Are Unlicensed UAVs a Threat to the Surveying Profession?

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Are Unlicensed UAVs a Threat to the Surveying Profession?

An article at GPS World claims that the surveying profession is being threatened by the massive amounts of unlicensed UAVs (drones) flying around out there. This is giving me flashbacks to the days when people said that GPS was the doom of our industry. We’re still here, aren’t we?

That’s not to say that technology in general hasn’t played a part in the overall reduction of our profession in numbers. One could say that robotic total stations have seemingly replaced humans one-for-one. It may be true that the robot could potentially replace one human surveyor, but did it create other jobs related tomanufacturing, maintenance or in teaching others how to use it? Now I’m just arguing with myself…

Anyway, the point of the article is to say that unlicensed UAVs in the hands of non-professionals could be a threat to those who are paid to use them properly. This same point was made (and often still is) when GPS became a normal feature in mobile phones and other devices. The argument was that consumers would simply use their GPS-enabled devices in an attempt to establish their property corners. But doesn’t that just create more work for surveyors, fence builders, attorneys, etc.?

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Wendell

Wendell

Wendell was a Land Surveyor for 26 years, then moved on to building websites for his second career. But he never lost sight of the surveying community and the other disciplines related to surveying. He's purposely stayed involved in the surveying industry because he has always been — and will continue to be — a Land Surveyor at heart.

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