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so anybody else think?  

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flyin solo
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that in, oh, 2-5 years there are gonna be a BUNCH of survey offices with dusty drones sitting in the bottom of closets, and a BUNCH of people wondering why they spent their time and money on a license?

look- i fully appreciate the technology and its application. 

just got up this morning and already, an hour in, have seen more ads, marketing material, linkedin posts, and videos of "holy crap this thing is going to reinvent the wheel!"  it's eerily reminiscent of the din around GIS 15-20 years ago, except this time it seems to be coming more from within the industry.

meanwhile, i think i'll skip getting in line for one and do what i ENJOY doing- getting out in the weeds and doing the work myself.

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Said Lot
Joined: 8 years ago

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I think the real game changer will be when they can get a cheap reliable LiDAR sensor mounted on a cheap reliable drone.   Down the road, maybe a subsurface sensor too.  Digital photogrammetry is only the beginning of using drones for mapping.


Just A. Surveyor
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Oh I feel like there is definitely an opportunity to make money with it and as a result it is going to be THE HOT TOPIC for quite a while.

Will it help all of us like GPS and Robotics have?...…..Maybe in time once the price comes down but it is my experience that the surveyors around me will spend $50k on new equipment and from sheer stupidity refuse to charge for it. They spend a lot of money on new fancy equipment and because that new fancy equipment allows them to do the job faster they actually discount their work......amazing.

I like the idea of doing detailed CM accuracy aerial photos of say curb & gutter, striping, edge of pavement, poles and lights, landscaped areas and sidewalks. It will be a boon to those who know how to utilize it but a desktop ornament to others.

It would be great to be able to fly a roadway and get detailed accurate mapping without putting someone in danger or shutting down a busy area to do it. Being able to fly a mall area or shopping center would be wonderful.

I am interested in knowing if I can use it for locating creeks and streams in dense canopy and brushy areas. Sorta a LIDAR application I guess so they do not have to be physically located which involves lots of line cutting and lots of man hours.

It is definitely in the back of my mind and on my thoughts and I feel like it needs about 5 more years for the technology and software to mature before I can buy it, but I am interested.

For now I am more interested in GPS and being able to get a 4 constellation solution with a network rover.

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It's another tool in the box. If it is the right tool, depends on the size, scope, schedule and location of the project. Sometimes. this gets lost in the hype.

Scott Ellis
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I agree with you, I think a lot of Survey Companies will be using drones, however everybody and their brother n law will have one, so that is going to drive the cost down, you will probably be able to hire a guy to fly the site for 25 or so an hour.

Aslo I think once mistakes start happening due to drone use, on elevation grades that will hit the brakes on topo with drones.


paden cash
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A real boom for our industry will be here when a drone can remotely sense and accurately locate a buried piece of vertical rebar.

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