Detailed 2D aerial survey by drone

Using Maps Made Easy, a service I helped fund on Kickstarter, I prepared a detailed map of a ranch in South Dakota. The output is a 2D map you can zoom and pan, just like Google Earth. By my estimate, the map resolution is 5 cm per pixel. By comparison the best resolution available in

Amateur 3D mapping by drone

Before my GoPro camera arrived, I did a little experiment with my Y6 hexacopter from 3D Robotics: I repurposed a pocket camera for aerial images, set the drone to fly in a survey pattern over a limited area and processed the resulting photos using a free cloud app. As a result, I was

The civilian drone inflection point is near

People almost always come over and chat when I fly one of my hobby drones. It used to be that I had to explain what the thing was up in the sky and the reaction was almost always oohs and aahs that technology has come that far. That was half a year ago. This past weekend I was in a pa

Flying conditions: Going for low wind

On the trees, hardly a leaf was moving early this morning here in Austin. The sun was out but it was a bit chilly. Great flying conditions. Apart from rain (I would never contemplate flying my quadcopter drone in the rain), wind is the factor that I have found to influence video and s

Why I bought a quadcopter drone

I bought a quadcopter drone so I could learn more about an interesting and possibly disruptive technology that is only in its infancy. More specifically: To acquaint myself with how easy a 2013 model quadcopter is to fly. To elevate my other hobby, photography, by taking photos from n