Since the FAA Part 107 rules were released, the future of UAS commercial data collection is looking up. Although the size of the UAS market under Part 107 is a mere fraction of what it will become once beyond visual line of sight flying (BVLOS) becomes a reality. Today there are some mapping applications well suited to drones. New applications tailored for drones are being developed too.
It goes without question that drones have dramatically lowered the barriers to entry into remote sensing and mapping. Increasing numbers of new remote sensing and mapping practitioners flying drones are unfamiliar with photogrammetry and other principles of remote sensing and mapping. As with any new technology while in the “wild west” stage of development, unfounded, erroneous assumptions are made by practitioners about the positional accuracy of their mapping products.
This article is a discussion about the principles of remote sensing and mapping and how they apply to drones. Specifically, it will answer the question “What is positional accuracy and how do I know when I have it with my UAS map products?”
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