Mapping with drones: Best places to learn

3D mapping with drones

If you like to play with drones (UAV) and you want to turn your passion into a profession, you should check out the growing industry of drone mapping.  It is a $64B industry that is one of the key data collection sources for Geographic Information Systems (GIS).  Within GIS, UAVs are used within photogrammetry and LiDAR workflows to create images and videos that can be geospatially located on a map.  Drone mapping collects data and does aerial surveys with professional cameras. It’s 90% faster than manual methods of walking around doing fieldwork.  With this imagery you can create 3D models and get precision measurements.  Examples are 3D models of a new building, imagery for maintenance of utility towers, and vegetation canopy heights and health measurements.  This skill can be added to your portfolio using some of the following resources.

Drone mapping jobs

There are many opportunities in the UAV industry.  You can choose to be a freelance drone pilot or work for a company.  The market for drone piloting is increasing as evidenced by this skill showing up in many more job announcements.  For example, some real estate agencies are looking for drone pilots to take photos and create videos for them.  You can find many job listings through Indeed.  A UAV pilot makes an average of $58K a year in the US.  If you combine good GIS data and analysis skills, then you’ll be able to complete for higher GIS salaries.  

Conclusion:  Drone mapping is full of opportunity

Learning how to collect data, do aerial surveys and create 3D models with drone mapping puts you on a clear career path that is useful to many geospatial companies.  The drone mapping industry has projected growth to $64B and the GIS industry is close to $18B globally.  If you are interested in being a UAV professional:  1) Get your UAV pilot license and 2) Complete courses and certificates in the areas of:

You can learn these skills in a short period with online platforms. These skills will make you marketable as well as having GIS job potential in a variety of technical fields that you probably never thought of.  I hope to see you at some of the networking groups and events to welcome you to our industry!

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