which records the HD footage and acts as the controller. You can preprogrammed the unit to fly to a predetermined point using its inbuilt GPS and return to its take off point on command .
Re Chris’s comments on the abuse of this tech I see a market for an EM device to disrupt these devices data stream or failing that a 12 gauge loaded with birdshot.

Engineer Tom
Engineer Tom
August 7, 2014 9:48 am

Has anyone else noticed that BBC and Sky are a little bit obsessed with using drones in their news reports these days, I often wonder whether they are breaking the law or not using drones.

August 7, 2014 4:16 pm


The law often lags behind this sort of thing.

The best one is driverless cars.

Assuming you are asleep drunk in the back when it runs over and kills a child: –

Are you ‘in charge’ of the vehicle
Are you ‘driving’?
Who if anyone is driving dangerously?
what will the insurance companies say?

Who gets prosecuted or sued?
The car manufacture?
Google or who ever provides the technology/satellites?

Etc. And that will effect how quick and how far this technology gets adopted.

August 7, 2014 5:30 pm

I am guessing that if I was to ‘intercept’ a drone over my property and it was damaged / destroyed and the owner had a recording on his iPhone of wrong end of a 12 Gauge point at it just before the signal was ‘lost’ and my face behind it I could be prosecuted for destruction of another’s personal property.
However at present there is no ‘privacy’ law / trespass by ‘air’ to allow me to have the individual prosecuted?
I can see a Private Members Bill coming before Parliament soon when someone who ‘matters’ has their privacy invaded and the imagery splashed all over the media. No need for a Ultra-long range lens to photo xyz just fly your drone in get your snaps and its up for auction as an exclusive, xyz is knobbing abc read all about it.

August 7, 2014 6:23 pm

IXION, monkey – ref trespass – I will assume any UAV spying from a position above my property is the same as someone standing within the property boundary, thus it is trespass. Cue vertical launch missiles, high density buckshot, infrasound, laser or tame peregrine falcon to despatch the miscreant.

Ref driverless cars – they have their place I suppose, a scrapyard for example? They are spawn of the Devil and should be eradicated. Expunged. Deleted. So glad that’s cleared up. I recommend the law holds the corporation that invents and inflicts such heretical nasties on an unsuspecting public legally responsible for all accidents they cause. It would for example be impossible to blame the user that can only enter a destination and hit the ‘Go’ button. They are literally passengers, not drivers. But that’s OK; Google and Microsoft and the like are hugely wealthy so they can afford it.

Dangerous Dave
Dangerous Dave
August 11, 2014 2:39 pm

: Why use missiles or Buckshot? Just tap into the WiFi / Bluetooth signal and brute-force the encryption (it’s probably only set to 128-bit by default). Then find the miscreant’s phone book, and spam all their contacts with some suitably nasty images! Followed by taking control of the drone and landing it in your garden, soon to be accidentally run-over by your robotic lawn-mower!

Of course mini-SAM’s would be cool, if located in the bird-bath, so that the top slides sideways, “Thunderbird 4 stylee” ! :-D